Have a Plan For Your Comeback From Injury
You are one of those runners who never gave up. You have been in the sport for years now and you still haven’t given up! I am sure many of us would like to think that we could do it too, but unfortunately most don’t have the will power or determination to get back into shape after getting hurt. If you ever feel like giving up, then maybe it’s time to give it another shot.
I’m not going to lie; it sucks when you get hurt. But if you want to come back from injury, then there are some things that need to happen before you even consider starting your training. Here they are:
1) Find A Coach Who Has Experience With Running After Getting Hurt
It may seem obvious, but finding someone with experience in running after getting hurt is extremely helpful. There are plenty of coaches out there that have no clue what they’re doing when it comes to helping their athletes recover from injuries. They’ll say all the right things, but they won’t actually make any changes in how they train their athlete. And if you’ve got an athlete who is already injured, chances are he or she isn’t going to listen to anything you tell them either.
Plus, you’ll need someone who is going to be on your side and push you when you aren’t feeling like training. Your coach should also have a good relationship with the medical staff and work hand in hand with them so that they will clear you when you are ready.
2) Have a Good Attitude
I can’t stress this one enough. When you get hurt, it is easy to fall into a depression and start beating yourself up about “wasting” the time you had to train. I think we’ve all been there. But if you really want to come back, then you are going to have to change that attitude quick.
Instead, you are going to need to be motivated and excited about the new opportunity you’re being given.
By finding ways that YOU can control how fast you recover. This may sound a little “rah rah,” but it is crucial to not falling into that depression pit again.
3) Try Some Different Things
There are so many ways to train for running. And we’re not just talking about on-land workouts, but also things you do in your everyday life as well.
Are you someone who rolls out their legs after a run?
Maybe try that, but also take an ice bath afterwards as well. Maybe add in some strength training with light weights. Perhaps you should focus on stretching more after warm-ups. The point is, there are a lot of things you can do to help get you back on the road again and it will be different for everyone.
You’ll just need to experiment and find what works best for you. The key is to stick with your decision once you decide on something as well. You don’t want to constantly be changing up your routine or else you won’t see the results that you really need to get back out there in time for your big race.
4) Have a Plan and Be Consistent
Having a plan and being consistent with that plan is something that I cannot stress enough when it comes to coming back from an injury. Without these two things, you most likely won’t get back to where you want to be in the time that you want to get there.
The first thing you’ll need to do is decide on a goal race. This could be one that you had before you got hurt or one that you need to pick because of the time you’ve missed. For me, it was the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in October of this year.
From there, you’re going to need to decide how much time you realistically have to train until then. Let’s say you determine that you realistically have five months to get back to your old self or else you won’t be ready in time for your goal race.
You’ll then need to break that five months down into smaller chunks, maybe three months, and then make mini goals for each of those three months.
Are you going to need to run a certain mileage each week by that time? Or will you be able to come back by just being able to do a speed workout once a week?
These are things that you’re going to have to figure out yourself based on what you’re working with.
Once you have these mini goals, you’ll then need to make an action plan for how you’re going to achieve them.
Are you going to still do your workouts with a partner? Are there certain days that you’ll need to rest if you’re going hard that week?
The point is, if you don’t have a plan of some sort then you are never going to get back to where you want to be in the time that you want to be there.
5) Don’t Worry About What Others are Doing
This one is huge and I wish someone told me this at a much earlier time in my life. You are going to need to learn how to tune out all the noise of everyone else that is running around you. This includes your friends, family, social media, and even fame.
I like to say there are two roads in front of you. One is long, difficult, and has a lot of dirt, rocks, and roots. But, it also has a huge crowd running on it and the more people on it, the easier it is to run on. This road goes on forever in both directions and you can choose to run as far as you want or even walk part of it.
The other road is nicely paved, flat, and only has a few people running on it. Of those people, one is a world-renowned runner who is way ahead of everyone else and the other is an older man who is struggling to keep pace.
Which road are you going to choose?
For most of us, including myself, we are going to choose the first road every single time and for good reason. It’s the path of least resistance and it goes on forever. This is the online world that we currently live in. It’s filled with distractions and all of them are calling your name.
That means, you’re going to need to choose the other road if you really want to succeed at reaching your goals. Get rid of distractions, set daily goals for yourself, and don’t pay much attention to what others are doing. Without realizing it, you’ve already had to do this in order to attend school or work each day.
Just like in running, the path isn’t always easy and that’s why it only has a few people on it. But, if you really want to succeed then this is the road you’re going to have to take.
I hope some of these tips were helpful to you in some way. As I mentioned at the start of this post, running has been a huge part of my life for so long now and it has impacted me in more ways than I could ever explain.
I’m not sure if I’ll ever get back to any sort of consistently when it comes to running, but I’m also not beating myself up over it anymore. If I get the chance to run, even if its just a slow jog around the block, then I’m going to take it and enjoy every moment of it.
Thank you for reading and best of luck on your future endeavors!
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Sources & references used in this article:
The “Comeback Plan” for Injured Violinists by C Cooper – American String Teacher, 2007 – journals.sagepub.com
Your Comeback: Your Past Doesn’t Have to Determine Your Future by T Evans – 2018 – books.google.com
Involuntary Retirement due to Injury in Elite Athletes from Competitive Sport: A Qualitative Approach by N Kaul – Journal of the Indian Academy of Applied Psychology, 2017 – researchgate.net