Most of us get injured, it is just part of training and racing. We push our bodies so much that we walk a fine line between being healthy and being injured. So how should you come back from injury?
Well depending on the injury will depend greatly on how your comeback will be structured. I will touch on some generic injury training plans that I use with some athletes I work with but you are best to consult with a professional to ensure this is right for you.
To be honest with yourself, you don’t know if the rehab has fully worked or if you are fully healed, etc. This is where your first run back is so important. You are more or less looking for feedback from your body.
A good session to do so you don’t push anything and push your recovery backwards, is a 40 minute run with 1 minute easy jog, 1 minute walking (repeat 20 x) You can get an idea on where you are at and have less risk on re-injury or setting your rehab further back. You also have the option on stopping at anytime. Do this two or three times with one to two days rest between each session.
To progress from here, 40 minute run with 90 seconds easy jog, 30 seconds walking. The same as the first run, do it two or three times with one to two days rest in between sessions.
From this you can progress to walking 30 seconds every 3 minutes and then 30 second walk every 5 minutes.
It is important to take one to two days rest in between run sessions. As you can see, it is a slow progress with increasing run volume. The key is to slowly increase volume and take one to two days rest in between. You can make changes if and when needed.
Using running to measure rehab
With some injuries like shin splints, minor ITB, etc, you can use running to measure if the rehab is working and if changes are needed or keep everything the same.
For example, I had shin pains and the pain would start around 20 minutes into the run. I then used the 20 minute as a marker. I would massage and hit trigger points. Every second day I would go for a run. If I could run 25 minutes before the pain set in, I know I am improving and continue with what I was doing. If the pain set in 15 minutes into the run, I know the pain was getting worse and would have to try something different.