Are you a runner but you’re currently benched because of a past injury? Have you been told by your Houston podiatrist that you’re allowed to work out, but you’re not sure how to get back into it? Here are some suggestions on how to safely resume a running regimen after recovering from an injury.
First things first: don’t expect to pick right up where you left off; you’ll need to slowly work your way back to your previous distances so you don’t get reinjured. While you’re rebuilding stamina, you also need to incorporate exercises that strengthen and support your core muscles so that your body is protected during your workouts.
Weak or unsupported muscles are more vulnerable to injuries. After warming up and before beginning a run, try incorporating some hip and glute exercises to build strength in those muscle groups that are so critical to runners. Moves like butt kicks, clam exercises and backwards running will activate and build up your muscles, improving your mobility and reducing your risk of injury.
Even if you were running 10 miles a day before you got hurt, you need to accept that you can’t and shouldn’t try to run that far when you’re first returning after an injury. Instead, think of yourself as a new runner and start a training program that incorporates walking-running intervals for at least a few weeks after you begin your come back.
Every runner should stretch before and after a workout, but stretching is especially important for runners who are coming back from injuries. Stretching improves range of motion and helps relax muscles that, if left too tight, may not fully recover from the impact of a run, leaving you more susceptible to re-injury. Some great stretches for runners include lunges, band stretches for the IT band and hamstring and figure-four stretches (crossing one ankle over the opposite knee.)
Once you’ve had one running injury, you are more likely to sustain another, so it’s important to pay careful attention to your body as you return to training. If you have been injured in the past, it’s a good idea to regularly see your podiatrist to ensure that your feet and ankles are not in danger of re-injury.