I Am Injured! How Do I Continue to Train?
Training while injured
As I write this HUB, I am suffering through a strained left hamstring injury. Despite my advice HUBS, personal experience and running studies, I still got injured and so will you at some point.
As you read through the running sites you will come upon the RICE theory...REST, ICE, COMPRESSION, ELEVATE...to support the healing process of your injury. This is great advice and should be followed; however, if you are anything like me, REST creates a runner's anxiety! You get antsy, feel like you are getting out of shape, believe you will become slower, upset that you aerobic level is being diminished, and on and on and on.
RESTING does not have to mean complete inactivity. It means to REST the injured body part, not the whole body.
For most of my leg maladies, I find one piece of equipment that enables me to keep working working out. The ELLIPTICAL trainer! Even with my current hamstring injury, I just put on a compression wrap and hit the elliptical. I get a great workout, including arms. On the elliptical machine you avoid over extension of the leg and leg impact on the ground. I have also used this equipment for injured calf muscles. The elliptical machine does work the quadriceps muscles pretty hard, so if this is your malady, wrap up and go easy. Let the good leg and the arms run the machine.
Of course if you have access to a pool, wear a compression wrap, and jog the lengths of the pool. Also attempt using a kick board. The pool burns a ton of calories.
If the elliptical machine and pool do not work for you, try a stationery or road bicycle. For me, I find the bike not as effective as the latter solutions. But go ahead and try it for yourself. Wear the compression wrap.
One last suggestion, which should be part of your running regimen anyway, keep up your resistance (weight) training. Back off the leg exercises, but work on you core muscles...maybe even harder than you used to. Weight training builds strength, burns calories and improves your overall stature.
With a REST - KEEP WORKING OUT balance, your injury will heal, you will minimize fitness loss and your mind will be put at ease.