Last month I was able to participate as part of Team 413 in the Wild Billy’s Midnight Classic. It was an epic 8-hour cross-country/relay style run consisting of continuous 5k loops for 7-1/2 hours and ended with a shorter sprint relay for 30 minutes. What a great night and fun race with friends. I ended up running a total of five 5k loops, which is approximately 15-1/2 miles. After feeling good about the accomplishment I soon realized it came with a cost.
Most of us, if not all, know there is nothing more frustrating than an injury that impacts daily activities and/or a training schedule. Just a small dose of negativity at the wrong time can and will affect self-confidence and motivation levels in regard to training. However, this is NOT a sign to stop or to give up.
In 1978, Gabe Mirkin introduced the RICE Method for Injuries. RICE is an acronym for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. This method is extremely beneficial immediately after the injury occurs to help with pain, swelling and potentially speed up the healing process. For quite some time in addition to RICE, there were two options for those who were dealing with fitness related injuries. Most would decide push through the injury until the end of the season or the injury became more serious prolonging the healing process. Another common practice would be to prescribe an ace bandage and take an extended period of time off from all forms of physical activity. Waiting out the storm was the norm in this case. Both options seem extreme and neither option offers any guarantee of a quick recovery while maintaining a certain fitness level.
But, what about the overall fitness of the body? It seemed as though something was missing.
Good news: there are always alternative exercises and movements to keep you active providing healthy benefits while training through an injury, instead of pushing through, or doing nothing to “recover.” Training through an injury will not only continue to provide physical health benefits but is also good for you mentally and emotionally as you recover. The alternative movements or strength exercises may increase your fitness and even decrease the amount of time it takes to fully recover from the injury. Becoming injury free again sooner rather than later, who wouldn’t want that? But be mindful that learning to train through an injury is more difficult than it sounds because we all have a tendency to either push through or do nothing at all.
One of the most important things to remember during the recovery process is to have a proper alternative training plan to work around and work for the injury. Look for guidance from a trusted source who knows your body, fitness level, and injury well. Several factors can impact the recovery process and having someone available to help navigate this time is critical. The last thing a 413 Fitness coach wants is for anyone to miss multiple training sessions because of an injury.
Earlier, I mentioned the Wild Billy’s Midnight Classic came with a cost. For about a month now I have been dealing with a hamstring injury. This has been a nagging injury I’ve dealt with since late last year. To be honest, I do fall in the camp of pushing through an injury instead of training through one. Even though I remain a stubborn, hard headed guy who is determined to succeed, I have come to realize that a well thought out and balanced plan for recovery is the best approach. 413 Fitness has helped me dramatically as I have trained through this injury. I do admit that I tend to go rogue on occasion, but the coaches always remind me of what I need to do. I truly appreciate the consistent guidance, accountability, and encouragement.
Maybe you fall in the “push through it” camp; maybe you fall in the ace bandage and “wait training” camp when injured; whichever camp you lean towards, please know that the 413 community is always eager and willing to help you get healthy and stay healthy.
Remember, fitness is not a destination, rather a journey. The journey is better when we journey together!