6 Running Experts on How to Overcome an Injury

Overcoming Injury Tip No.4: Cross Train Through Injury
Matt Fitzgerald

"Research has shown that the human brain uses exactly the same motor pattern to run or walk briskly on steep uphill gradients. In other words, when you crank the treadmill incline up to 12-15 percent, running becomes walking and walking becomes running. 

Therefore, walking on a steep incline is a highly specific way to maintain running fitness when you're injured. But impact forces are reduced drastically compared to running, so steep uphill walking is possible with most common running injuries.

"Many runners don't think of walking as a good alternative to running when injured because they assume they cannot match their normal intensity. Trust me: You can. Set the incline at 12 to 15 percent, increase the belt speed to 4 mph or so, check your heart rate and you'll see!"

More: Overcoming Injury Tips From Matt Fitzgerald

Overcoming Injury Tip No.5: Stay Positive
Mackenzie Lobby

"Not being able to run a goal race as fast as you had hoped—or at all—can be disappointing, even devastating.  It's this sense of injustice that triggers anger. 

"A positive outlook—as hard as that may be to summon—may be your greatest weapon. Research reports that athletes who use positive self-talk and set goals for their rehab experience 'exceptional recovery.' So be angry for a few days, then look forward. Set rehab goals so you can celebrate small successes. If your therapy program includes planks, aim to hold the position for 15, then 30, then 60 seconds. When you reach each goal, recognize the achievement."

More: Overcoming Injury Tips From Mackenzie Lobby

Overcoming Injury Tip No.6: Learn Your Running Body
Becca Bishop

"If you are a mono-sport athlete, it's likely you're only familiar with the muscles used to train everyday. During recovery, try pilates, yoga, dance, Tai Chi and other low impact workouts help strengthen your body from head to toe while teaching new and fun ways to build strength, agility, breathing and balance. Once back in the saddle, you'll be more in tune with your body.

"You must never ignore pain. When you develop a sore spot, reduce your running just enough to make the pain go away and then begin increasing your mileage cautiously.

"Sometimes it's necessary to stop running completely for a few days, but that is more than worth it when you consider that the possible consequences of ignoring the pain and continuing to run might be many weeks off with a far more serious injury later."

More: Overcoming Injury Tips from Becca Bishop

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