You might feel like you’re falling apart, but these tips will help you take charge of your recovery

Recovering from an injury isn’t fun for anyone, but when your life revolves around running it’s extra difficult. Staying still, keeping your feet up and avoiding the temptation to exercise isn’t fun, but it’s for the best. Whatever injury you’re struggling with, we’ve got some tips to help keep your recovery on track. Whether that’s activities to take your mind off things, nutritional tips to help you heal from the inside out, or gentle exercises to help recovering muscles get back up to speed, we’ve got you covered.

Distract Yourself With the Pursuits of Others

Sometimes taking your mind off the urge to run is impossible, and in those moments you might as well embrace it. Give yourself an hour to swat up on who’s running really well in the big leagues at the moment. Take yourself off to watch a race and cheer people on. If you want to, you could put your research to use and place a bet on the talent you identified. You can often find free bets, so you don’t have to part with your own money if you don’t want to. Actively trying not to think about running will very often just make you think about it more. Think about it like thinking about eating healthily, if you spend your time obsessing over how much you want that slice of cake, your willpower will be worn down and you’ll feel rubbish and will probably buckle to the urge to have a slice (or two). The same applies to obsessing over running. Allow yourself to give in to the temptation just slightly by watching other people in the action, rather than giving in completely and setting your injury recovery time back in the process.

Eating Yourself Better

Everybody knows that extreme diets do us absolutely no good, very few people need to diet in a way that is truly miserable, we should instead be focusing on eating lots of nutritious whole foods and veggies. One of the best ways to get into the habit of choosing the right foods is to think about how they will nourish your body. When you’re recovering from an injury, you need to be extra careful to get plenty of protein, as well as all the macronutrients that you need. It’s worth remembering also, that your macronutrient requirements are going to change, as you’ll be doing less exercise. Whereas before you’ll likely have needed more calories and more carbs, now you may need to cut back just a little. There are lots of foods that dieticians swear by for recovery, with protein-rich foods always being number one on the list. However, almost as important as good quality protein are the minerals you’re taking in. Calcium is incredibly important for any broken bones, whilst omega 3 fatty acids will actively help to reduce inflammation. You can find fatty acids in oily fish and calcium in dairy products, as well as fortified vegan alternatives. If you want to maximize mineral absorption then eat an orange, or other citrus fruit after, to enable your body to process them more easily.

Gentle Exercise is OK

Get back on the treadmill, but do it slowly

Depending on the severity of your injury and the stage you are at in your recovery, it might be time to start incorporating some light exercise back into your routine. This is the part where many people get it all wrong and start to do too much too soon. Whilst it can be tempting to hop back on the treadmill and get right to your 8-minute miles, you need to resist that urge. If you’re up to it, then walking on an incline and then on a decline will help to work muscles in the front and back of your legs, but it will do it gently. These muscles will gain strength and help you to keep your balance and posture as your exercise plan progresses into the more difficult exercises. Taking slow steps like these acts as a brilliant precautionary measure as you move forward into fitness once more.