Today, as I am off busily writing my own guest post, I have a guest post for you guys from Joe. Joe is also an injured athlete, so this post couldn’t have been more timely! Enjoy
While preparing myself for a summer full of various endurance races, including a half marathon, obstacle course race and three triathlons, my training was brought to a screeching halt because of a running related overuse injury. Instead of swimming, biking or running, I am spending my time at the physical therapist and in the yoga studio.
For anyone who has been forced to stop running or training because of an injury knows what kind of emotional rollercoaster this can be. It takes a ton of determination and discipline to exercise on a regular basis. More challenging still is the decision to enter a race, make travel arrangements and create a training schedule to prepare yourself for physical and mental rigors of the race. While the thought of running a mile may have been overwhelming at the start of the journey to race day, the inability to train can be crushing.
With that in mind, try following these steps to get your mind and body in check on the road to recovery:
Stay Positive: I am here to here to tell you, and remind myself, that an injury is not the end of the world. Remember that the situation you find yourself in is temporary. Focus on what you can change, not on those things which are out of your control.
Get Mentally Tough: Although an injury can keep you from training in the physical sense, it allows you the time to focus on mental, emotional and spiritual healing that will benefit you in all facets of life. (Amen to that one!)
RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation: For overuse injuries or muscle soreness use the ice pack for 20 minutes, every 2 to 3 hours. In between icing, apply the compression bandage, brace, or apparel to the desired area. Icing and compression techniques can also be applied to prevent injuries and reduce soreness.
Stay Active: Scheduling a low-intensity routine on an off day will assist with muscle recovery. Plan a low impact workout that features exercises and activities that add variety to the typical training program. Yoga, swimming, cycling, stretching, foam rolling, and core exercise fit well into an active rest protocol.
Take Away: Keep in mind that everything you are feeling is normal. Every athlete or exerciser has, at one point in time, had to deal with an injury. Embrace the challenge you have been confronted with, don’t let the negativity creep in and prepare to return to action as a better version of yourself.