I am now a student physiotherapist! To celebrate this, here is a very unscientific post about injury and treatment, because its only been a month and I’m not a Tree of Knowledge just yet. I am going to discuss my recent injury and how it has affected my running and outlook.
If you have read my blog post The Backbone to Success you will know I have had back problems for quite a while. This time last year the pain radiated down into my legs and caused severe knee pain meaning I found running incredibly painful. The knee pain alleviated slightly after 8 weeks of complete rest, after which I began to build up the training again. I was doing really well with my running by January of this year, and when I ran the county cross country championships I was getting back on form (nowhere near my 2014 standard, but the closest I have been since then).
Then in early February, I don’t know if it was by training too much too soon, or other life factors but I found myself to be in a great deal of pain once again, with the same injury I had a just a few months earlier.
I went through a really rough period where I hated training, and I hated the fact I was hating training. I used to think running and triathlon were a big part of who I am because I loved training for them, so being injured and not progressing caused a lot of inner frustration. I decided to seek some answers. I saw some doctors, had some scans, physiotherapy and strength training and now I am pleased to say my injury is largely under control.
This has been a major lesson for me as a person and as a runner. In February I stopped recording my training because everything was so unpredictable and dependant on pain levels that time spent fixating on training plans and analysis was time wasted. It took the pressure off me to hit targets and it has helped me to reevaluate why I love running in the first place.
The past nine months of injury and injury rehab has taught me that I do not need running to be Claudia, I am a decent enough person without it in my life. The difference is I want running to be a part of my lifestyle and that is the way it should be. The period of having a no-expectation outlook on my training helped me overcome feeling like running was a chore, but something I truly love and look forward to as part of my day to day life.
When I started getting back into structured running it was from square one. It hasn’t been easy, but I am now starting to see the positive sides to this journey, and I am gradually making progress again. Two weeks ago I had my first cross country race in what felt like forever and it felt amazing to be back in the mud. I have my second cross country of the season tomorrow which I am really looking forward to. I am doing some of my training with my university, and the varied sessions are so good for building other areas of fitness, like speed and S&C. (If you would like to see my updated training week read A week In Training ).
Thank you for reading, and I hope this blog post will help anyone who currently has, or may have been through injury too. My main advice based only on personal experience for if you are with-injury would be:
1. Seek medical advice, informing yourself of the problem is the best way to find the appropriate treatment (avoid googling all of your symptoms)
2. Take a step back and lower your expectations of yourself.
4. Reconnect with your other interests, and use this time to try new things.
5. Fully invest in your injury rehab, it will be challenging but it is worth it.
6. Ease yourself back in slowly.
7. Try to stay positive, but allowing yourself to feel upset sometimes is normal too.
That’s all for now!