Unfortunately with fitness comes injury. Maybe some more serious than others but nonetheless, I am sure most, if not all people who are active have experienced some sort of injury before.
Regardless of the severity of an injury, the best thing to do is rest and recover. Well resting means taking a few days, weeks, or months off! WHATTTTTTT. That means losing gains. losing endurance, losing what you have built for yourself. Maybe your doctor allows you to ride a stationary bike, or do upper body or lower body exercises depending upon where your injury is, but there is going to be limitations and restrictions.
I suffered a pinch nerve in my back that left me with numbness and tingling down my right leg. I had to stop running, do some therapeutic exercises to strengthen my core and hips and got treated to help release the pinched nerve that was caught. I was so restless, I hated that I couldn’t do much at all (and not because I was told to stop running, I physically had a hard time running anything over a mile).
I tried to focus on nutrition, keeping myself healthy with eating whole foods. One thing people learn quickly is when your injured and consume the amount of calories you normally would when your active the lbs start to stick to you. I worked heavily on my core, glutes, and legs as well as any upper body. My primary goal was to get stronger, eat healthier so when I could run again I was prepared. Now I am not saying I was maxing out with reps and getting my swol on. I was using very light weight and completing higher reps. It is important to remember there is something that is injured and overdoing it will set you back even further.
So maybe you have been in a boot for a while for a foot or ankle injury, or maybe something is going on with your knee, back or hips. If this is the case ask your doctor what you ARE able to do. Maybe you could work on some hip strengthening (you don’t even need to hit the gym you can bust out some Jane Fonda hip series exercises), upper body, or ride a stationary bike.
When the moment comes that you are restriction free, as hard as it will be to not jump right back into everything you were doing prior, you need to take it slow. You are going to have to rebuild your foundation. Some people say they were never the same after being injured but I promise you can be, if not better. Start slow with miles, gradually build like you would normally. Throw in some more cross training at first since you’ll be starting with low milage. Work on your hip strength and mobility, get that core tighter than it was before.
Keep reminding yourself that this gives you the opportunity to strengthen more, gain more power in your lower extremities, which could also help with speed once you graduate into speed work, tempo runs, and increase milage.
Having an injury is not the end of the world. It is what you make of having the injury. It is a slow process, and you are essentially rebuilding from the beginning, but it is a chance to better yourself, better your running form, your speed, your mentality, everything.
So if you are injured or coming out of an injury don’t get too discouraged. Yes it sucks big time, but remember you can always make the best of it and become a better version of you.
Happy Running! Xx