Seasoned runners know for a fact that injuries are all part of the game. There will always be instances when your mind is willing but the body is simply not in good shape to resume your runs. So, how should you return to your normal running routine after an injury?
Take it Easy
If you get injured and rested for about 1 to 5 days, you will need the same number of days before you can return to your normal runs.
For example, if you were sick for 3 days, then you should be resting for 3 days before you can start running at your regular routine again.
Layoffs lasting between 6 and 28 days will require a more gradual return. Aim to accomplish 50 percent of your training goals at the halfway mark of the layoff. You can then increase the performance to 75 percent.
Let us say you have a running routine of 40 miles per week. If you got injured and rested for 2 weeks, then you should start the 1st week after injury running only 20 miles per week.
You can target 30 miles on the second week. By the third week, you should already be able to run your normal course.
If your injuries sidelined you for more than a month, you can still observe the same principle. However, you should divide the ease-in period into three.
Aim to achieve 33 percent of your running goals in the first period; 50 percent in the second; and 75 percent in the third.
Add 1-3 Days of Complete Comfort
People have this thinking that they can already resume their normal activities once they start feeling fine.
However, one can never be too sure about the current state of health of the body. One may no longer feel the symptoms but this does not mean that the body has already completely healed.
One should add at least a day of complete rest from the time they feel they are already feeling okay.
If you have not felt any kind of discomfort in the last 1 to 3 days, then that is your signal that you can return to running.
It is best to start your return with brisk walks. If there is discomfort while you are walking, what more if you are going to run?
Walking helps you mimic the natural movements of your legs, without putting too much strain on the joints, muscles, and bones.
Walking for about 60 minutes for up to 2 days is enough for people with short layoffs. People who had long layoffs should aim for 30- to 60-minute walks for up to 14 days.
Start Running Slowly
Always return to your running routine in a gradual manner. Running exerts more stress on the musculoskeletal system than walking.
One should jog at a pace of about 4 MPH. Make sure to take walking breaks every 15 to 20 minutes. You can then increase your pace.
The idea of easing into your normal running routine is for your body to get used to the effects of impact forces again.
It is not yet the actual training. Once your body has adjusted to the movements and the impact forces, then you can resume your normal running routine.
Returning to your normal running routine after an injury takes time. You should always let your body heal properly before you go back to any training.