Teresa Leese; Total Motion Events; 7th August 2018
The dreaded word for any athlete – injury. Chances are we have all been there and if not count yourself very, very lucky. Injuries in sport are difficult to deal with and require a lot of mental strength as well as physical to recover. Speaking as someone who is sitting here writing this on her third consecutive month of no running or cycling after being injured since March (yes, I continued to train for three months in pain longing for it to magically go away), it can be difficult to stay focused.
I am still potentially a while away from fully recovering and after pulling out of a Duathlon World and European Championship this year, it is safe to say my season is very much over before it has really begun. So, over the last few months I have developed several tips and tricks for dealing with injury.
- Learn about your injury– the more you know about what is going on in your body, the better idea you will have about how you can help your recovery. Unfortunately most of us are not able to see a professional every day so understanding your own progress will be key.
- Stick with physio exercises if prescribed– there is no denying this is very boring and certainly not the endorphin rush you will be used to, but it is essential to your recovery and will be worth it in the long run. If you have been prescribed rest, rest. It is all too tempting to convince yourself you will be fine to go on a short run or an easy cycle, but listen to your body and complete your physio!
- Set a goal– the majority of people who love sport are competitive and I am no different, perhaps even more than most! One of the things I have found very difficult is lacking that sense of competition and achievement. But if I cannot run or cycle I can focus on swimming. I have entered an open water swimming race as something to motivate me and something to work towards. If you are able, find another sport and set yourself a goal, sign up / enter now / book it! (Take a look at the Total Motion Towerrunners for a low-impact sport). Even if it’s not sporty – try to satisfy that competitive edge.
- Volunteer– this is your time to give back. I have lost track of the number of races I have competed in from parkruns, to cross countries to local 10K’s where hundreds of marshals and volunteers have given up their own time to make sure I know where I am going, I stay well hydrated and to cheer me on when times are tough! Find a local event and offer up a couple of hours of your time. It might be good karma for your injury…
- Maintain a positive mindset– look at being injured as a chance to fix and improve on any weak areas so you can come back stronger. There is only so long you can run with poor mechanics, swim with no technique or cycle with the wrong bike set up before you get injured. You have been gifted with an opportunity to come back even better than before, more knowledgeable, more efficient and more determined.
Of course, all of this is easy to say but even picking just one of the above will help you on your road to recovery. If you have any tips that have helped you through recovery then get in touch:
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