Run like a gIrl Australia

How to return to running from injury

How to return to running from injury

by Danielle Bryan, Head Coach

Some version of this write up exists in many places on the web, I’m sure.  Although as a coach, I feel the need to make this known to as many people in our community as possible.

One of the biggest mistakes runners make when returning from injury is going out for the first run without any real plan.  The approach is usually “let’s go out and see what I can do” with the “go as long as possible” plan. Even the strongest runners make this mistake.

However, it’s important to understand that whilst you may have been through an evidence-based rehabilitation protocol under the supervision and are of a qualified practitioner, you’ve still lost conditioning.  So even running for a minute could be detrimental to further injury prevention.

As a runner, highly experienced running coach, and strength and conditioning coach, I ALWAYS urge a recovered runner to invest in a S&C coach to start the conditioning process before the return to running. This is the best approach to further prevention, but also improving efficiency, technique and performance. This service is not always accessible to everyone, so here’s 5 things you can do at home or the gym.

Conditioning exercises:

  1. Double leg ankle hops for time
  2. Broad jumps
  3. Single leg bounds forwards and backwards
  4. Squat jumps
  5. A & B skips
  6. Triple extension knee drives

The way forward is to build on the execution of these skills through specific strength work.  Once competent with these skills, then you can consider a reintroduction to running.

The first approach to running should be to begin with a run/walk program.  A program should never be constantly building but rather ascending, plateauing and/or deloading and then building again.  This is also applicable to all run programs.

The nature of your injury is completely unique as is everyone’s and there is no “one size fits all” method to success.  Hence why the guidance of a qualified coach or physiotherapist (or both!) is pivotal in preventing major setbacks from overloading too quickly.  I’m always open to chat in more depth about this topic.  You know how to find me! :D

So here’s a good luck to you and may your path forward be full of progress. 

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