When to Give Your Body a Break
Even if you did everything you could to prevent a running injury that ping in your knee or tweak in your foot may still happen. Unfortunately, no one is injury-proof but before you panic, wait to see if the pain resolves itself within 24 to 36 hours. If it does, and you feel OK after your next run, that probably means you’re good to go, however if you limp or notice a change in your running style, you need to stop and address the issue as this can lead to long term damage that may mean you have to stop running permanently.
Feeling sore but still able to make it through a run without too much misery? Just back off your distance for a week or two and stick to easy runs. You’ll need to skip any Thursday night speed sessions too until you’re back to at least 75 to 80 percent of your usual weekly mileage.
One strategy when you’re feeling pain is to practice a shorter stride, particularly for Achilles, knee and hip pangs. Working toward small, quicker steps takes pressure off your joints, reducing further injury risk. Icing after a workout is also helpful for acute injuries when inflammation is evident, like swelling, redness, tenderness or pain; use the cold compress for about 10 minutes at a time,
If you are in so much agony that you can’t leave the settee head to a sports therapist to get it checked out and take the following advice;
Why isn't the answer to a running injury ever "Just keep running a lot.....it will go away"
Running is hard as you don't see the results over night, it takes time, commitment and consistency but one of the things that running does teach you is to have patience.
So what happens when you have put in a lot of hard work and you end up having a setback through injury? You have to be extra patient and being injured forces patience upon you. You have to create a plan B if you experience setbacks and that can be hard...especially if it seems that everyone else is doing so well. A week can seem life a lifetime...
If you have experience a set back don't be too hard on yourself, the professional name for it is Runner's Withdrawl Syndrome and it is very real and can have a huge psychological effect on your state of mind. Fortunately running injuries are rarely permanent and runners can come back stronger if they have a comeback plan and try to be patient.
Here are my top tips for helping you have a comeback plan
Don't deny that you are injured, you have to deal with it and accept your injury but you may also experience some anger and depression and refuse to stop running, however you will reach a point where the pain forces you to stop. You will be able to return to your training plan if you allow the healing process the time that it needs.
Stick to a routine, walk when you would have run, by sticking to your normal training routines you will still gain the psychological benefits of regular exercise.
Keep up running friendships and support others in races, supporting is a great way to experience the race without the stress and it is appreciated by runners so much.
Cross train so that you don't end up feeling lethargic, go swimming, do yoga or pilates, strength training to build up muscle strength, go biking, it will really help fill the void.
Most importantly return to running with realistic expectations, start slowly and build gradually, set goals and don't do too much, too soon with too little recovery.