We want to enjoy moving well, being out in the fresh air and embracing that feeling of absolute freedom. So being injured is a nightmare for anyone.

Walkers and runners can get all kinds of injuries. For example: runner’s knee, shin splints, plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, sprains. There are too many issues to name them all.

I can relate to this topic first-hand. I’ve been running for around five years and run a lot of miles. I’m often doing marathon-training to participate in events, or to help Achilles athletes run their events. I got an injury in 2016. It was a stress reaction in my left leg. This sounds like something I’d feel when my six-year-old throws a tantrum. But it is actually the precursor to a stress fracture. This is where the bone becomes weak at a cellular level and causes pain. Eye-watering pain.

I was side-lined from running for 3-months. I felt devastated. Running is the way I de-stress and keep fit. But then I chose to have a positive mind-set (that’s the yogi within me!) I chose to look at my situation as an opportunity instead to do some cross-training. So, I enjoyed doing yoga, cycling, pool running, and strength work until I healed. After that, I returned to running with a strong body (and mind). Then weeks later ran the Chicago Marathon with a not too shabby time.

Below are some tips that I know can help – from first-hand experience.

10 Top Tips Around Injuries:

1. See an expert to check you have a good biomechanical form. They also give you tips on how you can walk or run more smoothly – and efficient. This can help with speed over time.

2. Don’t increase mileage too soon. This can be a fast track to injury.

3. Warm up and cool down. As a yoga teacher, I’d recommend doing some gentle dynamic stretches for two minutes before running. Post run, spend some time doing static stretches. Get the best advice from a qualified teacher of safe and correct form.

4. Wear good shoes that fit your feet well.

5. Incorporate strength training into your weekly training. It strengthens your body.

6. Be smart and get expert advice early on if you notice a “niggle” or problem. You will heal quicker if you know what to do – and what to avoid doing.

7. If injured, accept your injury and don’t dwell on it. Staying positive influences healing.

8. Focus on what you can do while injured- not what you can’t do. For example, I stayed strong with cross-training when I couldn’t run.

9. Practice patience. Put the time-frame for recovery into perspective.

10. Use restorative measures in your training. Yoga, massage, using a foam roller and practicing mindfulness are things I highly recommend.

 

Check out the Cigna Wellbeing Ambassador page for videos and blogs from Rachel Grunwell.  Rachel is a runner, qualified yoga teacher and director of lifestyle website InspiredHealth.co.nz