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Mental Management when an Injury Stops You

Injuries happen to all of us. There are so many factors and reasons we get injured. That is another post all together. Todays article is on how to manage mentally when an injury stops you from running.

I have always said, “don’t take running away from a runner”. When runners need to stop, it is very hard on us. Running helps us thrive, manage our everyday stressors and gives us time to be alone with our thoughts.

So what do we do when we need to stop?

First we take control of the situation. Who is on your health care team to assess and determine the level of injury? There are many times I tell runners they can actually keep running with their injury as long as they do not enter into the pain threshold. There are also times I only need to see a client one or two times to give them a few guidelines and timelines and they are back at it.

On the other side, there are a few more severe and relentless injuries that keep screaming at us. These are the ones that hold on tight. I was a dancer for 20 years then became a runner. Some of my dance injuries and dysfunctional movement patterns have not been too great on me as a runner. They have brought me a lot of running stress forcing me to stop and take long breaks while I try to navigate years of high volume dance training. I have been in the boat of “long running breaks” and oh boy are they hard especially when all I want to do is run, feel the sun on my face, feel as though I worked really hard or have those silent moments to myself.

So how do we manage?

This may be a good time to work on your deep inner core that may have created the injury in the first place. You all know my love for Pilates and its role in women’s health and overall deep inner core strength. (Check out STILL PHYSIO ACADEMY Redefine Your Core And Pelvic Floor Series in the COURSES Section). Maybe we work on some very specific corrective movement improving form, managing what created the injury in the first place.

But maybe we just stop and give ourselves time to rest, see our friends, or sleep more. I am always talking about the Well Athlete. The Sustainable Runner. Sometimes these injuries are clues that we need to slow down in our day. When did the injury start? Was it during a time of high stress? New job? Sick kids? Change in our health? Were we training stressed? Were we running at 6 am or 10 pm to get that run in?

There will always be times of high training and low training. I do not expect even my high performing athletes to train hard all year round. There should always be a time of Base Training, Pre-Competitive Training, Competitive Training and Times of Rest. Knowing this has helped runners realize that it is ok to rest, work on corrective movement, slow down and reset. Sometimes when we forget this, the injuries start to creep up.

I am hear to listen, help support you in your running path and give you insight on these injuries that tend to come with the running territory.

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