Being injured is hard. There is no way around it. It tests your patience, your motivation, your mind, your dedication and even your sanity. Injuries usually comes with a whole lot of cross training. Even if you enjoy cross training, not being able to run at all tests this joy. What can you do to ensure you remain as motivated as possible when an injury arrives?
Establish a routine.
When not injured, training for most has a structure and routine to it. This gives you direction and ensure you go into every day and training session confident in what you are doing. Therefore, keep this structure when injured. Throughout my injury I have kept a very similar training programme to what I would follow if not injured. My session days have mostly stayed the same, I have easier days in between, and on a Sunday I do a cross training version of a ‘long run’. This helps keep me motivated as I don’t feel lost throughout the week and am clear on what I am doing each day.
Remember your why. (And remind yourself of it daily)
We all have a purpose to what we do exercise wise. Whether you run to stay fit or train to compete, every step you take has a purpose. When injured, this doesn’t change. Your why stays the same, you are just chasing after it in a different way. I find it helpful to keep this at the front of my mind at all times and remind myself of it every morning. Therefore no cross training session seems pointless. Whilst I might not be running, I am still training and working hard, and chasing my goals by doing so.
Something is always better than nothing.
Exercise is exercise. Fitness is fitness. No matter what activity you do, it will benefit you in many ways and also help your running in the future. Except at the early stages of your injury, and on regular rest days, I believe you will always benefit more from doing something as opposed to nothing. You will undoubtedly loose some running fitness, but though cross training you can keep your base fitness level pretty high. Therefore, on those days when you are really wondering why, remember that a trip to the gym will do you the world of good.
Just like with most forms of exercise, the time goes by a lot quicker when you have company for it. It doesn’t necessarily have to be someone else who is injured. Perhaps you have a running friend who also cross trains, or there is someone at the gym you have spotted who regularly uses the same piece of equipment as you. Whoever it is, get in touch and see if they’d like to join you. Chances are they would be very grateful for the company too.
Listen or watch.
Cross training can be incredibly boring. Therefore there is no need to make it even more torturous. I find it helpful to put on some cracking upbeat tunes, or find a captivating series to watch, as this definitely makes the time pass by a lot quicker.
Listen to yourself.
For me personally, if I am feeling unmotivated and sluggish, it is a sign. I am usually excited to go training and ready for it. Therefore, when my brain starts telling me it can’t be bothered or it really doesn’t want to go, I usually need to listen to it. This is because I am starting to feel tired and potentially run down. If I listen to my body when it says this, I know I will be able to tackle every other day motivated and feeling fresh.
If you are in the midst of injury, I hope this helps keep you going, because you have GOT THIS. Don’t give up.
I love to run and I love to write, so I write about running!