Does your running injury keep coming back? Yup, I’ve been there and know the frustrations that come with being continually sidelined by an injury. Although at the time it may feel like the injury is taking FOREVER to heal and you’ll never get back to running, it will heal; you will get back to running.
- If you haven’t already, go see your General Practitioner/Registered Massage Therapist/Physiotherapist/Chiropractor/Health Care Professional. It is easy to self-diagnose with Dr. Google, but it’s really important that a professional, or 2, or 3, checks out your injury to give you a proper diagnosis and recovery plan.
- Take 7-14 days off running – I know this one hurts to hear, but do you want to injure yourself further and risk being out of the game for much longer?
- Rest the body part that is injured. Now this doesn’t mean do no exercise; identify what types of movement you can do that will keep you mentally and physically strong, without aggravating the injury anymore.
Now, doing these 3 steps will certainly help get you back out running, but the key to not getting this injury again is to identify WHY you got injured.
- Do your running shoes need to be replaced? They may look ok from the outside, but after 500-700km the structure of the shoe breaks down and won’t absorb shock as well as they would when new which can result in injuries occurring.
- Are you doing a warm-up for every single run? The warm-up is super important to get the muscles ready, so if you are running without warming-up first then its more likely an injury will occur.
- Have a buddy record a video of you running (or get professionally assessed) to see HOW you run. The purpose of this is to see what your form looks like – it might feel fine when you are running, but watching yourself on video may reveal why an injury occurs. Analyse the video, paying particular attention to:
- How are your feet landing on the ground?
- Are your legs stretched out in front of you or landing under the hip?
- Are you slouching/bent over?
- Are your arms crossing your body?
- Are you looking down at your feet?
- Are you doing too much too soon? Whether that’s running faster than your body is used to, or running longer distances, doing too much could contribute to injuries. Building up that base takes time, don’t rush this.
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but something to start thinking about if/when you get injured.
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