TRAINING DURING INJURY RECOVERY The BLOG post March 2 featured Jason Fitzgerald’s encouragement to “embrace” running failures. In that piece, Fitzgerald suggested that runners not view setbacks entirely as negative situations but opportunities to challenge “yourself to your fullest potential.” One of the possible reasons for failure mentioned in the article was injury.
To follow-up on that theme, Earned Runs is pointing you to another author’s view on how to ‘positively’ handle injury. Ashley Lauretta wrote an encouraging article, "Injured and Can't Run? Here's What You Can Do", also on MapMyRun.com, on how to live through injury recovery, when running is not an option. From experience, I can say that it’s possible to survive an enforced downtime and emerge as an improved runner.
Lauretta’s approach is to help identify alternatives to running that will preserve fitness and avoid the pitfalls of inactivity like weight gain. The suggested non-running options include total-body weight training and water training like aqua jogging, working on improving nutrition, learning to rest and recover appropriately in the come-back period, and making mental adjustments that take the focus off the inability to run.
Earned Runs urges you to FUSE Lauretta’s ADVICE with that of Fitzgerald’s and EMBRACE training during injury RECOVERY. Consider this a time when, because you cannot run, all attention and effort can be focused on formulating the (previously neglected), non-running part of a training program designed to prevent injury and increase running strength.
Why do we tend to neglect those non-running components of training? One reason might be that stretching, flexibility, balance, and strength routines must be tailored to fit our personal needs and abilities. This customization effort requires trial-and-error fine tuning, mental and physical concentration, and perseverance to get it “right”. Performance of an unfamiliar routine initially tends to feel awkward. The benefit of committing time to such ‘unsatisfying’ sessions seems minimal when we can just-go-out-and-run for a while!
When recovering from an injury runners have the PERFECT OPPORTUNITY to get all the groundwork done to assemble the components of a complete training program and become familiar with performing routines. IN ADDITION, it’s a wonderful chance to find enjoyable CROSS TRAINING activities that can be scheduled on ‘active recovery/rest’ days of a training plan. Because other sport activities like swimming and cycling may represent the only means of exercise permitted during recovery, you may come to love them.
Before beginning any training program, the article and Earned Runs advises obtaining medical clearance from the physician who is treating the problem that sidelined you. Best not to worsen the situation with another injury or an exacerbation of the initial condition.
That said, rejoice that you finally have the time to work on designing a complete training plan and embrace the challenge, as coach Fitzgerald urges.
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. In 1978 I began participating in 10K road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health and longevity.
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