One of the most frustrating things in the world is when you are working through a training programme, building that momentum, really getting into it and then....
Out of nowhere injury strikes. It could be something that you try to push through or it could be something chronic that needs more care and attention.
Whatever it is there is a danger that temporary block in the path can entirely knock us off out path.
I'm currently going through this myself with around 4 weeks to go before the biggest race of my life, my hamstring has decided to give up the ghost and is causing nothing but problems. I'm now 2 weeks without a run and I'm teetering on the edge of losing confidence before the big day.
So today I wanted to touch on the subject of injury and offer you some of the tips I've picked up during this period
1) Stop sulking and keep a PMA
Easier said than done but a positive mental attitude through a testing time will hold you in good stead in the future. Through all of the training you've done up to this point and all of the improvements you've made to you and your lifestyle you will have improved you mindset. Keep in mind how far you've come and know that you've got to the stage once before, you can get there again
2) Cross-Train/Do Something different
I can't run. It's annoying. I love running. We've covered this before. Anyway.... there's no point sitting around and doing nothing. Maybe you can cycle, or swim, or walk or whatever! Do some core and upper body strengthening work. Follow a boxing workout on youtube. As long as you're not causing any pain to the problem area then you're still working/maintaining your fitness.
3) If the pain becomes chronic then go and see a health professional
It was obvious to me pretty early on that my issue wasn't something that would go on it's own so I went straight to a Physiotherapist as I know is the best chance I'll have of 'fixing' the problem and getting myself on that start line.
My recommendation in Horsham is Jamie at Clockhouse Phyiostherapy. The guy is a magician, extremely knowledgable and cares about you and your situation.
4) Take action
OK, so you've gone to the trouble of seeing a physio, that's great. If you don't then action what they tell you to do, you are delaying your recovery. Get on the mobility/stretching/strengthening work that they have recommended and speed things up.
These kinds of things can be done in conjunction with the rest of your exercise programme or with a personal trainer to ensure you're technique is good and you're getting the most out of the recovery training.
5) Track your calorie intake
In my opinion, this is a pretty important point. As we ease off the exercise we have a tendency to continue eating as if we're fuelling for all of the exercise we were doing. Take into account that you potentially aren't as active whilst injured so if you over consume you will start putting weight on. Be cautious here!!
6) Ease yourself back in
When you're starting to feel close to 100% again ease yourself back in slowly. If you've not done something for 4 weeks then don't expect to be at exactly the same point. Go gently and before you know it you'll be back to where you were - muscle memory has a lot to answer for here and is your friend!
So there's 5 simple tips for you, but what about you? Do you have any go to tactics for those annoying moments when you can't train due to injury? I'd love to know!