Mini-series: Strength for Runners 4

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I’m Injured … Now What?

In the final post of this mini series; let’s talk about what to do about injuries when they happen. If you’re injured now what do you do???

Did you know that rest isn’t always the best (or only) answer to an injury?

If you’ve ever been injured but avoided seeing a healthcare professional because you were afraid they’d tell you to stop running –  read on!

Of course, rest has a place in the management of acute injuries and stress fractures.

However, if you have a chronic issue or one that seems to bounce around from place to place or never fully resolves no matter how much you rest or how carefully you return to running, it might be time to rethink your strategy.

Complete rest can just exacerbate weakness and imbalances as a result of further deconditioning of the structures and their support systems you were attempting to heal by resting.

Careful, specific loading of the tissues can help with repair, as long as the loads are appropriate.

So, the next time you are dealing with injury, especially a chronic issue, don’t rely on the same old strategies that haven’t gotten you anywhere in the long run. Instead of being reactive to injuries and waiting until they appear to throw everything at them but the kitchen sink, why not develop some proactive strategies?

Improve Your Movement Quality:

Proactively addressing the quality of your movement can improve your race times and prevent you from having to take more time off from running down the road. If you move better, you’ll feel better, if you feel better, and you’ll run better. Make a plan to incorporate a running-specific mobility practice, targeted stability work and effective strength training – the kind that doesn’t crush you for the sake of crushing you.  Why?

  • Mobility ensures you have the proper range of motion for running without compensating in ways that can lead to increased injury risk.
  • Stability ensures you have control over the quality of your movement and better distribute the loads and stresses on your body that occur while running.
  • Strength promotes durability of the structures like bones, tendons, muscles and ligaments.

If you’re not sure where to start or what you need, consider a functional movement and running mechanics assessment with Run Empowered .

Evaluate Your Training:

Strength training done right in Kansas City at EmpoweredPT

Ensure that your training volume and intensity (meaning your mileage and paces) are appropriate for your current level of fitness. Also carefully evaluate how often and how hard you are racing, and consider taking a more nuanced or seasonal approach to your training cycles. Treat some races as fun, super laid-back training runs with friends to avoid over-stressing your body.


Address Your Recovery:

Address your recovery day to day, week to week, and year to year. Try to make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Listen to your body. Don’t be so rigid with your training plan that you do more harm than good. Eat enough, ALWAYS. Underfueling is the flip side of the same coin as overtraining. Hydrate, meditate, decompress – whatever it takes, just stop putting recovery on the back burner. (We know this is hard! We are working on it, too.)

Invest In YOU:

Establish your dream team, which can include your running coach, your TRWS FIT GURUS, a performance based physical therapist (who actually knows how to help runners), a running-specific strength coach, a massage therapist, a nutritionist, etc. Shifting your priorities to invest in the quality of your running and your overall wellness might just be the key that unlocks the doors to better race day performances and PRs.

Above all, remember that this is supposed to be fun! Your running and training should be a source of joy, inspiration, connection, and a way to engage more fully and deeply in your life. If it has become a burden physically, mentally or emotionally, re-evaluate your relationship with it and your needs and know that there are professionals out there who want to help you get back to doing what you love!

About the author: Coach Kaitlin

As part of the team of movement experts at Empowered Physical Therapy, Coach Kaitlin Way is dedicated to helping people get and stay active doing what they love.  Kaitlin believes that improving the quality of our movement, the strength and resilience of our bodies are the keys to moving better, feeling better, and running better!  She has compiled her knowledge as a licensed Physical Therapist Assistant with her experience as a long-time runner and former competitive powerlifter to develop Run Empowered, a well-rounded, running-specific strength program designed to help runners “find their strong” and accomplish their goals. As a mom of two little boys, she is convinced that keeping up with her kids is the ultimate ultramarathon.




About TRWS

The Running Well Store is the premier running specialty store in Kansas City/Lee’s Summit, Missouri and Mission, Kansas! We are a locally owned business that has been in operation since 2006. You can shop in store or online. Our tagline is THE PLACE FOR EVERY PACE as we want all walkers, runners, newbies, veterans, and people who work on their feet all day to feel welcome. We know that there are a lot of options for footwear on the market and deciding what model is the right one for your needs is not easy. We are here for you! You can come into one of our three locations (Lee’s Summit, Northland, and Mission, KS) for a free stride analysis. No appointment necessary, but if you would like to schedule an appointment, click here. We take in-person and virtual fittings. Want to do research online? We have a find my fit tool that will help narrow down footwear options. We hope to hear from you soon!