No runner likes waiting to get over a running injury – it’s boring and it can also become frustrating. How much you can do while you’re injured will depend on the type and severity of the injury. Do you also have hard time waiting for your injury to get better? Here are six tips how you can help your body to recover faster from various running injuries.
Most often you’ll be given exercises to do at home or in the gym to speed the healing process, and more importantly to help you avoid the same problem occurring in the future. Do the exercises you were given by experts regularly as they will definitely help you to recover quicker. Besides, do something with these quick ideas to keep you distracted from the pain while also helping you form good habits to prevent injuries in the future.
WHAT CAN YOU DO IN…
… 10 seconds?
IMPROVE YOUR POSTURE
Many running injuries originate from biomechanical imbalances, which in tum are exacerbated by poor posture. Stop for a moment as you’re reading and focus on how you’re sitting. Slumped shoulders, crossed legs, and a slouched back mean you’re not using your core muscles and you’re creating tightness in some areas and over-flexibility in others. When you return on the road and force your body to run thousands of steps, it won’t be able to engage the right muscles to help you run strongly and efficiently. So, try to get used to engaging your core, drawing your shoulders down and back and sitting up straight. If you work at a desk, have a workplace assessment to make sure you’re not putting undue strain on any part of your body – you can try sitting on a gym ball or kneeling chair to help improve your posture.
… two minutes?
TRY A SIMPLE FUNCTIONAL MOVE
You were probably given exercises specific to your injury and your own biomechanical problems. If not, and even if you’re not injured, try adding some functional exercises into your daily routine. One amazing, simple move to help runners is the single-leg squat. You don’t have to get down to the floor – just try a half or quarter squat, keeping the movement controlled and slow. Ensure that your knee doesn’t cave in sideways, keep your core pulled in and breathe naturally. Don’t let your hips jut out or your back curve, and don’t let your standing knee go further forward than your toes. If you perform the squat with difficulty, you’re doing it right. You can vary this exercise: do it super slow, or add instability – try driving your arms backwards and forwards as if you were running to add to the challenge of balancing. Feel stupid? You won’t when you run faster after several months…
… five minutes?
CHOOSE A NEW GOAL
This one is all about making yourself feel better mentally. Take a couple of minutes to check out new events to enter next year, when you’re better – make it realistic, don’t be too ambitious, focus on picking something you know you’ll enjoy. Find a realistic challenge and make it different to the kind of running that you’re used to doing, so you don’t feel disheartened if you’re not immediately straight back up to speed after recovery.
… 10 minutes?
RELEASE EXTRA ENERGY
Do you find yourself getting snappy with your friends and family because you can’t run? You need to find another way to release your extra energy. Do a short, intense workout at home to satisfy your need to get your heart-rate up, while at the same time building your functional strength you can use once you’re back on your feet. Beside squats and lunges, do also exercises to strengthen your upper body and core.
… half an hour?
GIVE YOURSELF A FOAM ROLLER MASSAGE
If you don’t already have a foam roller, buy one – it only costs around £15 to £20 – as this investment could save you hundreds on physio and sports massage bills in future. Use it to massage the big muscle groups all over your body – your ITB (at the side of your legs), thighs, hamstrings, glutes and even your back will benefit from a good roll. It’s easy to get bored or put off by the pain so set a timer or decide that you’ll keep at it for the duration of your favourite TV or radio show.
… an hour to 90 minutes?
Yoga brings numerous benefits to runners – not just the physical, which includes improving strength and flexibility (all good for preventing injuries), but the mental too. It’s the ideal solution to calm injury-stressed minds. Sign up to a gentle class near your home. Don’t forget to inform the yoga instructor about your injury so they can help you adapt difficult poses.