Since my accident last month I’ve received many lovely messages of general love and caring. Thank you to everybody! Even a quick text asking, “how are you doing?” really helped my emotional state.
My cast is finally off after thirty days of sweaty torture. Fellow runner friends immediately started asking, “When can you start working out again?”
Hello? Do you know me? I never stopped working out even with the cast on!
So often when an athlete I train sees a specialist for an injury, they’ll return with a verdict of whether they can keep running or need to stop in order to heal. Then their idea of being injured is chilling on the couch and watching the best that Netflix has to offer.
After you’ve got an diagnosis and timeline from a specialist the first question you should ask is, What can I do in place of running?
It doesn’t matter whether you have a running-related injury or a broken arm like I had, you can still be active while you’re healing. If you keep up your conditioning and fitness not only will it help you psychologically (because take running away from a runner and watch them go bonkers!), but when you’re ready to lace up your shoes again you’ll be able to step right back into your running schedule.
When my surgeon discharged me after my operation I asked him what I could do. He gave me a long hard stare, rolled his eyes and then told me to keep training as if I was still going to race. I had to take into account the amount of energy I had (very little) and the fact that I had to lug a cast around.
The next day I bought a turbo trainer for my bike. I set it up with my heart rate monitor so that I wasn’t just effortlessly spinning. I did lots of running circuits with lunges, steps and squats. Running with the cast was not that hard and I could cruise at a decent pace. I tried swimming twice by wrapping the cast in plastic and using a kickboard but it wasn’t a pleasant experience. So I opted for dry land stroke exercises for my shoulders and arms.
When the cast finally came off (sweet and sweat relief!) I got in the water and swam 2000 metres the next day.