How to Continuing Training and Remain Motivated With an Injury
By: Linnea Rudachyk (2005/10/30)
Injuries, they happen to everyone at least once in an athletic career. Unfortunately, they may happen more than once for some. I would fit under the 'happening more than once' category. In this diary entry I hope to give advice to those who may be feeling discouraged due to an injury. I will give you some helpful hints that will get you back out there more motivated then ever.
This is my second more serious injury, which has forced me to seek alternative training. I would like to begin with saying that it is important to learn from past injuries, it is also important to learn from others that have had injuries. My first injury as I stated above was much more serious than the one I have now. I tore ligaments in my right ankle two years ago during US Nationals. Since it was my first serious injury I did not know how to work with an injury. I was working against my injury and as a result my ankle did not heal as quickly as it should have. I promised myself that if I ever got injured again that I would listen to my body. So now, unfortunately I have sprained my foot, but I am grateful that I now know what to do. I have compiled a list of things that I have found useful when faced with an injury.
1. Listen to your injury:
As athletes we are always taught to push through the pain. When my athletic therapist told me to stop training when my injury hurt I thought to myself, "Well yeah, that shouldn't be hard." I was wrong it really was very difficult. Your brain just naturally wants you to push through the pain, but your body is screaming stop. So my advice is if you feel your injury and if it continues to nag away at you throughout a workout you should switch to something that doesn't irritate your injury.
2. Communicate with your coach:
It is really important to tell your coach what type of injury you have and what you can and can't do as far as training. They need to know so that they can help design a training plan that will best suit you and the condition you are in.
3. Communicate with your therapist:
As it is important to communicate with your coach it is also equally important to communicate with your therapists. Tell them what kind of workouts you did and if and when your injury started to hurt or swell. (Sometimes it is difficult to remember so I wrote all of these details down after a workout in my training log.) This advice will help them design stretches and further treatment to target the problem area.
4. Find new ways to train/ adjust your training plan:
With help from your coach and your therapists you can design a temporary training plan that will allow you to stay as fit as you can in the condition you are in. For example, I cannot run right now so I am doing a lot of double pole workouts and elliptical workouts to stay fit. Also remember when you are able to do more as you heal, take baby steps. Just because you are feeling really good doesn't mean you should jump right back into a normal training routine. Add more difficult workouts in slowly.
5. Keep a routine:
It is really important that you keep the same routine. Meaning if you are used to getting up at 7am for your workouts, you should try to get up at that time even if you are not doing a workout that day because of your injury. This will only make it easier for you when you start training with your team again. Keep your good habits!
6. Get lots of rest:
When you have an injury it is very possible that you won't be training as much as you were before. It is still important to get the same amount of sleep that you were getting before. Resting will only help make for a speedy recovery.
7. Be patient:
Injuries take along time to heal properly. Be patient and keep focused it will only benefit you in the end. It is much better to let your injury heal now than have a reoccurring injury for the rest of the season or the rest of your life!
8. Stay Positive:
If you have a good mindset you will heal more quickly. Realize that injuries happen, but also realize that recovery is just around the corner.
Think long-term not short-term and you will be out on the trails in no time!