Most people I know are pretty phobic about injuries. And for good reason. My favourite times of the week? My running days. Rest days are necessary but running days are fun. Just me, the road, the sky, the sunshine, some great tunes and the possibility that I might kick some goals with my time or distance along the way.
Now when you are injured, you can’t do that. That’s pretty disastrous. So when you are out doing what you do and you feel that twinge, it can be pretty damn scary.
So here are ten things you can do to get you through injury.
Shoes aren’t always the answer. But sometimes they are. High arches, low arches, no arches, zero drop, traditional trainers. A bit of experimentation can go a very long way. In my experience high arches = traditional trainers and low arches or fallen arches or flat feet = zero drop.
2) Cross Training
Cant’ run? Walk. Or ride a bike. Or go for a swim. The cool thing about exercise is that pretty much every exercise you can think of uses different muscles, so chances are there is something you can do.
When you are starting out often the big goal is to do your thing without stopping, without resting. But when you are nursing an injury this isn’t always the case. A slower exercise uses different muscles so changing to a walk/run or similar might allow you to keep moving but build up your weak muscles at the same time
4) Rest is not your friend
For the most part, rest isn’t going to get the job done. Stretch, massage, move where you can, try different exercises but rest generally won’t fix what is broken. You need to find a way to strengthen the injury without aggravating it.
5) See someone.
Osteo, physio, chiro, accupuncturist, doctor – whoever you are most comfortable with. Google is usually quite crap at helping you diagnose yourself and seeing the right person could make all the difference to your recovery plan.
6) Try not to permananently alienate friends and family
I know it’s hard. Chances are they don’t know or can’t appreciate the kind of withdrawal you are going through. And when you cry about your injury they will probably look at you like your crazy and say ‘REALLY?! This is what you are upset about?’
I find an excellent antitode to this grumpy, agitated, emotional state is writing about moving, reading about moving, developing new training plans or best of all buying more gear. We all do what we can to get from one side to the other.
7) Take it slow
I know it’s tempting at the first sign of feeling better to go and leap back in there but you will have to force yourself to take it slow. It generally takes time to build up the muscles so you can prevent re-injury.
8) Try to find out why you got injured in the first place.
Was it lack of stretching, going too hard in new shoes, pushing yourself too much? Whatever it was, figure it out. And NEVER DO THAT AGAIN.
9) Find some people who appreciate the horrifying nature of the injury and the pure exhilarating awesomeness of recovery
Tell them everything. If you do this there’s a chance that you won’t annoy every single person you know in the process of recovery. They might also have some good tips for you too.
10) Get a tattoo on the part of your body that was injured.
Just kidding. Although I did do that and it is awesome.