How to Intelligently Come Back from a Running Injury

Runners are a funny bunch.

Some might even call us idiots.

One reason that we may have earned the title “idiot” is that we have a habit that defies all rational explanation: when injured we RARELY recover completely before getting back into the running and more often than not this results in further injury.

You’d think eventually we’d learn.

Yeah, you’d think.


How to Come Back from a Running Injury

It’s simple, really, just go short, go slow, and let it go.

  • Go Short: When you’re first coming back from an injury, no matter how long you’ve been out, there’s no reason to go long. And by long, I literally mean no more than 15-20 minutes. Doing a handful of short runs over the course of a couple of weeks will allow your body to get reacquainted to the demands of running, let you know if you are really healed from your injury or not, and (most importantly) greatly decrease your odds of reinjuring yourself almost as quickly as you get back out there.
  • Go Slow: This goes hand in hand with going short, but it’s just as important to run REALLY easy during your first couple of weeks back for exactly the same reasons as I just mentioned. Short as slow for a few weeks is the biggest thing you can do to keep yourself from getting hurt again.
  • Let It Go: Whatever workouts you missed, let them go! This is really tough if you’re training for an upcoming race (believe me, I know), but it’s so important. Whatever you missed, let those workouts go. By trying to cram those workouts in, you’re probably going to do too much and go too hard (which violates the first two rules on this list) and your odds of getting injured again and missing even more time skyrocket.

Look, I understand how difficult it can be to stay patient when you’re coming back from an injury.

I’ve struggled with it myself, and I’ve witnessed my athletes struggle with it first hand in my past life and also in my current life.

Injuries suck.

But the only thing worse than being injured in the first place is the continual injured, back, reinjured, back again dance that too many runners do.

Be patient. Go short, go slow, and let it go.

And most importantly, don’t be an idiot.

What Other Advice do You Have for Coming Back from a Running Injury? Share in the Comments Please!

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