As an injured runner, recovery and rehab may seem like it lasts forever. But it doesn’t have to. Check out these tips to staying fit and happy through recovery!
When you’re an injured runner, the road to recovery can seem long and never-ending. It can feel like time is literally standing still. And if you do nothing but wallow in your own misery, yeah, it might as well be standing still. But if you do something to help pass the time — say all those stretching and strengthening exercises you neglected for so long — you won’t feel like a hostage to immobility. By staying fit and active through your recovery, you’ll come back reenergized and stronger than ever. Follow these tips, tricks, and workouts to feel your best and come back feeling powerful — not powerless.
What’s an Injured Runner to Do?
Tips to staying fit and happy through recovery.
1. Stay active with cross-training or new activities.
The easiest way to feel like you’re in control of your injury is to stay active. Pick an activity that won’t aggravate your condition or will complement your comeback strategy.
Injury rehab usually coincides with some sort of cross-training. For me, I often seek solace in the bike when I can’t run. Others prefer to go pool running or the elliptical. And others yet choose CrossFit, barre, pilates, spin classes, and more. The options are endless!
Keep in mind the activity you choose will be highly dependent on your ability to do it without setting back your injury recovery. If you can’t safely or comfortably perform exercises without guidance so as not to aggravate your condition, you may want to consider joining a gym or hiring a personal trainer. Learn more about how joining a gym and/or hiring a trainer can benefit you as a runner even when you’re not injured. And if you’re interested in a fun way to stay fit, check out the Burpees, Planks, and Push-Ups Challenge.
2. Activate those glutes!
It seems like almost every running-related injury can be attributed to lack of glute-activation or strength. Work on strengthening your glutes while you’re injured so that when it’s time to get back to running, you’ll be ready to go. Check out my Hip and Glute Strength workout to help.
3. Incorporate yoga into your rehab.
Keeping our bodies stretched and toned will help immensely with aches, pains, and injuries. If yoga has never been your thing or you push it to the wayside during training, yoga during injury rehab can be a great way to incorporate it into your running routine. Be careful not to overdo it, though. You don’t want to re-injure a healing muscle or tendon. Find out more about yoga and how it can benefit runners here!
Being an injured runner really stinks, and yes, it can seem like the healing process lasts for an eternity. My advice is to stay fit and take an active role in your recovery. Time will press on and before you know it you’ll be back to running and having fun. And who knows, you may even discover an amazing workout or activity you wouldn’t have found had you not been injured!
What’s your favorite way to cross-train?
True or false: you strength train enough during a training cycle?