I am a Physical Therapist and a very keen runner.
I know the process of rehabilitation well. Would I be able to follow my own advice?
Whether it is a major operation, a strain/ sprain, or just trying to get back to running after a long absence…there is a process to follow. I have learned so much from my personal and professional experience, and would love to share some encouragement with you on how to get back into running.
Before my injury, I was at peak performance - running six days a week with speed/ interval, gym and distance sessions. I have completed two Ultra Comrades Marathons (90km), and a number of trail runs. I loved to run fast. With a detached hamstring, fast was not a word that I could use.
Six weeks on crutches does not seem like a long time, but when one is used to exercising six days a week at a high intensity, I took strain. I knew that I needed to look at things in the long term. The rehabilitation exercises became a priority and three months later, I walked/ran 2 miles at a snail’s pace. The key is consistency and doing things gradually.
Ten months later, and I am improving in leaps and bounds. I still need to respect and listen to my body, but I am able to push it hard, and can see some results. Recently, I ran a 10 km time trial… and I was really impressed with my 46 minutes.
The bottom line is - don’t give up. Take it one day at a time. Be accountable – it sometimes helps to have a friend encourage you on your journey. Keep motivated with small, attainable goals. Sometimes professional help is needed – seek the right person to optimize your recovery.
Enjoy the process and make it FUN!
Strength has been a key building block for me and I would recommend that every runner should have at least one session a week to prevent injuries.
Dream Big! You will be amazed at what your body is capable of achieving.
Carpe Diem – seize the day!
Photo credit: Lisa Foster.