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Running Basics: How to Return to Running after an Injury

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Runners, who are extremely concerned about their running regime, feel lost at heart if the schedule gets ruptured for some reason; if an injury is a cause behind such an issue they feel even more vulnerable. A physical injury that hinders running for a while injures our confidence to return to running after injury, however, it is definitely not an impossible task to hit the tracks again.

Read further and you would get familiar with the techniques of the return to running after an injury program to help yourself in the process. Yearning, steadiness, and patience are the chief keys that would help you to run past the obstacles you may face for returning to your usual fitness routine. So, what are you waiting for? Read more and get back into running shape.

Strategies to make a Comeback to Running Track

You have to have a strategy to smoothen out your way into the fitness regime, especially while you are running with an injury, as:

  • Be well aware of how severe your injury was; as you would have to return to the practice of running in a much longer period in case of a surgery or a fracture than having to deal with the recovery of a deep cut.
  • Consider the period of time that you have been away from the tracks.
  • Compare the level of your fitness, before and after you had an injury.
  • Consider the depth of your knowledge in the field of running as well as your years of running experience.
  • Consider the cross-training program, if you have gone through one during the period you were laid off.
return to running after injury
Don't let the injuries overrule you

Tips to Return to Running after Injury

Let us now go through the following tips that may help in getting back into running post-injury:

Tip #1 Indulge in Cross Training

As mentioned before, consider the cross-training program if you were going through during the period of lay off.  Do not stop practicing those exercises getting carried away by the excitement of running. Of course, running has no substitute but if you suddenly jump into some rigorous training like jumping then, the muscle that is still vulnerable post injury might get further weakened. Hence, carry on with the cross-training program while getting gradually introduced back to running.

skipping- crosstraining workout
Cross training is the best workout post injury

Tip #2 Get into a Routine

Your body would ache after starting running again after long break. However, you must be intelligently surpassing such an obstacle, by not giving in to such bodily ache. Try running every other day as prolonged stress on your injury might pose a possibility to worsen the weak and vulnerable muscles or even bones. Taking a break every alternative day would not only help you to get back to your running regime but would also not let your injury get affected. Make a routine to be followed by running regularly. It is highly recommended that you resume your running schedule in the early morning for best results.

Tip #3 Walking to Running Program

Going about running after a period of lay off is both strenuous and tiring. It is advisable that you take short walking breaks between running intervals to keep up the progression without having to strain yourself. Walking to running program is perfect for post-injury. Thus remember to follow the following: start slow-running to walking program, especially if you are running after a knee injury.

Tip #4 Build a Base Speed

Build a base to start off the running workout. Once you notice that getting back to running after a week or two has become far easy than you had started, you might get excited to jump into increasing your speed. Do not get carried away and instead, build a base speed and running time to progress slowly yet steadily. In this way you will notice that you would not require walking breaks anymore and thus, you will be gifted with a new found confidence.

build a base speed
Work on your base speed before the sprint

Tip #5 Motivate your mind

Do not let mental inhibitions to tie you backward. Try and push your limits without giving up hope. Remember, there are far difficult tasks existing in the world that weaker people than you manage to carry out. The, why would not you be successful? Especially when you have a running background. Stay deeply focussed and confident and run your way out.

Tip #6 Set Realistic Goals

Pushing your boundaries is one reasonable thought procedure and setting unreasonable expectation is something else. Do not tax yourself by setting extremely high goals. You might argue owing to your experience that setting goals are extremely productive when it comes to any sort of physical training, however, you must not forget that you have just got recovered from an injury; over exhaustion may be fatal as it may cause a long-term or permanent damage to your injury. Besides, the nature of your injury must also be considered in this respect.

Tip #7 Appreciate Yourself

Be your own admirer. Congratulate and praise yourself as you notice to improve in running after getting back to running. Be patient and take close notice of your gradual improvement. Treat yourself to small guilt free treasures even for the smallest improvement to keep you enthusiastic about the whole procedure of return to running after injury program. Don’t expect much in the beginning but enjoy your renewed training program.

Create a Running Plan Post Injury 

Creating a running plan is always necessary, whether you are a beginner or a pro or whether you are injured or not. 

  • Be very consistent and let not your muscles get fatigued if you would want to follow a return to running after injury program. Besides, run slowly at the beginning of each day’s routine and try not to go over the board.
  • Try to learn how much your body can actually imbibe, be it the intensity of running or the time period; the faster you learn the faster you would be able to train yourself. Walking very fast between two consecutive running intervals helps you to remain in the fitness program. 
  • Remember that leisurely stroll would not help you at all so, kick up the pace of walking when you are not running.

 Do not feel disheartened believing that walking takes you back to square one. No! It indeed is not true. Injured or not, professional runners to fill up small spaces of their running paradigm busy with walking and running allocations. Running often gets boring and cumbersome and thus, you have to keep yourself busy with other core exercises to challenge yourself, injured or not.
How long can it take for a running comeback?
Depending on the intensity of your injury, coming back to the field requires at least three months to recover completely from a fracture. However, the injury may be of unthinkable types and counts and it is imperative that you consult your doctor to know about the time or period you would require taking rest before you stand up upright to start running. 

Core Exercises to Return to Running after Injury 

The chief core exercises that you may indulge in while you are trying to get back to running are mentioned below, you must, however, be very cautious about practicing these exercises keeping your injury into consideration. Again, it is always advisable to consult your coach and doctor before to do them. You may ask them about the best core exercises that might suit your cause for getting back into running.

  • Modified Bicycling 

Modified bicycling is a very popular and effective mean for doing core exercises; modified bicycling is basically pedalling in the air. You must lie down for this and keep your calf muscles parallel to the floor you have to pedal in the air. 

  • Balance Plank 

Next, you may try giving a shot to “balance plank” depending on your recovery progress. In a “balance plank”, you have to lie on your stomach while propping your weight on both your toes and forearms. You have to be in this position for at least 30 seconds. Do not force yourself if you are unable to remain for a long period. Try going for sets of ten seconds and gradually build up your confidence and strength of your toes and forearms. As you gradually gain the same try pushing the boundaries of your challenge; lift your right leg along with your left arm and stay in the position till you can and switch. Repeat for ten sets. 

balance plank for post injury
Start with balance plank workout

Single Leg Glute Bridge

The next core exercise that you may opt to practice is the “single leg Glute Bridge”, in which you have to lie on your back while legs would remain bent and both your feet on the ground flatly. Now, try extending one of the legs holding it for a few seconds and then touch the ground with your toe as you keep your feet sown. Remember not to dip your hip or sag your butt to the ground while you are up to this exercise.

single leg glute bridge
Single Leg Glute Bridge

Side Plank Leg Lift 

You may also try the “side plank leg lift” as this is a very beneficial exercise or your running regime. Start by lying on the right side of yours propping your weight on the side of your right foot and your right forearm. Engage your core muscles and try challenging up the exercise even more by making alternative leg raises. 

side plank leg lift
Side Plank Leg lift

Modified Bird Dog 

The “modified bird dog” is another exercise that is exceptionally beyond comparison and that is the “modified bird dog”. Do not worry. It is not as weird as it sounds! You just require o follow a few techniques; start in a “tabletop position” and lift your legs one by one, keeping your thighs parallel to the ground.

bird dog pose
Bird dog pose for runners (source)

Supine Bridge Leg Lift 

The next core exercise is the “supine bridge leg lift”. For this one, you have to balance your weight on your elbows and heels while lying on your back. However, your hips must remain parallel to the ground as you lift your legs one by one.

supine bridge leg lift
Supine bridge leg lift

Wrapping Up

Running is the cheapest mean of exercise that some do to enjoy a rush of adrenaline while others do to stay fit. If you are willing to come back to running even after you have fallen sick or injured, it is clearly indicating your knack and zeal for the same. Return to running after injury might seem tiring or even painful to you post-injury, however, with a fulfilling plan and a disciplined method you would be able to come round as soon as possible.

Do not lose heart if you find it difficult to come back to where you had stopped running before getting injured. Try walking briskly as you go forth initially and gradually you would reach your previous form, keeping the process as interesting as ever with exercises and a properly balanced diet.

Run your worries and injuries away happily and steadily.

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