Wednesday, July 21, 2010

How to handle a running injury

In the Runner’s World article, “The 10 laws of injury prevention,” Amby Burfoot advises runners to adjust their running schedule at the first sign of pain.

Burfoot says, “at the first sign of an atypical pain (discomfort that worsens during a run or causes you to alter your gait), take three days off. Substitute light walking, water training, or bicycling if you want.

On the fourth day, run half your normal easy-day amount at a much slower pace than usual. If you typically run four miles at nine minutes per mile, do just two miles at 11-minute pace.

Success? Excellent. Reward yourself with another day off, and then run three miles at 10-minute pace. If you're pain-free, continue easing back into your normal routine.

If not, take another three days off, then repeat the process to see if it works the second time around. If not, you've got two obvious options: Take more time off, and/or schedule an appointment with a sports-medicine specialist.”

My average run is 35 – 40 minutes at a 9 or 10 minute mile pace. So, if I felt my iliotibial band acting up again, I would take three days off, then run 20 minutes at an 11 or 12 minute mile pace, nice and slow. If I don’t have any pain on that run, I take the next day off, then run 3 miles at a 10:30 or 11 minute mile pace. If I feel OK after that, I will ease into my regular schedule again. If not, I would start at square one by taking three more days off before trying a slow, short run.

I find that the most important key to my running success besides my shoes and training schedule is my physical therapist. I know how to contact him and how much the copayment will be. I am prepared to do what is necessary to heal myself if I get injured.

What is your plan to recover from a running injury?

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