Running Injuries

Running Injuries

Q:

Hi Bridget! I'm a huge fan of yours. I'm a vegan, plant based baker, singer, and a runner! I signed up for my first half marathon which is on November 5th. I injured my left leg last week. Mostly just from over training. I haven't ran in a week. The doctor told me that once I feel up to it I can start running again. I've been going stir crazy as I feel like I'm messing up my training program but it still hurts to walk on it sometimes. Have you ever had a running injury? I've been resting and everything, and I know you're not a doctor and can't give me medicial advise, but I just need someone to talk to. I'm so desperate right now. Do you have any advice on how to keep a postivie mindset and attitude to help me run this race? The farthest I've ran so far is 7 miles. I'm praying extra hard everyday that I will wake up healed lol. <3
Much love always, 
Sav x

A:

Hi there!! Thanks for writing in 😀

First and foremost, yes, I am not a doctor. Trust your doctor! They know what they’re doing.

My instinct when reading this is that you’re putting way too much pressure on yourself. If your leg is injured, and it hurts to walk sometimes, then you need to rest it. There’s no way around it! I had a knee injury a few years ago and it still bothers me. It really restricts the way I can work out, and I have had to learn to accept that over the years. You don’t want to have to get knee replacements when you’re in your 30’s (don’t know if that’s a thing, sorry medical professionals) or to be in chronic pain because you didn’t listen to your body! My injury came up when I began training for a marathon. I went too hard, too fast, and my body has never been the same since.

I have had to learn to accept that I can’t consistently put in the workouts required to train for a marathon with my schedule, and subsequently cannot slowly increase my weekly miles. This means I can’t do the training at this point in my life. But I still go for runs regularly – and I still enjoy the occasional long run! I just make sure that I don’t run two days in a row, and that I stretch after, and warm up very well before.

For you I would recommend meditating. It is my go-to and it will really help you to calm your mind, and see the forest for the trees in this situation! There will be many many MANY more opportunities to run a half marathon in the future (IF this one doesn’t end up working out), maybe you need to pick one with a longer time line so you can increase your miles slowly, and have more rest days. Maybe by now your knee is all better and you are able to run your little heart out! But you need to know what caused the injury, and meditation will help you keep a more objective look at how your training is making you feel. Try the free trial at headspace.

Next I would recommend taking up yoga, or Pilates if yoga isn’t your thing. Something that is lighter on your joints, increases flexibility, and promotes mental calm. This will help your recovery greatly, and it is usually something you can do whilst injured. I would also recommend cross training to get a great workout, minus the joint stress. This for me means jumping rope, SUP paddle boarding and mega reformer workouts. Anything that gets you sweaty, minus the pain.

You mention you’re a baker – that’s awesome! But keep an eye on added sugars in the diet. Excess added sugars can cause inflammation which is not ideal with an injury. Make sure your diet is anti-inflammatory, refined food free, and full of healthy fats from nuts and avocados. And ensure you are eating enough! Running burns, and you need to replace those calories.

Most of all – make sure that working out is fun for you! It is an integral part of every day life, and it makes us live longer. So make sure it isn’t something that puts you through the pressure cooker. It should be a form of stress relief, so make sure it is that for you!

I hope this helps and you get back to running soon 😀

 

Love,

Bridget