Hi Runners! So, after hopefully reading the backstory to my knee injuries, I will be telling you the top tips I have learnt in recovering from an injury and making the most of your time to fully repair your body both physically and mentally. You do not have to have an injury to follow a few of these tips; it is the perfect time to add some additional strength and mindset training into your schedules. Just make sure to only add them into your easier days, or even take a day off to try them out. Don’t try to do all of these on one day, and make sure to be patient. I am slowly learning the meaning of this word, and it is more important than you might think. Be consistent, but listen to your body!
Remember that even though you might be injured, you are still an athlete, you are still a runner. Now is not the time to simply sit around and not do anything, your role is to return to the sport you love stronger, faster, and more motivated than you have ever been before, so make sure you follow all of the necessary steps so you can return to running having learnt so much more and work hard to achieve your goals!
Tip 1: Mindset Improvement, Motivation and Reading (The most crucial!)
I am most definitely choosing to put this one at the top of the list. As I mentioned in my previous blog, a positive mindset was something that I have struggled with in the past. I am sure many of you have also experienced it when you finish a race disappointed, or hit a plateau in your training or race times. Before my injury, I started reading biographies and listening to podcasts to try and find ways to shape my mind, but I honestly couldn’t figure out how. And then, I got my injury.
So the first thing to think about is why did you get injured? It is a very difficult question to answer, because you don’t even want to class your body part as “injured”, but it is so crucial in making sure that you don’t make the same mistake when you return to the sport. Is it because you have undernourished? Or is it because you overtrained? My reason was definitely because I overtrained way too quickly, and did too many hills during my training (I live in a super hilly area!).
So, now that I knew why I got injured, I was absolutely desperate to find a cure and make sure that I wouldn’t be out of training for too long. I was feeling very down because I knew how hard I had trained over the past five weeks. I spent hours reading articles about injury comebacks, and then I stumbled across an article selling a mental health book. I clicked on the link and it took me to this page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rebound-Bounce-Stronger-Sports-Injuries-ebook/dp/B07PLFJJ9W
The book being sold was called “Rebound”, and it specialised in how to deal with a devastating injury and how to mentally come back stronger; it was everything I had been looking for! I bought the book, and immediately started reading it, and honestly, it is the best book I have ever purchased in my life! (and this is NOT an exaggeration). I recommend this book to anybody, regardless of whether they are injured or not, because it does not solely tell you how to change your mindset, it also includes activities that you can try out yourself and experiment with, such as visualisation and meditation. In the future, I would love to write a book about everything that I have learned during my running journey, but honestly, I could never write anything as incredible as this book.
Whilst reading the same article, I also came across this book. I didn’t end up purchasing it, but it looks incredible and I would love to read it in the future. Check it out if you fancy a read! https://www.beyondgrit.com/book/
Apart from reading “Rebound” and highlighting the pages which I believed were the most valuable and most important to me, I didn’t purchase anything else. I didn’t need to, everything was included in the book. But, I did download their activities book which you can find linked here: https://injuredathletesclub.com The exercises were so so helpful in making me see the perspective of my injury. I was so lucky that it wasn’t life-altering and I learnt to accept my injury by filling in the activity book. The book also recommended meditation and journaling, so I started doing those most mornings and I honestly saw a massive change in my mental state; I was a lot calmer and more accepting of the fact that I couldn’t run!
I also joined their facebook page ‘The Injured Athletes Club’. This is a step that I am very proud of because I gained the confidence to download Facebook just so I could request access to the ‘Injured Athletes Club’. I wrote my problems, doubts and worries to complete strangers, but just reading their personal injury experiences, and having them respond to my injury was so reassuring and made me feel like I wasn’t alone anymore.
Tip 2-9 will be published on the following blogs. I am sorry to keep breaking up the blogs into sub-parts, but honestly each section of the recovery process is so so important, so I wanted to dedicate a blog to each tip!
Lots of love,