Thursday, May 28, 2009

Running Injuries and Treatment

Every runner can write pages about today's TIaRT topic...Running Injuries and Treatment.

Most of us have been injured at some point. Some of us suffer severe injuries while others are tortured by persistent, nagging pains. Running builds into us a higher pain threshold than normal, so we learn to ignore slight twinges, and sometimes even run through severe pain. Eventually, we all learn to live with injuries, accept them as part of a runner's existence and a small price to pay for the health, well-being and runners' high we get in return.

Since I started increasing my weekly mileage, I have been frequently visited by injuries. Of the minor, nagging kind. It started with achilles tendonitis a year ago. That's when I realized the benefits of cross-training and started adding swimming, biking and core stregthening exercises to my workouts. Recently, I recovered from tendonitis in my left foot, which was soon replaced by tendonitis in the right foot. I am still struggling to find the exact cause of these injuries, but they were most likely the result of more speed or steeper hills than I could manage. I had switched from running 4 days a week to 5 days a week last October, after which both these injuries occured, so I am considering going back to running 4 days a week for a while. I stretch, but I always wonder if I stretch enough. Dealing with injury involves understanding your body better, learning to take things easy and altering goals when necessary. It is a learning process.

I am sure all of us have spent hours on the internet, agonizing and self-diagnosing; visiting the sports doctor, then doubting his/her prognosis/treatment. I have done all this. I have nursed myself back to health each time with RICE, stretching, healthy eating habits, lots of sleep, balanced workouts. This week, as I return to running after my most recent foot injury, I am forcing myself to go slow; and trying to remember that the best possible treatment for injury is good old common sense.

Monday: 4 miles
Tuesday: Spinning, BodyWorks
Thursday: 5 miles + swimming 1000 yards

21 comments:

Mel-2nd Chances said...

great post, i've hesitated posting for this topic for obvious reasons... it would be never ending! LOL :)

Roisin said...

Ahhhh RICE...I know it well. I'm glad you're winning the fight against tendonitis. Good thoughts about taking it easy as well.

Marlene said...

Excellent post. So true about COMMON SENSE! When will we learn?!

Tammy said...

Please don't make me say it. OK, I have to say it...

I've been running for 9 years with no injuries so far. Lucky, I guess.

I'm now furiously knocking on wood.

I Run for Fun said...

LOL, Tammy...I am knocking on wood for you too, you lucky girl!

joyRuN said...

Ooooh - I'm soooo lacking in common sense these days, girl!!

Ali said...

I can't remember what I was going to say, when I go to the bottom of your post my eye caught that waffle berry delicousness picture ... all thought was gone!

Heather said...

Common sense . . . would have thunk it???

Amy said...

Haha, common sense. So easy, and yet, so often ignored. We runners have to deal with so many little nagging injuries...you're right, it is a learning process.

Mica said...

This post really hits home.I feel like part of being a runner is walking the fine line between being a total hypochondriac about every little twinge and being careful and conscious of your body.

I hope you get to the root of that tendinitis soon!

Coloradan said...

Take care of yourself and I hope you recover soon from your injuries.

D10 said...

I really enjoy cross training and there are so many benefits to it. I think having a nice balance workouts, eating, sleeping are so important.

Count of Monte Christo said...

At first it feels rather contradictory that something so healthy causes so much grief. As you say, common sense will heal each injury. Take it easy and try not to run too much (that is the challenge isn't it?)

Scheri said...

Oh yes, darn it! The right side of my body enjoys giving me trouble! I think cross training, strength training, and yoga have helped me tremendously.

IzzyBubbles said...

Ah, good ol' common sense...sometimes I forget and leave commen sense at home when I go out for a run, and I should always remember to take him with me!

I have to limit myself to a 4-day-a-week running schedule, I've just found that if I don't strength train and do yoga and give myself the occassional break from running, I set myself up for injury.

Try yoga! I don't think anyone really ever enjoys their first yoga class, but it gets better the more you go.

WaveNinja said...

As a beginner I am reading and hearing lots and lots about injuries and how they are that bad. However, trying to find out how exactly to avoid them is not that easy.

I guess there is no substitute for experience and you only know when you should take it more easy is after you didn't :o

J said...

Injuries can be the worst! and I have trouble resting when I need to! swimming really is a great way to workout and not run!

Beth said...

It is truly amazing what a little icing and stretching can do to help with an injury. Glad you are getting over yours and that you are taking good care of yourself.

Heather C said...

"understanding your body better" - definitely key!! I liked that! :)
Love that you threw in healthy eating as part of the prevention/treatment too, it is often left out of that equation. sounds like you know whats good for you!!!

Sarah said...

Yep...injuries just stink. I have changed things up a bit after a few injuries and been lucky so far. I walk for at least 5 min before and after each run and stretch after every run. I usually don't run consecutive days...instead I have been biking on my days off from running. I also take a rest day the day after my long run.

Vickie said...

The longer you run, the more you likely learn that rarely does a runner/athlete go their whole career without any injuries. But figuring out what causes them is just as important as preventing them. It sounds like you are getting clued in to what works or doesn't for you.