Runners returning from an extended injury face a number of challenges. It’s important to be patient and allow the body to acclimate to the rigors of running. Incorporating a higher frequency of rest days and cross training will provide an easier transition to consistent and moderate running. Taking more regular walk breaks (i.e., 1 minute of walking for every 9 minutes of running is recommended).
Most injuries can be prevented if you listen closely to the signs your body is providing and you err on the side of caution. This is far easier to appreciate in theory than application. Running provides so many benefits and scaling back or avoiding it altogether can be difficult.
Here are several suggestions to avoid injury:
1. Pay close attention to how your body is responding to training.
2. Monitor your resting heart rate each morning and scale back the intensity and distance of your runs when necessary.
3. Incorporate RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation) at the first sign of unusual pain.
4. Incorporate cross-training and rest days when necessary.
5. Rotate your running shoes regularly.
6. Stay hydrated, eat well and get plenty of rest.
7. Stretch thoroughly after each run to improve your flexibility.
Good luck and I hope you’re able to sustain an injury-free training program.