If you’ve been (or are) an injured athlete, you know the exhilaration of getting to start the sport you love again. But this is also the time where the real work starts. There is a grieving process with injury, and it is not unlike the 5 stages of grief. That may sound dramatic, and I’m not trying to liken this to a terrible tragedy or loss, but being injured comes with its own process, and the stages often have similarities to the 5 Stages of Grief.
I like to call this return to sport Stage 6: Perseverance (also could be named Patience). At this time, more than ever, it’s important to balance holding yourself back and pushing yourself to progress. It’s a delicate balance, and looks different for each athlete.
I ran without my watch or power and just focused on running by feel at a sustainable, endurance effort. I find this kind of run is important during recovery, so you can get back to being able to tune into your body. And, since your pace is probably not what you’re used to, it removes the pressure a little bit!
I want to stress that I have been working up to this for months, and would not suggest that you jump right into a 5x5 interval right away if you have not been running for a while. Consult your healthcare professionals and coaches to ensure your plan is safe and effective for your return to sport!
Here was my run today:
· 10 minute walking
· Dynamic Warmup Exercises
· 5x5 minutes running with 2 minutes walking between
· I got to add an extra 5 minute interval if the first 5 went extremely well, with no discomfort or other symptoms, and they did!
· 5 minutes walking and cool down stretches
Today was a good day! But don’t be fooled, I’ve had my bad days as well. Last week, I set out to do 2x1 mile for the second time. The first time had gone well so I had high expectations. I didn’t even make it through the first mile. I’ve had enough bad runs over the past year that I am quite used to this by now, but that can be disheartening. When this happens, you just have to keep on keepin on.
To your health!