How do you psychologically recover from injury?

Discussion in 'Health, Nutrition, Injuries & Medical Conditions' started by George Carter, Apr 14, 2013.

  1. George Carter

    George Carter Barefooters
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    Hi guys.

    I'm registered for my first marathon in September and I'm into week 10 of a 32 week marathon training schedule (4mi/3mi/3mi/9mi) with my long runs increasing about a 2 miles every 3 weeks.

    A combination of running too fast recently and some foolhardy speedwork down steps has landed me with the classic symptoms of Peroneal Tendonitis (my physio will likely confirm this today).

    Mentally, this is a real blow - I'm obviously going to have to take some time off but I'm really worried about the catch-up.

    Any experiences/advice? :nailbiting:
     
  2. DNEchris

    DNEchris Barefooters
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    How much were you running before this?

    I'd say take it easy for a while, reduce your speed expectations and you'll be fine. You've still got 5 months!
     
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  3. George Carter

    George Carter Barefooters
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    After my first Half Marathon last September I reduced to 2 x 5k runs a week until around 2 months ago. Where I live in Sydney there are quite a few unavoidable sharp downhills and steps - which I can easily avoid until I start getting to these longer distances.

    As you say, 5 months seems like a long time, but for a marathon it feels like every week counts - I've never run more than 13 miles so it's unchartered territory for me, especially because I don't wear minimals or anything.

    When I do recover from the PT (let's say for example 2 weeks), should I adjust the distance of my remaining long runs to still reach the maximum in my schedule (23 mi, 2 weeks before the race) or should I shift the existing distances back 2 weeks and just miss the longer ones at the end and hope I have the endurance for the race?

    I guess I'm trying to console myself with a concrete plan for recovery to allow myself to accept the time off (hence, the title of the post)...
     
  4. DNEchris

    DNEchris Barefooters
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    If you've already done a half barefoot I'm sure you'll be able to do the full even with a couple of weeks laid up.
    I've never been one to follow a schedule to get to a distance but tend to run until it's not fun. I ran my first half, shod, in August 2009 and managed to run a barefoot 29 miles 13 months later having gone through the full transition/adaptation period during that year. It was not an event, but just a run, so there was no pressure but it did give me an idea of what was possible.
    Worry not and adapt any scheme you find to meet your reality.
     
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  5. George Carter

    George Carter Barefooters
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    Thanks DNEchris - I like your outlook. Perhaps I need to concentrate more on the enjoyment of running rather than chasing the goal too...

    I just got back from a sports physio and she agreed there was some irritation to the peroneus brevis/longus but luckily there seems to be no long term damage. Some ultrasound, TENS and (painful) massage has really helped. More stretching and watch my speed and technique when I'm getting tired. All good points.

    But most importantly I can't forget to enjoy it. Thanks for the encouragement. :)
     
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  6. Bare Lee

    Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
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    I agree with Chris's approach. My mantra these days is to let the distance come to you. By that I mean don't have any goals, just keep plugging away. When a certain distance becomes fairly comfortable, try bumping it up a kilometer or two, repeat. Some folks make remarkable progress, like Chris, some folks take longer, like me, but if you're consistent and careful, progress is inevitable. It will come to you. My current rate of progress is adding about a mile / 1-2 kilometers a month to my weekly long run. It could speed up or slow down, who knows? Instead of a line pointing up at a 45% angle, indicating steady progress, I think of steps, with each step or plateau equal more or less to 3-4 weeks' time. For some it might just be a week, for others several months.

    One trick I've been doing the last two long runs is to speed up on the last mile, as I start to fatigue. I figure if I can do that, I'm still running within my limits and not pushing things too much. If I start to fatigue and can't pick up the pace, I then walk the rest of the way home. I figure I've reached my limits and any gains I may make in further conditioning my physiological system may be offset by over-stressing my skeletal-muscular system (bones/muscles/tendons/ligaments). Injury prevention is my top priority, and I've learned that bad things happen when I run fatigued. My body is telling me to stop, and now I listen.
     
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  7. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    That's a damn good question. Carry on...
     
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  8. George Carter

    George Carter Barefooters
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    Yay, I'm on the mend!

    I ran a very slow 6 mile on Sunday which hurt a little, but today I managed a pace 4 mile with absolutely no pain!

    I instinctively favoured the forefoot more to avoid jarring the peroneal tendon so the calves took a little extra punishment. They didn't seem to mind though.

    Most importantly, it's just such a relief to be able to get back out there - regardless of any goals or schedules. Even if it's incremental, any improvement is a psychological shot in the arm.

    But that's also partly the danger for me - I'm so determined to run that I can ignore when my body says to hold back a bit. Gotta watch that...
     
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  9. happysongbird

    happysongbird Chapter Presidents
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    A little over 2 years ago, I severely pulled my popliteal tendon right before my first sprint triathlon. It was so bad I couldn't walk without pain. On the days that I took a hot bath and massaged it, it was significantly easier to use the next day. I took about 6 weeks off. Now, I can just feel it every once in a while when I've increased my effort in pace or distance. Again, the heat and massage seem to really make a difference and I have been able to continue with running. I might add, though, that I only run 3 times a week, because for me, I need to rest the running apparatus in between. I do bike and swim on non-running exercise days. I'm training for my first 1/2 marathon on May 18th and I've only been up to the distance for a couple of weeks. Everyone around here telling me to relax and enjoy running has helped me to enjoy the training more and not be so stressed out about the "race." I'm thinking I might even have fun...
     
  10. Barefoot Dama

    Barefoot Dama Barefooters
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    You'll have fun no doubt about it and what's going to happen is that you're going to get sooo addicted to running even more so if you do better than you thought. You'll see.
     

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  11. Neil_D

    Neil_D Chapter Presidents
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    Hi George,
    Just make sure you don't fall into the trap of trying to make up for lost time. When you get an injury it's telling you that you've hit a temporary limit. I hit mine at 70km a week, I did a calf and had to go back to next to nothing. I back up to around 40km+ per week but I don't have the mental pressure of thinking about any races. It was while I was going to run a half marathon at Christmas that I was upping my km a few months earlier that I hurt my calf initially, then, I never gave it time to recover before pushing the training again ready for the run which then led to a more serious recurrence during the race. I'm trying to do more of the long slow training that is often mentioned but I find it psychologically hard as I like to run as fast as I can, artificially slowing down is not easy.
    Good luck.

    Neil
     
  12. NickW

    NickW Guest

    Me too Neil. Very hard to keep myself on this slow build up of distances.
     
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  13. NotSoDoomedRunner

    NotSoDoomedRunner Barefooters
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    + 1 million.

    I tore my paroneal tendon and it is hard. Start back slow and take it easy. If the only way you can do the marathon is to overdue it, then re-think things. I've been there and instead of resting, DNF'd a marathon end ended up in a boot cast for 3 months.

    Also, don't neglect ankle strengthening. If you run on uneven ground, that tendon is going to be at big risk. Just take it slow and come back stronger.
     

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  14. Neil_D

    Neil_D Chapter Presidents
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    The more I think about it the more running is like a big game of Snakes and Ladders, slow steady gains then swish down that slippery slope back to the beginning. It's all good fun.

    Neil
     
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