If you've ever experienced injury, you'll know how incredibly frustrating it is! Although I've suffered very few over the years, I now haven't been able to run for 5 weeks due to plantar fasciitis in my right foot... it's driving me a bit mad to be honest!
Whilst there are some factors that are out of my control, the important point is that I do everything I can to get back on the road as soon as possible. Below are some pieces of advice that I've followed over the past few weeks. If you're currently suffering from injury or you ever do in the future (hopefully not!), I hope these tips help:
Seek professional advice asap - It sounds so obvious to advise an injured person to see a qualified physiotherapist, but self diagnoses from the internet is extremely common and often causes far more problems than it solves. A face to face assessment to discover what your specific issue is before gaining a bespoke plan to help rectify it is the best way to move forwards. Then it's essential to take responsibility for your rehab and put in the prescribed work. Get in to see someone early and don't let the problem escalate!
Find other activities - When you see a physio, it's really important to find out if there are any other activities you could be doing that won't aggravate the condition. To put a positive spin on the past month or so, I've used time off running to lift in the gym more so that I return stronger. I've also got on the bike twice a week to keep my cardio ticking over. Training doesn't have to stop completely!
Be patient - It's so tempting I know! For the past 2 weeks I've asked myself the same question every day... 'it's not hurting as much now, should I do a run just to test it?'. However, coming back from injury too soon can ruin your recovery. Be sure that you're completely ready to run when you do return and get advice from your physio too.
Pencil in a race - You don't have to actually book a race in (just in case you have a set back), but it's a good idea to have an eye on a race that you could realistically take part in. This'll give you something to look forward to, but will also serve as a reminder that this situation is only temporary, and you will get back to action.
As a final thought, although my injury has caused some frustration there's also something good that has come out of it. I've actually missed running a lot more than I thought I would! This suggests to me that perhaps I took being able to run pain free for granted from time to time. When I'm back to full fitness, I'll definitely appreciate it a lot more! As always, if you have any questions for us, please feel free to get in touch.
By Marc Brown