As mentioned in my previous post, I unfortunately cut my foot on the subway escalator a little over a week ago. Luckily, I’m now on the mend and should be back to running this week. The injury took me out of my training plan for about two weeks which was very upsetting. Having this recovery period allowed me to reflect and find ways to maintain my fitness and endurance levels without adding strain on my foot. This situation also allowed me to pay close attention to preventative measures to avoid injuries in the future. Below, I included my tips for effectively dealing with an injury while training.
Allow Time For Recovery:
The recovery period can be a very difficult time frame for runners to handle. When I first injured my foot, the first question I asked my doctor was when I could get back to my training. I was told ten days to two weeks which made me cringe! I knew it could be worse, however, was still very upset when imagining my daily routine without running. Dealing with time off from running can be very difficult both physically and mentally. After about five days without running, I began feeling extremely sluggish and tired. To combat these feelings, I’ve been doing my best to eat as healthy as I can, drink coffee and get plenty of rest to give my body the energy and nutrition needed. This time off can be difficult, however, it is crucial for a successful recovery.
Incorporate Low Impact Exercises:
During an injury if possible, try incorporating low impact exercises into your routine. This will help maintain your fitness level and keep you mentally balanced during this difficult time. For me personally, I need to have regular cardiovascular exercise worked into my weekly routine to help keep those endorphins flowing and feeling good. I also need this type of exercise for my body to maintain its endurance for my marathon training. Some of my lower impact exercises I’ve incorporated into my routine include the bike, upper body and ab work outs. These types of workouts cause minimal strain on my foot and allow me to still get the benefits needed to assist in my training. Mentally, these exercises also provide a similar feeling to the “runner’s high” that I look forward to on a regular basis. Every injury is unique and before incorporating any exercises on your own always ask your doctor’s opinion first!
Take Preventative Measures:
Now that I’ve experienced one injury, I plan to be very preventative going forward in my training season. I took time to reflect on my situation to come up with solutions to avoid further issues. First, I am going to commute to work in sneakers. One main cause of this cut was the fact that I was wearing open sandals while commuting in the subway. To prevent similar injuries, I started wearing sneakers when commuting to work every day. This simple solution to wear protective footware will ensure my feet are protected during the unpredictable NYC commutes. Another takeaway I received from this injury is to slow down. Rushing often leads to mistakes and danger since your focus is on the destination you’re trying to reach rather than the safest way to get there. I learned the hard way that it’s better to give yourself enough time to commute rather than rushing and putting yourself at risk.
Ease Back Into Training:
The last tip I’ve learned from this injury is to take your time and ease back into your training routine. After taking time off, your body need to be readjusted to your intense training plan. First, make the time and stretch your legs and body before jumping back in. This will help loosen your muscles to prepare for the miles ahead. Once you stretched, take it easy on your first run and start with low mileage. Starting on the lower side of your training will ensure your body is ready to handle the training. Gradually add more mileage during each run until you are back on track with your training plan. Best of luck!