When injury strikes out of the blue, what can we do to ensure our return to training doesn’t let it happen again?
I’d like to start by saying that my current state of injury did not happen mid-run. It was not won by achieving a gut wrenching PB. No, this happened at home, whilst doing daily ‘stuff’ but I have since discovered that it had been brewing within me for a long time and perhaps could have been avoided.
The strength we gain from training regularly, repeatedly being active in life is to be applauded. We need this resilience and durability. It’s good for our character and our well being. How we balance our action with our relaxation though may be the most essential thing for us to remember.
When we train, we repeatedly put strain and strength on certain areas of our body. As areas become stronger, the body starts to depend on these areas, because it knows that they are utterly dependable. As Athletes, we enjoy the training! Because of this, we can, subconsciously, start developing patterns of exercises; doing the work we enjoy and feel we get most out of, rather than getting to work on the work we don’t enjoy and find incredibly difficult. This is crucial as it could be the thing that saves you from overloading the body and inviting injury in.
As a coach, I avidly encourage my runners to use strength training, do yoga and stretch work and schedule quality rest within their training. I also try to demonstrate how to offer balance to the training with other ways of moving. So why have I allowed such an imbalance to strike me down when I have all this information?
But I did the yoga! I did the stretches! I had the massage and I went to the sauna! Arghh! But it still happened. I went to have treatment and find out what the issue was and bang! There it was, staring me in the face. Something got too strong, wasn’t being released enough and has got hold and not let go. The only way is up....
So, as I have been lying on the floor recovering these past few days, I have considered the reasons why I have allowed myself to get so damaged.
My thoughts are:
1. I took Christmas and then most of January off. When I returned to work, I squeezed so much into my weeks and weekends to make up for being away, that I over loaded my body. To the point, I think, where my body was clinging on to it’s own coat tails.
2. Fuelling. Time short, I wasn’t eating the good stuff and so chick pea, seed and mackerel salads turned into mugs of tea and jam on toast.
3. Due to the level of work I have taken on and my focus on my runners and clients, I did not take the time/ have the time/ give myself the time, to apply the same level of training and support work (ie. I was getting some yoga in but not doing any strength work) to my own body. And yet I still expected the same level of performance from it. Bit unfair, wouldn’t you say? I wouldn’t ask that of a client.
Reading through those conclusions can only make me want to make changes to my working week. I know I will want to cram the days, full of all the clients that I have had to cancel on once I return. But where will that get me? Right back on the floor again probably! So I shall have to carefully approach and instigate a plan. Watch this space!
So, however much you love your training, just make sure you work the weights on every muscle group, move freely as much as you can and just take 10 minutes to lie down on your back each day, breathing all the way down to your toes. It may be the thing that saves you from having to spend time on the bench.