I am at that point in the recovery process where my PT is telling me to increase my mileage and I start to overanalyze every little twinge in fear that I am overdoing it. For the past three weeks I have kept my run/walks to about 30 minutes, working up from 3:1 intervals to about 7:1 (run:walk minutes). This has meant covering distances of about 2-3 miles, and I have been doing those 3 days a week.
I feel good about saying that I have no pain on any of these runs. If I notice anything, it’s usually at the end of the day, or when I am walking barefoot on my hardwood floors. Some days everything feels 100%. Occasionally my foot will feel a little achy or tight in random spots.
I guess that is probably a normal part of the recovery process. However, I have had so many injuries that I felt like lasted forever, that I live in fear that this one will do the same. As I type this out it sounds ridiculous, but it’s so hard to find that balance between being cautious and overdoing it. It made me feel better to come across this article: Setbacks and Mind Games During Injury Recovery
There are so many aspects to injury recovery other than the actual pain from the injury that can be confusing to manage. For example, if I start to build up my mileage I would expect to feel a little sore just because my body is not used to that. I’ve also been working on my form, so other muscles may be starting to work that I haven’t felt before. There is also a lot of research out about how pain can still exist even after an injury has healed if you haven’t addressed the fear and anxiety related to your injury. I like how this article from Runners Connect distinguishes between “healing” and “recovery””
“Healing” is the body’s natural process of repairing damage. It is complete when the damaged tissue has been repaired. “Recovery” refers to the ability to return to your level of activity pre-injury, in our case running. It is a product of function and emotion, in other words being able to not only run again but to do so without fear.
Interesting, right? I guess my next step is going to be working on the mental part of recovery.
So, overall I would say things have been going pretty well. I saw my PT on Monday and I go back again in 2 weeks and that is supposed to be my last session. As I said, he wants me to start to increase my running so we can see how I am doing when I go back for my last appointment. I mentioned how I sometimes get SI joint pain after sitting and he gave me a new core routine to include to work on activating my transverse abdominis. Even though I include core work into my routine, I don’t have very good lumbopelvic control, which was very obvious from a couple of tests he did. I think improving that will be an important supplement to the other PT exercises I am doing. This article explains it well, although it is referring to CrossFit, the same idea applies for runners.
Here is how last week’s workouts looked:
Monday: 2.5 miles (5:1 run/walk intervals), PM: Went to PT and worked on some new exercises
Tuesday: Total body strength training + core work
Wednesday: 2.75 miles (6:1 run/walk intervals) + PT exercises
Thursday: TRX workout
Friday: PT exercises + core work
Saturday: PT exercises (just a few to get all the right muscles activated) + 2.8 miles (7:1 run/walk intervals)
Does your mind hold you back from recovering from injuries?
How do you find balance between being cautious and overdoing it when returning from an injury?
How were your workouts last week?