Tomorrow I will do my first run for the year. I have not ran since my Singapore Marathon injury a month ago.
If you are like me who can’t keep still, having an injury is one of the worst things that can happen. I had the unfortunate fate of having two in the past month. At first I was really frustrated then I realized that this won’t get me anywhere. So I tried various things instead:
Take It Easy
If you have built a strong fitness base, this won’t go away overnight even if you are forced to take things easy for a few weeks. Rest, relax and recover. It is natural to worry about regression after you have built up your endurance over several months. But this strength will all go to waste if you don’t give your body enough time to recover from the injury. You even run the risk of getting more serious injury if you force it.
Find Alternative Methods
Since I had to protect my ankle from impact, I can’t do any exercise that repeatedly made use of this body part. I chose to replace my run time with spinning on the trainers. This way I still get a good cardio session, work out the other leg muscles and at the same time get better at cycling. I also “run” on the trainers by sitting proud and tall and mimicking a good running form while pedaling on the bike. This allows me to work on upper body running form without the impact on the legs.
Focus on Strength Building
I continued to do my Pilates-based strength training and this has enabled me to recover from the injury. The focus on proper execution of movement has contributed in strengthening the surrounding leg muscles without putting strain on my ankle. It has also given me more confidence to move the injured part. Strengthening the core has also been beneficial by evenly distributing my body weight during the exercise so I don’t focus all the weight on my legs. This training has also kept my metabolism at an optimal level despite the decreased cardio from running.
Try Something New
I have tried yoga several times in the past but have not really practiced consistently. I decided to give it a shot once more but with a very clear intent on why I am pursuing it. It will be a good complement to my multisport and strength training as it focuses on opening up the hips for better stride and engaging the core for more efficient muscle use. It also helps me regulate my breathing with every movement, a very useful technique when I go through more difficult parts of my running or cycling. Plus it helps me keep my mind still and stay present with each pose.
Watch Food Intake
I have always been liberal with my diet. Since I worked out I usually eat a lot too, burning the calories with every exercise session. Due to diminished activity because of the injury, I had to take stock of what I ate and be more careful about my intake. We just eat white meat and seafood at home together with fruits and vegetables. We reserve red meat and desserts when we go out. But because of a lot of social activities, eating out has become more frequent and less “controllable”. Being more mindful of the portions has helped curb the unnecessary weight gain. It has not been easy since metabolism has slowed down with age. I just can’t really eat as much as I used to and still expect to keep the pounds off.
So I have survived this injury but more importantly, I also survived the recovery period that required me to keep still and relax. I am so excited to start my training and hit the ground running.