Injury is inevitable when you are training. Unfortunately, we are not bio-mechanical superstars – we are human and with “human-ness” comes injury. Here are 6 tips to help you overcome injury both emotionally and physically!!
- Focus on what you can do, not on what you cannot do. Find a physical activity that simulates the activity you have to miss to recover from the injury. For example, water running simulates running but without impact. You can supplement with cycling and swimming for an added cardio boost. But realize that the “easy” thing to do during an injury is to continue to run through it and make the injury worse. That is what “non-champions” do. So be a champion – be the smart person who takes a step back and makes the change necessary to heal. That change is always taking a break from running.
- Congratulate yourself for resting the injury by treating yourself to something special that you don’t normally have time for. Resting is the hard thing to do so it deserves applause.
- Remind yourself that most people come back from an injury stronger and better than ever. Search the internet for stories about athletes who got faster, stronger and more resilient afterwards. Then identify with these athletes and make them your role model.
- Keep a journal outlining how you feel each day both emotionally and physically. This will be a good reminder for the next time you get injured – a reminder that you felt those feeling before and that you survived! Writing things down makes them more real and will make you feel as if you are in control of your injury rather than controlled by your injury.
- Find a good physical therapist that you trust. Then do the rehabilitation that they suggest and respect their timelines for return to exercise. If you are going to spend 1-2 hrs per day several days a week getting treatment then you might as well allow the treatment to work by actually taking time off from running or the sport which has caused the injury.
Here are some good rehab exercises:
water running simulating your usual run workouts underwater treadmills Alter-G anti-gravity treadmills cycling and swimming simulating your usual run workouts core work strengthening exercises as prescribed by your therapist
Be good to yourself and you will be back doing what you love sooner than you think!