How do you cope with being injured?

It’s about this time in the Spring marathon season that injuries start cropping up. How do you manage it and what can you do to keep physically and mentally fit?

Injuries inevitably happen when you are training. However, research has shown that factors including: a sudden increase in volume without a gradual progression, the wrong shoes, and a lack of strength training can all increase your risk of injury.

All of these things tend to come to the fore in March, during the Spring season. You get so far. But then add volume too quickly and your calf muscles or ITB, foot or hip flexors begin to let loose their inner grumble and let you know about it.

For some, it can be managed, but for many runners it can result in hearing the words no runner ever wants to hear. Much less as you’re approaching your marathon race day – ‘Stop running.’

So, how can you stay physically and mentally fit, if injury strikes?

The advice from the coaches at Girls Run the World is Turbo and Bike Training (provided that your physio agrees). By this, we don’t mean just getting on your bike and doing a leisurely ride – as this is not transferable to running.

It needs to be targeted, so that it works you physiologically in the same way as running does, but without the pressure on your limbs that running involves.

On a turbo, (or you can try WattBike, or MyRide at your local gym) train at lactate threshold, so you’re working on your ability to hold speed over a long distance, in the same way you would for a marathon. You can also try programmes from virtual providers like TrainerRoad and Zwift.

For outdoor riding, think about doing longer rides of three hours to keep up your endurance. Alternatively, if these options aren’t possible, consider some spin classes.

There are other options like swimming or pool running with a weight belt. But in our experience, most female runners prefer to do something short and targeted. And that’s exactly what turbo training provides – along with the sweat to keep your endorphins high.

For help in recovering from a range of injuries, from ITBS to calf tears and more, check out our online recovery and return to training series from Dawn Buoy.