I’ve always said I don’t want to stop running because I never wanted to start again. The last time I had to start from scratch was after the birth of Jack, now aged 7 and I’ve kept running every since.
Of course I’ve waxed and waned on my mileage and frequency, but haven’t had to actually stop until I was sidelined with a nagging knee thing. I say “thing” because while I had an idea of what the problem was, but had not been diagnosed.
Of course, I tried to run through this nagging knee thing for about a month but, SURPRISE, it kept nagging. Duh.
I switched to the elliptical for a week to see if this nagging knee thing would get better by not running. Not so much but I was able to catch up on some reading. Luckily for me, one of the things I was able to read was a few months’ old Runner’s World and read an article about how one could stay healthy as a runner.
Listen, I don’t get this very often, but I had my “ah-ha” moment when I read the article. I’m paraphrasing here, but there are times you just need to stop running to heal what ails you and that you won’t lose any significant fitness in 1, 2 or even 3 weeks. Think about a taper during marathon training; it’s a time for your body to rest and get ready for the race. That day on the elliptical I decided to take a full 2 weeks off from running.
I know. 2 weeks. Yikes! In truth those weeks were not fun and as everyone who’s been sidelined from their sport of choice knows, you can get kind of cranky. Luckily I was able to get my fitness fix with teaching boot camp classes and I modified exercises so I could do something without aggravating that nagging knee thing. I even took to wearing a knee support, which I call my Spanx.
After 3 weeks I decided to get going again and I can honestly say that taking that time off was the smartest thing I did. 3 weeks? Oh yeah, after 2 weeks I was still twinging every now and then so figured an extra week would be a good idea. I’m back to running 3 or 4 days a week and so far so good.
I know that there are a lot of you that get sidelined with injuries (or a nagging something) so here’s some tips to get you back on your feet!
- Soreness can be expected but if you have a sudden or sharp pain or a pain that doesn’t go away, don’t be a dummy like me. Get yourself checked out quickly so you can start rehabbing.
- Take some rest time. This is not the kiss of death and I promise, if you were active before you will not become a full-blown couch potato.
- Cross train. I’m going to hit the gym a few days a week for some cross training on the elliptical machines, laps in the pool or on the bikes. Rest the running muscles, so to speak.
Stay strong, stay positive, fix what’s wrong and I’ll see you out there soon!
Now go run!