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running injury

Published on February 12th, 2018 | by Start Fitness


Running After A Running Injury

Suffering from a running injury is no fun and coming back from it can be a difficult haul. Your running won’t be up to scratch and reaching distances you did before will take you some time. It’s important to remember that when recovering from an injury every mile you complete is an achievement.

Recovery depends on the injury

Returning to running will depend on the nature and extremity of the injury you have. You will also need to consider the length of time you have already been out and whether you are ready to return to running. Some common running injuries include…

  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Calf pain
  • Shin splints
  • Achilles Tendinopathy
  • Running blisters
  • Ankle pain/ ankle strain
  • Hip pain
  • Knee pain
  • IT Band Syndrome

Most running injuries can be treated within a matter of days or weeks however there are those that can take much longer. If you experience a running injury you should immediately try to treat it. You can do this by…

  • Getting plenty of rest.
  • Applying ice to the injury to reduce swelling.
  • Applying a compression bandage or tubigrip to reduce swelling and speed up recovery.
  • Elevating the injury higher than your heart to reduce a blood build-up, reduce stiffness and reduce pain.

Taking the first steps

woman running

Don’t dive in at the deep end

Once you are ready to start running again it is important to make sure that you don’t dive in at the deep end. You can not pick up where you left off, the body just isn’t ready for it. Instead, take things slowly and gradually increase the amount of running you do and the duration you run for.

Rule out comparing yourself to be before the injury

After having a long break from your running, it is important not to make comparisons to your running pre-injury.  This will only frustrate you and can hinder your overall progress. Track any running you are doing and praise yourself for any extra miles and faster minutes you achieve.

Muscle memory has your back

Though you may not think it in your first few runs back, you will soon have your running streak back. If you have been running for several years before your injury muscle memory will have you feeling like a pro again pretty quickly.

Don’t over exert yourself

injured ankle

When returning to running its important to make sure that you don’t over exert yourself. Ease into your runs and as mentioned earlier don’t compare yourself to pre-injury.

Find a baseline

It’s a good idea to find a baseline for your running when starting out again. This involves seeing how far you can run and how fast you can run before you experience any pain. You should then decrease this by at least 10% so that you aren’t running right up to your breaking point. For example: if you ran 5km pain free at 6 minutes per km your baseline would be 4.5km at the that same speed. As you begin to get more strength and stamina you can begin to increase this until you are back to your normal running self. Remember though that this can take some time, don’t skip steps as you risk reinjuring yourself.

Don’t forget to rest

It’s important to make sure that you allow the body time to recover by taking regular rest days. Rest at least one day between each run to give yourself a chance to regain your strength. Running daily will put you at risk of hindering your progress and could cause the injury to worsen.

Make small changes one at a time

Making changes to benefit your running and get better is perfectly fine but make sure you do them one at a time. Making to many changes at once can cause your running to become too difficult if you’re not ready for it. Slow and steady is the recipe.

Recovered and ready to go

Over time you will notice that you have become much stronger after following strategic steps and making small changes. Your injury should have subsided by now and you should be ready to start tackling your personal best again.

Written By Start Fitness