Coming Back From Injury

It’s been a bit quiet around the blog lately. Mostly because of trying to decompress after a fun but exhausting training season. These past twelve weeks have been some of the funnest and also the most challenging to date. I really put my mind to mastering this half-marathon and I couldn’t be happier with my performance. That being said, I also ran my half-marathon with a last minute injury.

Coming Back From Injury

As an athlete, the onset of any type of injury is crushing. Coming from a couch potato background, I have to be smart with increasing mileage and intensity in my workouts. I was also in a horrible car wreck when I was a teenager that did a number on my back. It’s not uncommon for me to bend or sit a certain way and knock my back completely out of wack for days or even weeks. It’s frustrating and I can’t tell you how many tears I’ve cried because of injuries.

However, in the past two years of running and training, I’ve learned that practicing grace in the midst of injury is so important. It’s easy to hit the gym full speed ahead as soon as you get the go ahead from your doctor. Unfortunately, this can lead to getting hurt again.

I wouldn’t necessary recommend starting at square one but I would I scale it back a bit. For example, my back has been giving me problems and while I’m getting better I’m still staying away from deadlifts. When I do feel 100%, I won’t jump back to my normal weight. Since I’ve lost a good deal of mobility and strength, I’ll start with 50% of my weight and see how it feels. It may take weeks to get back to where I used to be pre-injury but it’s a safe way to scale the workout and get moving again.

The same can be done for running. If you had to stop running due to injury, I would start slow. Begin with walk/run intervals until you’re able to run for a whole mile then slowly begin to add miles to your run. It will take a lot of patience but your body will thank you for it.

Another thing about injury, depending on what happened, you may need to give extra attention to it. I know my back will always be a problem so I focus on improving my core strength and stretching my hips and hamstrings since any tightness there leads to tightness in my lower back. A few times a week, I do my old physical therapy workouts and it helps keep me moving. Working on your body’s weaknesses can help you ward off injury in the future.

Overall, be patient! I know it’s the last thing you want to hear and even I roll my eyes when people tell me that. However, sometimes getting injured is our body’s way to tell us to chill out. With time, you will start to feel better and you’ll be back to it!

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