Due to injury, I went for my first run in 5 weeks this afternoon. While out, I gave it some thought on how to have a succesful return after injury. Below are my thoughts. Would you add anything else?
- Slowly does it
Don’t just jump straight back into your training. Ease your way back into it with short, easy sessions. Don’t stress the injured area right away. Steadily build up the mileage, speed, intensity again.
- Keep up with the exercises/stretches
Been given some exercises or stretches from a PT, coach or other professional? Stick with them; they’ll help you in the long run to stave of the injury again. If you haven’t been given any specific exercises, continue to develop your core, flexibility and stabilization to prevent future injuries
- But I was so much quicker/stronger/fitter before
Yup, you probably were, but forget about it. You’ll get back to that level, but over a prolonged period. Take your time and adhere to point 1 and you will get there again, maybe even quicker/stronger/fitter than before
Positive Mental Attitude. You’re back, uninjured; you’ve come through a tricky time; that’s a positive. You will be training more than the week before. You are back on the road to recovery. For each step in the right direction, give yourself a pat on the back.
- Amend your goals
You may need to create new, more realistic goals for your target race or lead up races. You may change from compete to complete, or your target time may be a few minutes slower. Be realistic. Once you are fully fit and injury free again you may return to your original goals
- It’s a virtue
Patience, it’s a virtue. To repeat point 1 again, get back into it slowly, don’t rush it. You don’t want to end up injured again, but this time worse. Keep an eye on the bigger picture and visualize yourself getting back to full fitness