Owain is a top distance runner based in Edinburgh. Having run his first marathon in just under 5 hours, last year he completed Stirling marathon in 2hrs 52 as well as winning Running the Blades, a 50k ultra race. Top effort! At the end of this month he's targeting the John Muir Way Ultra!
You can follow Owain's running activities at his blog site and instagram here:
Or join Owain's group 'Foxy Trail Runners' to get onto the trails this summer!
When you are running well you think you are unstoppable but now and again something happens, it might be outwith your control or it could be because your invincibility cloak has fallen off but unfortunately, injuries happen.
Back in September I had the worst injury of my running career so far, a sprained toe. Now, I know it doesn't sound bad but I couldn't walk, let alone run, for over 4 weeks. When I eventually managed to run, I still wasn't 100% and it took me till January before I could get a good mileage back into my legs without feeling any pain while running.
So what did I do during this period of injury?
Find an alternative.
I dusted off my bicycle and started cycling to and from work. It wasn't the same as running but it at least got me to work with zero pain.
Managing the pain is important, if it's sore just walking, then try and find something else to do if possible. If it's painful then the body is probably not repairing itself, or at the very least you are slowing down the recovery.
Speak to an expert.
Although I was cycling and had zero pain, I still wanted to speak to someone about it so I booked myself in to a physio that was recommended to me. To be honest, I should have gone probably 3-4 weeks sooner than I did. I thought I had just sprained my toe but when I was examined the physio suspected I may have actually fractured it! No wonder it couldn't walk on it!
In future, I will be seeking out the advice of an expert much sooner!
Enjoy the downtime. You've probably been pushing your body to its max, hence the reason you are injured, and so take the time to enjoy other things in life; going to the cinema, meeting up with friends, doing things you wouldn't normally do because you're training. Saying that, don't relax too much! Watch what you eat because without the running, you aren't burning as many calories as you normally would.
Easy does it.
When you have the all clear to get back running, come back slowly. You've maybe had a month or more away from the trainers, you can't expect to just pull them back on and hit the miles as hard as you did. Gradually increase the mileage and the intensity, you don't want to end up injured again!