Wednesday, April 18, 2018

What to Remember When Coming Back From an Injury

I'm at the point in this injury recovery that I want to run really bad, but I'm almost scared to run. If you've dealt with some kind of longer-term injury, you'll know what I'm talking about.  You still love running and are anxious to start working on your goals and feeling that endorphin high again, but you don't want to injure yourself more or again after you've finally healed.

That's where I'm at right now.  I'm slowing working my way up in mileage and easing into it cautiously.  I guess it's a good thing that I'm feeling this way though because the younger me would have definitely started off strong and pushed myself too hard too fast and I would for sure have gotten injured again. That's the way it worked all through my teen years.

There are some things that I try to remind myself whenever I'm starting to run again after an injury. One thing that I have to remind myself of over and over is to start out nice and easy. I have the tendency to want to jump back in where I was and run at least three miles from the start. And I know I'm not the only one who does this.  The thing is that doing it that way won't get you any closer to your goal faster. It could make it even longer because you could end up re-injured.

I try to take it easy at first, not only on distance but on speed. I try to remember to keep my pace nice and easy.  I keep away from any kind of speed work for the first little while.  Let your body get back into the routine and the feel of running again before you push your speed too hard or do any kind of hard run.  This is a really great time to enjoy taking it easy and seeing where you are at.

Making small goals to help me get back to my big goal helps me to not feel discouraged about reaching my bigger goal when I know there is work to do.  I set weekly goals to help me feel like progress is being made even if it's slow going and step by step.  Make a goal to increase your mileage by a quarter mile a week in the beginning, or running twice a week for a month.

I remember to keep stretching and doing my rehab exercises to help my injury not only heal but become stronger.  Instead of focusing completely on running (even though that is my main sport) I make sure to spend my non-running days doing the exercises I was doing when I wasn't running at all.

Frustration is something that runs deep in me when it comes to taking it easy and not running as much. I want to feel progress so bad sometimes that I get really frustrated when it's time to take it easy for a while. I have to remind myself that running has always been there for me, it has always been something I've done. I've taken longer periods of time off and still come back from it. Running is something that I can bounce back to after a break. It might take some time and a little more effort than I want to sometimes, but I'll get it back. I just have to be patient with my body while I'm working on it.

Getting back to running and to where I was before my injury is rough. Reminding myself of these things helps a lot. Remembering how much I love running on the days that it's a struggle, remembering that every hard run makes us a little stronger physically and mentally, remembering to take care of myself so I don't get reinjured, all of those things play a big part in how I come back from this injury!

What is the hardest part about starting back up for you?


  1. I hope your recovery is going well and that you can get back to running soon!

    1. Thank you! I’m starting back up now. Little by little but it’s coming along. Have a great day Lisa!

  2. I've been there far too many times. The hardest part is trusting that you won't get injured again. It's always in the back of my mind every single day.

    1. That is really the truth! The good thing about it though, is that it's hopefully helping you remember to do what you need to do to prevent injuries. Have a great day Angela!