Today on the Doc on the Run podcast, we’re talking about how there is no accidental healing.
There’s no book on how to heal by accident. Running injuries happen by accident.
You get a running injury because you made a mistake in over-training. You tripped over something. You did just a little too much in your workout. Something went wrong. It was an accident.
But healing does not happen by accident. Healing a running injury has to be intentional, just like your training.
Think about what you do in training. You have a very, very specific plan to make sure you stay on track, but it is not by accident.
You sit down and you either read a book on how to come up with a training plan, and then you create your own training plan or you talk to a friend who’s done a training plan and they help you create one, or you hire a professional coach who’s really going to help you the most effectively to create a training plan. Then your coach helps you work through that plan to make sure you stay on track, but it is not by accident.
There’s a clear reason that you have workouts in the order that you have those workouts. There’s a clear reason that your coach tells you you need to drink your post workout smoothie or whatever your recovery formula is that your coach directs you to do within a certain time frame after that workout.
There is a reason you’re supposed to protect your sleep after specific workouts. There’s a reason you are supposed to have rest days, but you’re not supposed to have rest months, and you’re not supposed to have rest seasons. You are supposed to have rest days and that’s because tissue recovery happens quickly and so your coach understands the process of tissue damage and tissue repair that helps you build strength and fitness in preparation for your next marathon, your next race, whatever it is.
And that’s the same way with the healing process after you have an over-training injury. Don’t forget, when you get an over-training injury, all it really is is an exaggerated form of the same tissue damage that you get in normal training when you’re running, when you’re doing your workouts, when you’re preparing for a marathon, when you’re preparing for a trail race, whatever it is.
So, the deal is you can use that same sort of active plan being very intentional about when you’re going to heal, and how quickly. All of that if you’re just very deliberate, but you can’t have mistakes in healing the same way you can’t have mistakes in your workouts.
This is so clear to runners. If you have a workout plan and you’re supposed to do a long run on Sunday and something happens and you can’t do it, your mind goes into overload trying to figure out how are you going to make up for that workout.
But I’ll bet if you’re injured you’re not really going into overload thinking, “oh, I wonder what I should do today?”, you’re just bummed out that you’re not running, and so you have to be intentional about it.
You need to come up with a clear plan, so you’ve either got to talk to your doctor, you have to talk to your coach, whoever is helping you through the running injury, you need to work together to come up with an actual clear plan that is intentional and well directed to get you back on course.
Don’t just leave it to accident because you’re not going to heal by accident. You get injured by accident. Bad things happen that are accidents, but the good things don’t seem to generally happen by accident. You have to be intentional if you want to achieve your goals. Just think about your goals.
What have you done that’s successful that happened by accident? Do you say, “oh my Gosh, this is crazy. I actually didn’t know it, but there was a race down the street. I went and signed up last minute. I ran my fastest marathon ever and I qualified for Boston”. How many times have you heard that? Never. Right? Because it doesn’t ever happen.
If you don’t really have a plan and you say, “well, I don’t know. I just got injured. I don’t really know how long it’s going to take. The doctor said something about six weeks. I’m just going to wait for six weeks and see what happens.”
If you think about that for a second, doesn’t that sound like a terrible plan? You have to be intentional. There is no accidental healing. As long as you realize that, you’ll be able to find some ways to be more intentional about the healing and you will get back to running sooner.
Pain is the best tool to help an injured runner decide when run. You don’t have to figure out what to write down. We made a simple Pain Journal PDF for you.
If you have a question that you would like answered as a future addition of the Doc On The Run Podcast, send it to me PodcastQuestion@docontherun.com. And then make sure you join me for the next edition of the Doc On The Run Podcast!