Strategies for Getting Back Into Running After Being Injured for Endurance Runners
How to return to running after an injury without risking a relapse
As an experienced endurance runner, I know how frustrating it can be to have an injury that keeps you from running. Whether it’s a minor injury or a major one, it can be difficult to know how to get back into running safely and effectively. In this article, I’ll share some strategies that I’ve used to return to running after being injured, without risking a relapse. These strategies have helped me get back to running at full strength, and I hope they’ll help you too.
1. Listen to your body
One of the most important things you can do when returning to running after an injury is to listen to your body. Your body will tell you when it’s ready to start running again, and when it’s time to take a break. It’s important to start slow and gradually increase your mileage and intensity. Don’t try to do too much too soon, or you risk re-injuring yourself. Pay attention to how your body feels, and adjust your running routine accordingly.
2. Focus on strength training
When you’re coming back from an injury, it’s important to focus on strength training. This can help you rebuild the muscles that may have weakened during your time off from running. Strength training can also help you avoid future injuries by strengthening the muscles that support your running. Incorporate exercises that target your glutes, hips, and core, as well as exercises that work your legs.
Examples of exercises:
- Single-leg deadlifts
Cross-training is a great way to stay active while you’re recovering from an injury. It can also help you maintain your cardiovascular fitness and prevent boredom. Choose low-impact activities, such as cycling or swimming, to avoid putting too much stress on your injury. Cross-training can also help you improve your overall fitness, which can make it easier to get back into running when you’re ready.
4. Get a professional opinion
If you’re not sure whether you’re ready to start running again, or if you’re worried about re-injuring yourself, it’s a good idea to get a professional opinion. Talk to your doctor, physical therapist, or a running coach to get advice on how to safely return to running. They can help you develop a plan that takes into account your injury, fitness level, and running goals.
5. Set realistic goals
When you’re getting back into running after an injury, it’s important to set realistic goals. Don’t try to jump back into running at the same level you were at before your injury. Instead, start with small goals that are achievable and build from there. For example, start with a goal of running for 10 minutes without stopping, and gradually increase your time and distance as you feel comfortable. By setting realistic goals, you’ll be able to track your progress and avoid getting discouraged.
6. Rest and recover
Rest and recovery are just as important as running when it comes to returning to running after an injury. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep and taking rest days as needed. Don’t push yourself too hard, too fast. Allow your body to recover between workouts, and listen to your body if you feel pain or discomfort. If you need to take an extra day off, do it. It’s better to take a little extra time to recover than to risk re-injuring yourself.
Returning to running after an injury can be challenging, but with the right strategies, it’s possible to do it safely and effectively. By listening to your body, focusing on strength training, cross-training, getting a professional opinion, setting realistic goals, and resting and recovering, you can get back to running at full strength. Remember to be patient and take it slow. With time, you’ll be back to running like you never skipped a beat.