What to do if you get hurt
Injuries are a constant risk for people who are trying to improve their running.
No matter how careful we are, niggles, twinges, or injuries can happen. Luckily if you're mindful and smart about them, you can minimize their impact on your training.
Let's break down a few scenarios.
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The first is what happens when you develop a full-blown injury:
- You're going
aboutyour regular training, step down on a large pine-cone and your foot bends a bit funny. You may have strained your arch slightly.
- You ignore the discomfort and run the next day as your training schedule is planned. It hurts a bit more but you can still run. You can't miss any miles!
- During your next run, the foot strain flares up to the point that your running form is compromised and you straight up cannot run on it
- You're forced to walk two miles back home
- It hurts the next day, so you don't run.
- You visit a PT and they suggest you stay off of it for at least 1-2 weeks to let the strain heal up.
Now let's go through what I did when I strained my foot in the exact same scenario:
- I'm going
aboutmy regular training, step on a large pinecone and my foot bends was not ready for the akwardmovement, bends funnily, but is fine for the rest of the run.
- I wake up the next day and can tell my foot is a bit off, so I rest for two days.
- For the next
weekI cut my mileage to 50% and only do easy running.
- The next week I'm able to resume training as normal.
In one scenario the runner who was not willing to rest was forced to take two full weeks fully off and will likely require at least two more to return to normal training. In the second real life
Resting for a few days will almost always be adequate to let a potential injury regenerate.
That is one of the hardest things for many runners to deal with, being willing to rest.
Below are a few other links:
Should you stretch that injury?| Dr. Stephen Gangemi "Sock Doc" | "The two best things you can do to an injured area is to apply deep pressure manipulation as well as move the area, if it’s safe to do so."
What to do When you Pull a Muscle From Working Out | Stephanie Lee at Lifehacker | "think about it for a second: if a pulled muscle is a result of overstretching, then stretching it further to its full range of motion won’t help."
Think Twice Before Applying Ice | Kristi Anderson, MPT | "The conventional use of ice, particularly in the first 24-48 hours following injury, soothes the pain and slows the bleeding into the injured area, but some experts suggest that its effects on the circulation might slow the natural rate of the healing process. Heat stimulates the area to respond in ways that seem to promote healing but the current research is lacking direct evidence that it influences recovery time."
Heal Running Injuries Faster with Heat | Steve Gonser, PT, DPT | "Clinically, I use this quite often. It’s a great way to nudge yourself down the path to full recovery. Both the use of muscles and heat can cause increased blood flow; however, the latter can do so without loading healing tissue. A simple “on for 20, off for 20” cycle can draw blood to a localized area and keep you healing even when you’re lying low.