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?