Post-Injury Running

So this happened last week:After 3.5 months, I finally ran 3 consecutive miles without stopping…and it felt great!

Knowing when and how much activity to add back in while recovering from an injury is hard for me.  I find myself just wanting to jump back in to my former level of activity, but after missing a whole season of training, I know I need to be cautious and go slowly.  And there’s no set formula, at least that I know of, that lays out exactly how to return to a former level of running.

So I’m kind of winging it.  I found this guide that’s been helpful.  And I’m following the rule of “if it hurts, stop.”  Since I was fit going in to an injury, I decided 3 miles at a whack would be a good starting distance.  But I also know that after such an extended time away from running, I’ve lost fitness and muscle strength.  What that means is I physically won’t be able to run my previous pace and distance for a while. For my early runs, I set a pace of 5 miles/hour (12 minutes a mile) which is 2 minutes slower than my last marathon pace.  Maybe I’m being overly cautious, but speed bothered my wonky hip flexor so I’d rather go too slow than to re-injure myself.

I started with 5 minutes of running followed by 5 minutes of walking on a treadmill to ease impact on a fragile hip flexor and then just gradually increased my run time while decreasing my walk time.  And finally last week  I ran 3 slow miles without a break…and no pain!  I was insanely happy!

My goal is to run 3 miles 3 times a week.  When I can do that without pain, I’d like to work myself up to about 20 miles a week before beginning to work on speed.  I was hoping to be ready to begin training again in January, but I’m trying to just be patient and focus on getting stronger.  Races will always be there; I want to make sure I’m healthy to run them.  But goodness, it’s hard to wait!

Talk to me:

What goal are you working towards currently?

Treadmill–like them or hate them?


Author: Juanita

Thanks for dropping in! I'm Juanita. People tell me I don't look like a Juanita since I'm red headed and freckled with super pale skin, but what's in a name, right? I'm a 40-something, single (as in no kids, never been married) gal from Oklahoma. I'm a nurse and most importantly, a follower of Jesus. I love chocolate, am scared of heights, and petrified of snakes. After my fortieth birthday and coming to grips with the fact that I was obese, I discovered I'm a runner and a CrossFitter, and that there's a whole lot of life left to live. I just had to get past the fat, stare down the fear, and realize that 40 is not too old for new beginnings. So this is the story of my struggles and adventures in the quest to live a healthy life in mind, body, and soul.

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