It sucks getting injured. But you have to deal with it constructively, quickly and correctly. How you deal with injuries will not only affect you now but the fall out of poorly managed injuries can last a lifetime.
How to deal with an injury CONSTRUCTIVELY
- Everyone gets depressed when they get injured. If you have an understanding that this occurs you can prepare an action plan to do everything in your power to heal quickly. Part of the reason people get down when they injured is they do not know what to do or how to get better so normal training may resume. Hopefully there is some info here that might help you.
- Be in charge of your injury and your therapy. Understand that you hold the power to choose activities, which will facilitate your ability to heal. If your diet is already nutritionally sound then ask yourself if you can use this time to improve on other self-therapies which accelerate recovery? ( see below for details)
How to deal with an injury QUICKLY
- Don’t waste time. Getting injured will make your training more difficult. You run the risk of falling behind and the stress of thinking your competitors are gaining on you can cause anxiety that is not constructive. Learn what you can about your injury and what you can do about getting better as quickly as possible.
- Always seek medical attention to eliminate worst case of the injury. I learned a saying that has been very useful. " Assume the worst ( and deal with it this way) but hope for the best. Advocate for yourself and PUSH to gain more information sooner than later. For example = Don’t wait a week or two before investigating the nature of your problem. There may be exceptions but you are the best person for the job of helping yourself. You want to ensure your injury is NOT serious. If it is you will need more medical attention and advice. If not there are many things you can do on your own to heal. (Massage, water therapy, rest, electric muscle stimulation, Active release therapy, acupuncture). Understand your options before acting on your plan.
How to deal with an injury CORRECTLY
- Surrounding yourself with expert therapist sounds easier than it is. A great deal of the effectiveness from a therapist comes from their experience and education but both are not necessarily connected. Ideally, you want access to people that have had a track record of results in the area treating injuries. The more you know about injuries the better you will be able to navigate the injury process. Use your search tools online but cross-reference your information to find consistencies and ask questions as it's your window to learn. Be motivated to help yourself and get the best care available.
- You will never go wrong helping yourself heal. Don’t discount the power of repeating many small things that add up to getting your body to the place where it will regenerate. I am not speaking about magic. I am talking about facilitating your body’s ability to heal with common, older school things. Examples are Epson baths, eating well, hydrating, ice, heart rate monitoring. The prescription here is simple, easy to do, repeatable acts to do at home without too much effort or travel. Rest is one of the most overlooked aspects of both training and injury prevention.
Your understanding of how to properly manage your injury constructively, quickly and correctly aids in the prevention of future injuries. The more you know and understand the better you will judge when it’s time to stop training sessions, how much time you devout to preventive therapy and actions you can take every day like drinking enough water and getting quality sleep to heal and cleanse yourself.
The following excerpt has been taken from " The Charlie Francis Training System". Page 37.
“ The massive amount of time needed to rehabilitate an athlete from injury can often be avoided by thinking ahead and minimizing one’s errors.
Since the hamstrings operate at the highest velocity (88 kilometers per hour) of any muscle group in the body they are most sensitive to injury if high intensity training is attempted with poor technique or during conditions of incomplete regeneration or over training”.
Regenerative Training Workout
At the heart of regenerative training for my track career was TEMPO.
What the effect of tempo runs has for someone is summarized here =
“ Tempo runs ( aerobic/endurance work) aid and facilitate recovery while minimizing the chance of injury. Extensive tempo runs ( at 60 to 80 percent of maximum) not only improve recovery but over time enhance the capillarization of the muscle, leading to an increased heating of the motor neurons in the muscle. This heating lowers the electrical resistance in the neural pathways within the muscle, thus improving the muscle’s contraction speed”. Page 38 The Charlie Francis Training System “.
An excellent example of Tempo workout, regenerative training session would be the Big Circuit.
The Big Circuit
You can adapt tempo for the pool. See Project Jane for how you might integrate a pool workout into your regenerative training.
You can adapt tempo for the bike. See The Bike workout for another example of how using tempo can be used on an exercise bike.
A general guideline to this type of work is further explained in the literature mentioned above. A rule of thumb to follow is you want to be able to run the very last rep of any of these circuits at the same speed, with the same quality as the first one. IF you are timing them it's ideal but it's not always easy to time.
If you have any questions let me know.