6 Tips To Make A Running Comeback After An Injury

by Jillian See
FITNESS  |  August 27, 2018
  • TIme to feel the adrenaline rush from a run again.
    1 / 7 TIme to feel the adrenaline rush from a run again.

    With their relentlessness, runners tend to push themselves beyond their limits – which is why it is hard for them to stay injury-free. Common running injuries include shin splints, runner’s knee and achilles tendonitis, all which can put you out of running for weeks.

    To prevent yourself from being sidelined, learn to stop when the first sign of pain hits you. One or two missed runs is better than a month’s layoff. Take it easy or rest for the next few days before slipping into your running shoes again. 

    If you have just recovered from an injury, here are tips to help you get back into running – stronger and faster.

    Photos: 123rf.com

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  • Be patient
    2 / 7 Be patient

    It takes time to get used to your run trainings after a layoff, especially if you had a complete break from any physical training. The good news is, if you had been a regular runner before your injury, your comeback will be faster and easier than you think, thanks to muscle memory.

    As a runner, your muscles have learnt not only the mechanics of running, but also how to repair and rebuild muscle tissues that have broken down. Simply put, long-term running helps to retain your muscle fibres, so not all is lost after a long break.

    Start with a walk-run training to build endurance and let your muscles get used to the motions. Then, gradually add 1km to your runs as your trainings get more manageable. In time, you will be back in your element.

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  • Set goals
    3 / 7 Set goals

    Tracking your running progression is a good form of motivation. By setting goals, you will see yourself improve after each run.

    If you are planning to be able to run 5km in a month, create a weekly training plan. Start with a 1km walk, followed by a 1km jog, and then add 1km of running each week. Scale the intensity according to your fitness level. Working towards your goal one week at a time makes the process less intimidating.

    (Also read: 5 Calf Stretches Every Runner Should Do)

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  • Find company
    4 / 7 Find company

    It is good to have someone to train with and push you, especially on days when you are feeling unmotivated. Join a running group to have constant support during the phase of your comeback. If possible, find a buddy who runs faster than you to set the pace.

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  • Do strength training
    5 / 7 Do strength training

    After laying off for a period of time, your muscles may not be as strong as before. Strength training helps to prepare your body for running again, by making you stronger and fitter. It not only strengthens your muscles, but also corrects muscle imbalances – where you subconsciously rely more on one muscle than the opposing one – so you’re less likely to get injured again.

    Fit in a strength training session before or after your run, and even on days when you are not running.

    (Also read: 5 Important Muscles Women Neglect While Strength Training)

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  • Cross-train
    6 / 7 Cross-train

    To get back your cardio fitness fast without risking an injury, do cross-training exercises like yoga and swimming twice or thrice a week. These low-impact activities are a form of active recovery to ease your achy joints and muscles, while improving blood flow and flexibility.

    (Also read: 7 Tips For Women Doing Yoga For The First Time)

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  • Take baby steps
    7 / 7 Take baby steps

    As you resume your running routine, be careful not to overtrain and incur an injury again. According to a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, runners who increased their weekly mileage by 22 per cent over a span of 10 weeks did not get injured, while runners who increased their mileage by 33 per cent did.

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