Hi Runners, Welcome back! I just wanted to thank everyone for the overwhelming support I received on my previous blog. I was so humbled to be able to talk about my past experiences with different athletes, and I was so grateful for all the incredibly kind messages I received.
So, the blog, as you have read by the title, is all related to injury. Many of you may not be interested in this topic because you might never have experienced a long-term injury in the past, and that would have been my reaction two months ago. But, all of that changed after I obtained two knee injuries in the space of six weeks. And I know, I know that six weeks doesn’t sound like a crazy amount of time, but being injured for the first time, with little knowledge or support left me feeling very panicky and isolated.
An injury is every runner’s worst nightmare, but mine ended up being a blessing in disguise; it came at the perfect time. Yes, the gyms weren’t open, and I couldn’t visit a physio to get professional treatment, but I could focus on so many different areas of the sport that I had left untouched for too long. The first area was my mental health, and the second was my physical strength, but my mental health was the most crucial for me.
After my experience at nationals, I had been in a bit of a low state. I hadn’t been able to show off my fitness or race to my full potential, so after travelling to the UK at the beginning of the quarantine, I continued training as if races were still being held. Honestly, I drove my body to its limit, and as a result of this, I got injured.
One year ago, if you had told me that I would have an injury, I would never have believed you. Why? Because you take your body for granted when it’s healthy; there’s no need for you to focus on a pain free area. So, when I got injured, it came as a massive shock.
At first, I presumed it was just a niggle, like I had experienced in the past, so I rested for two or three days, and then kept running. Of course, everyone’s initial reaction is “well, that’s stupid, you need to stop or it will get worse”, but it’s so so hard to rest as an athlete. You don’t want to admit that you need to take time off, because then you know that all the fitness that you have gained over the past few months or even the past few years has vanished. Those were my thoughts for the first two weeks, and it destroyed my mind and led to a vicious cycle of negativity.
I’m not saying my injury was the best thing that ever happened to me, and I am certainly not saying that you need to get injured to improve your mindset and eventually come back as a stronger and faster runner, but I am saying that if you get injured, there are so many possibilities for you. It may not seem like it at the time, but you can completely change as a person in the space of your recovery period. I know that I certainly have!
So, here are the nine tips I have learnt along the way during my recovery period dealing with tendonitis and ITB syndrome. My injury journey may be very different to yours, but make sure you embrace the chance to recover. It may seem like nothing is going the way you want it to go, but know that success takes time and patience, you just might need to overcome various obstacles before achieving your goals! Due to never having an injury prior to these past six weeks, the tips I learnt were mainly down to trial and error, and of course from the information given to me by my physio. I made a lot of mistakes, which ultimately led to me injuring myself more, and this is why I would love to share my tips with you so you don’t make the same mistakes as I did!
I am currently starting to slowly train again, and today marks the first day that I have run pain-free, which is a massive milestone for me! Make sure to celebrate those special milestones, because they are so so important for your motivation!
The 9 tips to recovery will be linked in the next 9 blogs. They each have their own individual blog because I know what it feels like to be injured, and it would be so unfair on other injured athletes if they had to wait a few weeks for the tip that they have been looking for. You don’t have to read all of them, just choose the tip which you need the most help and advice on; you can always come back and read the others later!
If you are injured, make sure you fill your time in the day, don’t spend time moping around watching netflix because it will make everything 10x worse. If you aren’t injured, keep training consistently, but don’t focus on one specific training. One training won’t make or break you, it is the accumulation of each training day-by-day.
Lots of Love,