What About Injuries?

What About Injuries?

They happen. That’s the first thing to note. You can minimise the chances of them happening by being careful about how you increase your training load and listening to your body. It will tell you when it’s not happy and about to throw in the towel. You are going to get used to feeling a bit tired and achy every now and again. That’s fine. It’s normal for an athlete in training. What isn’t fine and shouldn’t be normal is for an ache to become a pain. If at any stage during a training session you feel pain come on you should stop. That’s almost certainly the end of your session for the day.

If you have a muscle or tendon injury, initial care is usually to reduce the pain that comes from inflammation. You can do this just with rest, contrast treatment using ice and heat packs, “comfortable support” – usually in the form of light compression garments – and elevation. You get to put your feet up for a bit.

It’s always worth seeking professional advice for injuries. Sadly, the NHS isn’t really geared up for sports injuries but there are specialist sports physiotherapists who can help you. We are lucky that Cambridgeshire is full of broken athletes because we then have an excellent support network of skilled, knowledgeable and helpful physios.

Coming Back From an Injury

Everyone worries about losing fitness when they’re injured. Again, that’s normal for an athlete in training. In general, aerobic fitness declines more slowly and comes back more quickly than flat out speed so if you have to take a week or two off from running then you won’t lose out too much. Missing a single session either through injury or sensible caution isn’t a problem. Pick up again with the next one. Missing a week again isn’t a big deal. You can carry on with the rest of the group the following week, maybe just with a little less intensity or cutting back a bit with the duration of your session.

If you have to miss out two or more weeks, then you should have a word with a coach who can help you work out a plan to get you back to training safely and across the finishing line intact with a smile on your face at your goal race.

The thing to remember is that running is supposed to be fun. You’re not going to have fun if you’re hurt and sore all the time.