When you are a runner being injured sucks.
After being on a massive high following my recent half marathon I have injured my ankle….
I tried to carry on with my regular running but it hurts when I run so no running for me until my wonderful physio says so! (Thanks Pippa!)
Running is really important to me – it is my happy pill that I take most days and gives me such a lift. Needing to be mindful of my history of depression I decided to turn it around.
The things that go through your head when injured:
- I will NEVER be able to run again.
- I will lose all my running fitness.
- Everyone is out there running, apart from me.
None of the above are true
Most people get injured at some point during their running lifetime. Some more than others. I have met only a handful of people who never get injured and they are rare wonderful beasts!
So if you are thinking that you will never be able to run again – you will. I don’t know how long it will be, each injury is different BUT with the right rehab and training you may just come back fitter, stronger and better.
Will you lose all your running fitness? Only if you lie on the sofa feeling sorry for yourself until you get better.
Is everyone out there running apart from you? Nope! Right now as you are reading this there are lots of people in exactly the same place as you. Me for one! You just notice people running much more when you are unable to.
Let’s turn this around
I spent a good long time on YouTube looking for other exercise to do with the following criteria:
- It can’t involve lots of leaping around.
- It needs to contribute to building a strong and flexible running body.
- It needs to be motivating and enjoyable.
I have tried the following videos and now include them in building a strong running body.
Injured Runner – Flexibility
I love to do yoga – I have tried to do many different styles of yoga and keep coming back to Yin Yoga to help improve my range of motion and flexibility.
Lesley Fightmaster Yin Yoga for Deep Stretching
I stumbled upon the You Tube Channel of Lesley Fightmaster Yoga and have tried many of her classes.
When I need to work on my flexibility I always come back to this video – it is calming, meditative and deceptively tough to hold deep stretched over a period of time. It has done wonders for my hamstrings and hip flexors.
Millionaire Hoy Total Body Deep Stretch Yoga for Runners
Next up if you want a flexibility routine that is less ‘Zen’ in its approach you may LOVE Millionaire Hoy. His videos make me smile and this routine is great. He has the sort of tone to his videos that is likeable and down to earth.
Injured Runner – Strength Training
One of the BIGGEST benefits to getting injured is that you can spend lots of time working on your strength.
I definitely would not be as strong as I am if it wasn’t for getting injured. Doing lots of strength training has given me a lot more stamina in my day-to-day job which can be quite physical.
I have put various options in here for you to try – maybe mix them up and see what challenges you that you really enjoy.
First up I want to share some kettlebell videos with you – I love using kettlebells and have picked 3 very different instructors for you to try.
Jillian Michaels Shred It With Weight Workout – Level 1
Jillian is fierce.
This is quite an old video but still one of my favourites – if you like it then there are whole series for you to progress through. I like that she gives you an easier and harder option with all exercises so that you can work around your injuries and at an intensity that is right for you.
I have built up my upper body strength so much thanks to Jillian that my arms don’t jiggle anymore!
Bikini Kettlebell Workout with Katrina
This video makes it to my shortlist primarily because it is shot at an amazing beach. It never fails to cheer me up on a wet and dark morning in London. Katrina has a really gentle style and her enthusiasm is infectious. This is a great short video to do in the morning before work to get you going!
20 Minute Kettlebell Boot Camp Workout with Sgt Shanahan
Last in the kettlebell video recommendations is this short and sharp 20 minute video.
Sergeant Shanahan has such infectious energy that you are a little scared into NOT completing the sets. This is a total body workout that is done and dusted quickly that has really given me better glute strength and pulled my hunched shoulders back. Every time I hear him say the words ‘ripitude not fatitude’ it makes me giggle. I really enjoy doing this one and have recently increased the weight to keep it challenging.
Injured Runner – Improve your Cardiovascular Fitness
Another huge benefit to being injured is the ability to cross-train and actually GET FITTER.
I know many runners who recommend High Intensity Interval Training to become a faster runner with better lung capacity. I have often thrown HIIT workouts to my running training week and always find the benefit.
Vicki Anstey 20 Minute HIIT Workout
This first video is tough, I am not going to lie! It is SO effective and over before you know it.
I first met Vicki at her wonderful studio Barreworks in Richmond. A friend of mine was going to her classes and recommend I join her and try it out. Vicki has the body of a dancer and so much strength it inspires you right from the moment you meet her. She is a fantastic runner…..so clearly she practices what she preaches!
Lindsay Jay Fitness 4 Minute Fat Burn with Lindsay and Ivor
I have known Lindsay for years and she has a very popular You Tube Channel which is popular with Zumba fans and fitness enthusiasts. She recently partnered with Ministry of Sound to produce some INTENSE HIIT workouts but I really like these two moves featured in this 4 minute fat burn.
They are tough – my heart rate went really high and I was sweating after about a minute but felt it work my whole body. Lindsay and Ivor are a really inspiring couple and nothing motivates me more than feeling inspired by fitness professionals.
Billy Blanks Ultimate BootCamp
If you weren’t old enough in the 90’s to appreciate Billy Blanks then let me introduce you to him now!
If you have an hour to spare because you can’t run at the moment then give this workout a go. Billy Blanks has such enthusiasm it is infectious – he makes you want to work hard for him 🙂 This is a great total body workout that will get your heart rate soaring. I have to adapt a few moves because of my ankle but that is easy enough (I usually try to knock out a few extra press ups instead of jumping).
Injured Runner – Improve your Core
The last section I want to help you with is improving your core strength.
I really found that improving my core helped my running enormously. I was surprised just how much.
Here are a few videos for you to try that I recommend – A lot of the videos I have already recommended will go some way to improving core strength but I wanted to add a few short videos that you could do as stand-alone core workouts.
Pilates – Core Stability : 10 Minute Workout
A really nice place to start learning about the core – I like Angie’s gentle approach and she explains exercises very clearly.
This is a great video for beginners to Pilates and runners who want to start from the ground-up building solid core strength. I have always found Pilates exercises to ‘look innocent’ but they really deliver!
Intense Core Yoga with Christine
Christine has got a REALLY strong core. This video made my abs cry….even with the modifications…..
It is intense and super-effective, she makes it look effortless (which it isn’t) but it really worked my core and I felt great afterwards. I have even set a reminder on my phone to do it again next week. Highly recommended!
Sean Vigue’s Killer Core Workout #2
This video really is a killer – I still can’t do all the exercises! The day after I did it for the first time I couldn’t brush my hair the next day. It IS VERY EFFECTIVE and my core feels so much stronger for doing it. He chats randomly throughout which makes me giggle and breaks up the pain of some of the exercises.
*Warning – don’t push through the exercises and pay attention to form, especially when you are a beginner!
So I hope I have given you at least a few reasons to feel better if you are injured. I promise you that you can turn it to your advantage and come back a stronger, healthier and more flexible runner.
I am off to the wonderful Richmond Physiotherapy for some good news (hopefully!)
With love and healing hugs