It is so hard to keep perspective when coming back from an injury. You are so hungry to be back, that it is often hard to “hold back” a bit and allow your body to catch back up to where you want to be. It’s better to take 2-3 extra weeks to build up gradually and ease yourself back into training rather than hurry back, only to lose another 4-6 weeks and get another injury from over doing it, it’s just not worth it. Getting back from injury takes patience.


We know it can be tough if an injury does happen, but being a better runner is being able to train smarter, and understand when not to run, just as much as when to run. Discipline goes a long way in making us all mentally and physically better runners.

As new runners, the chanced of becoming inured are sadly higher, as your bones and muscles are not yet used to the impact running has on your body This is why following a progressive, gradual programme, like Couch to 5k, is so important, as it will make you able to not only run, but do so in a way that builds your strength up and therefore makes it sustainable.

When it comes to treating injuries, there is differing advice out there but some general principles to follow :


-- Having periods of complete rest is needed when your injury  makes running impossible, such as obtaining a stress fracture. In all other cases, it is best advised to continue running, but only to the point at which  you start to experience discomfort, in other words, only run to the point in which your potential injury becomes painful.

--If you want to continue to build your endurance fitness base up without the high impact of running in the meantime, then other low impact sports are recommended to pursue, such as swimming, walking (or hiking) and cycling. These activities can help build your aerobic (endurance) strength and can provide the daily physical stimulus to which runners are accustomed to without affecting the healing of an injury.


--It is important to start recognising the reasons why you may become injured and start tackling the core of the problem. For every runner, this may mean something different to them, so take into consideration any health-related factors that you may know affect your running, whether or not your footwear is right for you or worn out, if you are dealing with a lot of personal or physical stress outside of running, or whether you are running too fast (as mentioned, at this stage of your running journey, you're simply looking to establish a running routine, not go at any speed)


--the RICE principle-  As soon as possible after a sprain or strain-type injury,  you can relieve pain and swelling and promote healing and flexibility with RICE—Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. These are explained as follows:


·         Rest – stop any exercise or activities and try not to put any weight on the injury.

·         Ice – apply an ice pack (or a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a tea towel) to the injury for up to 20 minutes every 2 to 3 hours.

·         Compression – wrap a bandage around the injury to support it.

·         Elevate – keep it raised on a pillow as much as possible.

--As always, listen to your body and don’t be tempted to go back into running too soon. Especially if there’s outside pressure to do so. It may be tempting for example to run the local parkrun and test how you are feeling against your friends, but it is important to know we are all approaching running at different levels, and racing or pushing yourself against others will not help the recovery process.  If you have developed a serious injury that makes running impossible, it is important to seek professional advice for this


So return to your training gradually and gently to allow your body time to get stronger and fitter again.


 Cameron Harris- Head Coach