If running is your life, then an injury can seem like the end of the world. But take heart from the fact that you’re not alone – around 70% of runners are injured at some point during their running life. What really matters is reacting well, and avoiding some common running mistakes. With a combination of patience, physiotherapy Newmarket specialists Chiro-Med are a great choice), and the right attitude, you can recover from almost any injury and get back out there.
1. Ignore it
Sometimes injuries happen mid-race, and send you sprawling on the sidewalk. But some injuries can be much less dramatic – a pain that develops during training and doesn’t go away – and when that happens, it’s vital to pay attention.
Don’t just take a few days out and then go right back to your training plan: unless you find out what caused your injury, you won’t know how to treat it and avoid it happening again. If you’ve had two weeks of rest and you’re not seeing any improvement, it’s time to make a physiotherapy appointment.
2. Try to run through the pain
It can be tempting to tough it out and tell yourself you can get over a little discomfort. No pain, no gain – right? Maybe: but too much pain leads to nothing but more pain.
Some injuries, particularly tendon issues, can start to feel a little better once you start running. This doesn’t mean they’ve gone away! The more you run on injured feet or legs, the worse your injury will get and the longer your recovery time is likely to be.
Your social life may be very tied up with running, leading to a sense of isolation and FOMO when you’re recovering while everyone else is out there doing what you love best. Apps like Strava can inadvertently make things worse by providing constant reminders of what you’re missing out on. But don’t be tempted to turn away from your running community. Make time to see your friends. Volunteering to marshal a race or local run can also be a great way to keep you in touch and give something back.
4. Veg on the couch
You’re an injured runner, not a couch potato! Rest is important, but slobbing out altogether won’t aid your recovery. Keep up with your physiotherapy exercises, cross-train by swimming or using an elliptical if you can, and try to eat healthily to help your body heal. These are all great habits you should try to keep up once you’re running again.
5. Start running again too soon
Before you head out there again you need a plan. A professional – like Toronto physiotherapy specialists Chiro-Med – can help you formulate your strategy, which will differ based on the severity of your injury, how long (and to what extent) you’ve been out of action, and your overall level of fitness and running experience.
Take it easy on your first trial run. If you’re still in pain, don’t push it – take some more time to recover.
6. Give up
The recovery process can be long and it may be dispiriting, but it won’t be forever. Do your best to avoid making these mistakes and you will have many more races ahead of you.