As a runner, it’s important to be aware of the common types of injuries that you may face. Some of the most common injuries that runners experience include runner’s knee, shin splints, plantar fasciitis, and stress fractures. These injuries can be caused by a variety of factors, including overtraining, improper form, and lack of proper footwear. It’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of these injuries and to seek professional help if you experience any pain or discomfort while running.
Listening to your body and taking a break from training when experiencing pain or discomfort is crucial for preventing injuries and promoting recovery. When you feel pain or discomfort while running, it’s your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong and that you need to take a break. Ignoring these signals and continuing to train can lead to further injury and prolonged recovery time.
Taking a break from training, even if it’s just a short one, can help reduce inflammation, allow the injury to heal, and prevent it from becoming worse. Additionally, it’s important to consider the potential causes of the pain, such as improper form, overtraining, or lack of proper footwear. By listening to your body and taking a break when needed, you can help ensure that you are able to return to your running routine in the best shape possible.
I’ll be honest with you – I’ve run through pain and I know I shouldn’t have. When the season is on the line and everything rides on me being fit and healthy, I have pushed the envelope many times. And while I’ve sometimes come out of it okay, there have certainly been times when my minor injury has become something much, much worse.
In those days, I had championships to train for – both in the high school ranks and in college with NCAA’s and Big East championships. Those looming championships forced you to train even when your body required rest. You had to find a way to “recover” while still logging miles and gaining fitness.
Now as a post-collegiate runner who doesn’t have a finite championship season, I can be more attuned to my body’s needs and take off when I need to. I can shut down my training and recover, whereas in college, that’s just not possible.
The Dangers of Training Through an Injury
Pushing through an injury can make it worse because it doesn’t allow the body to properly heal. When you have an injury, the body will naturally respond with inflammation and pain in an effort to protect the injured area. By continuing to use the injured area while it’s still healing, you are further damaging the area and potentially causing more inflammation. This can lead to a more severe injury, increased pain and discomfort, and prolong the healing process.
Additionally, running or training on an injury can also cause compensations in other parts of the body, leading to new or additional injuries. Pushing through an injury can also lead to chronic pain, which can negatively impact your quality of life and cause long-term issues. It is important to remember that injuries need time to heal and that pushing through the pain can ultimately lead to a more serious injury and a longer recovery time.
The Importance of Adequate Rest & Rehab
Seeking out adequate rest and proper rehabilitation is crucial for preventing future injuries and making sure you have a successful return to running. Rehab typically involves some combination of rest, PT (physical therapy), and strength exercises to return to a normal range of motion. Rehab should also include addressing underlying issues with muscle imbalances or poor running form.
Rest and recovery are also important for your return to health. If you allow for adequate rest, nutrition, and hydration, your body can more often than not repair itself. When the time is right to start training again, make sure you do so gradually, starting with easy-paced runs and gradually increasing the length of your runs and the intensity of them.
Take a Break from Training
Taking a break from training can have several benefits for both your physical and mental health. Firstly, it allows your body to recover from the stress and strain of training, reducing the risk of injury. It also provides an opportunity to focus on other forms of exercise, such as strength and flexibility training, which can help prevent future injuries. Additionally, taking a break can also give your mind a break from the routine and pressure of training, allowing you to come back refreshed and re-energized.
Taking a break can also provide an opportunity to reassess your goals, and make any necessary adjustments to your training plan. It can also help you to avoid burnout, both physically and mentally, which can happen when you push yourself too hard for too long.
Overall, taking a break from training can be beneficial for both your physical and mental health, and can help ensure a successful return to running.
If you get injured, there isn’t a lot of solid evidence to support you to train through the injury. Your body has made it clear that it needs rest and/or rehab and the best thing you can do is listen to your body. By continuing to train when you are injured, you can do further damage and prolong your injury time.
Instead of training through an injury, if you spent some time cross-training or taking time off and allowing your body to recover, you might not miss a considerable amount of time.
Listening to your body and stopping when you feel pain can keep you healthy and avoid a lengthy injury.
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