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Five Tips for Coming Back after an Injury

It feels like I picked the hottest and most miserable weather to get back into shape.  Even though I only took two months off due to injury, I lost a lot of fitness.  Honestly, that’s fine.  We can’t be in peak fitness forever, and a break doesn’t hurt anyone.

Five Tips for Coming Back after an Injury

Coming back from running injury can be tough, and getting back into shape isn’t always the most pleasant experience.  Getting back into shape when it’s scorching, can be even more miserable. A few people asked if I would include tips for coming back from running injury. In the past, I’ve been injured several times.

I’ve “come back from running injury” many times. Many were overuse injuries or trying to run through pain. Due to my form, I’m prone to stress fractures in my feet. Now, at the risk of injury, I take days off or do cross-training activities to avoid injury.

I’m not a coach, expert, or anything close.  I’m just a female who likes to run and blog through the journey.

Here are a Few Tips for Coming Back from Running Injury:  

  1. Track Everything: When returning to running after an injury, this is especially important. I began tracking when I felt any residual soreness and how I felt during the run.  Slowly, the residual pain started at 1 mile.  Then later it was 2.  Then even later it was 3, and finally, after I finished a 5-mile run, I realized I was completely pain-free.  Tracking things allows you to see physical progress.
  2. Set Achievable Goals: You aren’t going to be 100% pain-free or set a PR within the first week of running. Setting realistic and achievable goals is essential.  Maybe it’s to work up to racing again, or perhaps it’s run consistently every day.  Making a goal keeps you focused.
  3. Easy Running: When you start running again, you’ll want to do everything fast. You are ready to start running faster and improve your fitness level. When returning to running after an injury, I recommend finding a training plan or training schedule to follow. There will be days, you feel like you can conquer the world, but that’s the day not too. If you run too fast or too much, too soon, you’ll end up with another injury (I’ve been there). After each stress fracture, I’ve found a plan that includes walk breaks, seeing a physical therapist, and strength training.
  4. Stay Positive: This is easier said than done.  I try and focus on the positives on each run.  Even if the positive if just “I ran injury-free.” Any healthy run post-injury, is a good run. Short runs, or 30 minutes are better than being injured (a philosophy I still use today).
  5. Continually Reassess: Injuries are tricky that way. Some injuries, you come back and feel on top of the world.  Other injuries, you feel as though it will take months or even years to go back to where you left.  To be honest, this is an injury that is taking longer than anticipated. I reassess my foot daily to see where I’m at and how I feel.
Finally, remember your fitness is a collection of workouts. A day, week, month, or event a year isn’t going to make or break your journey.
Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. 

Questions for you:
Do you have any tips for coming back from a running injury? 
What is your favorite type of weather to run in?

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9 responses

  1. Still working in the “coming back” part. “Stronger” is still a question mark. 60 degrees, clear and dry here in Denver this morning…my favorite type of weather. 🙂

  2. Have you ever done a post on how you get through an injury? That’s what would help me right now… Though when I’m able to run again, I’ll look back to this post!

  3. Stopping by from TOL! Since I’m still kind of on the comeback, the biggest thing not to do too much too fast. My PTs have stressed that, and they see repeat patients because those patients did too much and re-injured themselves.

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