Returning to Running After Injury


RETURNING TO RUNNING AFTER INJURY

Getting back into running after some time off always comes with its stresses. Whether you are returning from injury or just coming back after a spell of time off, it’s important to keep up motivation and train sensibly to prevent further injury. We follow Runners Needs buying director Francisco Baratta on his journey of recovery to his former fitness post injury - this week he shares with us his top 6 tips for getting back into running. 


Start Slow

When you have been off a running regime, whether that’s because of injury or not, it is important to ease yourself back into a strict routine slowly – and build it up. Jumping in full throttle will undoubtedly end in tears as you will be in danger of your injury returning. Gradually develop your training plan week on week and you’ll find you’re back at the point of fitness pre-injury in no time at all.

You should also take time to understand your injury, particularly if you’re undergoing physio therapy. Through understanding your injury you’ll find you’ll be able to train more effectively and you can focus on making sure you strengthen the areas you need to. If you experience any niggles or suspect your injury is making a return, then it is advised to stop and reassess your training plans. The aim of the game is to ease yourself back to the level of fitness you were at before your injury – and jumping in too fast can be detrimental to this.

Therapy Exercises

If you’ve worked with a physiotherapist to treat your injury, it’s likely that you would have been given rehabilitation exercises in one form or another. It is important that you carry this on into your training once you start running again as these preventative measures are needed to avoid the injury returning.

Stretching and rolling out your muscles with a trigger point foam roller or something similar will ensure your muscles don’t become tight when getting back into a training regime. This will help with strength and help prevent the previous injury returning and reducing your risk of getting another injury. 

Do Not Compare Yourself

Comparison to your former self will be a natural thing to do, but this will only lead to frustration as will most probably not be at the same fitness as you were before your injury. It’s important that you approach your post-injury training as a blank page and start to build up your base fitness again, whilst still continuing those vital recovery stretches. With time and carful training you will get back to the level of performance before your injury you just need to be patient.

Each Day is a New Day

It’s easy to become demoralised when returning from an injury as the fall-off of fitness can seem great if you have not been able to run for a long period. To maintain motivation, a good idea is to treat your training as ‘one day at a time’. It may sound cliché, but patience is key and taking it one day at a time will allow you to see the improvements that are making, however small. This will stop you focusing on the long route back to the place you were at before your injury. 

Holistic Training

When you’re coming back from injury holistic training, i.e. cross-training or core work, is a great idea to aid and strengthen the areas of muscles that your injury has affected.

It’s possible that this sort of training can be done during the time you are off running – but it’s important to consult your physio first. This will also help to ease the boredom that may surface when you’re off running and make you feel like you are making some progress. This cross-training will be advantageous for your performance as it will contribute to making you a stronger runner.

Train Smart

One of the most important things to keep in mind is to train smartand monitor any symptoms of your injury returning. If you feel any niggles, then listen to your body and stop training and review your training plan – the last thing you want is for the injury to reoccur and have to stop running again for a prolonged amount of time again.


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