Saturday, July 10, 2010

Top 10 Things To Do While You Are Injured and Cannot Run...

I caught a nasty case of Plantar Fascitis a couple months ago. It would go away without any rehab and then it would flare up again on the next run. 3 weeks ago I decided to really get on the rehab track and fix things up. So now, 3 weeks and a few days later I have not ran for more than a few hundred feet, I have tried every machine in the gym and discovered some fun things to do with the extra free time from not being on my usual running schedule. Here are the Top Ten Things To Do While You Are Injured and Cannot Run...

10. Practice putting the mental fortitude you've gained from running towards other parts of your life. The hardest part of rehabbing myself was committing to the rehabilitation process. I started to think of the healing process like I was training for a marathon and that is when I truly began to feel myself heal.

9. Catch up on all of the Running DVD's and BOOK's that you haven't had time for. Check out the UNDEFEATED RUNNING STORE for some great books and dvds.

8. Try out all of those weird machines at the gym that you've been ignoring for years because you only have eyes for the treadmill and free weights. I have found some legitimately good machines and put together some challenging workouts that have kept me feeling "not-to-off-the-mark" from my running conditioning. This machine has done wonders for healing my Plantar Fasciitis:

7. Take your running endurance to the bedroom! If you're a serious running your probably accustomed to popping a couple S-Caps (Salt Caps) during a good romp in the sack. Ok, I'm just kidding but sex after a 20 mile run is different than sex when your fully rested... My point is to enjoy the extra energy you might be experiencing and I'm sure you significant other(s) will enjoy it as well!!

6. Walk... In life you walk before you run. How are you going to run a few miles if can't walk a few miles!?

5. Go out! Have one too many drinks with your friends. Stay out a little too late. Eat that cake! Indulging a little can go a long way for your running drive. It's also easier to indulge when you don't have to wake up to a 10 mile hilly tempo run. Just be sure you can curtail your indulgences once you're all healed up or your body/stomach will remind you why you used to demonstrate such good will power. Either way, the last few miles of those long runs might seem a little easier if you can reflect on some of the naughty fun you had while you were "rehabbing" your injury.

4. Start a running blog!

3. Spend some time focusing on your diet. Learn to incorporate some new eating habits, recipes or food into your life. No doubt, when you got injured and realized you couldn't run you worried about your fitness level and your diet. You're thinking, "Damn, I can't get away with that brownie or extra helping Mom's pasta." Being a runner and one that eats pretty healthy food, I usually don't watch my calorie intake. Being injured has got me rethinking that approach and realizing that I might be able to improve my racing times if I can control my diet a little better. I have a little more time for cooking now and I have a learned to whip up a couple healthy meals that I can make extra of and stick 'em in the fridge to eat throughout the week. I think I have actually lost some weight being injured!

2. Strength Train. I think every runner is guilty of not doing enough strength training even though it's beneficial to running and your overall health. The key to strength training though is maintaining a low calorie intake so you don't put on bulky muscles. In turn, your muscles will burn more fat and keep you leaner.

1. Get on the Bike (or Spin Bike)... and flex your endurance prowess to those wannabe endurance athlete bikers! (you know who you are!) I was pretty shocked at how high my biking endurance is simply from running. It does take a little for your body to get used to sitting on the bike for a long period of time and a slight leg strength adjustment but overall biking will seem easier than running... and a little ego boost to an injured sole! always helps!