Eilish McColgan’s Tips for Injured Runners

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Navigating the Road to Recovery for Injured Runners

Eilish McColgan outdoors running

Eilish McColgan explains returning from injury requires patience in the bucket loads, dedication and a gradual approach. It can feel never ending at times and mentally challenging which is why it's important to embrace a positive mindset - acknowledging progress, even in the smallest of milestones!


It's crucial for injured runners to listen to their body, allowing sufficient time for recovery while incorporating targeted exercises to strengthen those weakened areas. Think of it as some extra time to get stronger and better than you were before!


Here are some of my top tips for runners returning from injury, or those looking to stay injury free!


1. Offload:

Cross training is a crucial element in my weekly schedule, providing a range of benefits for overall fitness. Firstly, it works the heart and lungs without the added impact of running, helping to maintain (or even increase) fitness levels. Additionally, cross training can help to reduce the risk of overuse injuries compared to high-impact activities like running. Beyond injury prevention, cross training serves as both a preventive measure and a rehabilitation tool. Whether on a cross trainer, spin bike, or in the pool with aqua jogging, these activities offer controlled environments, making them ideal for runners who are making a gradual return to running after injury.


2. Shoes:

Investing in a new pair of trainers or running clothes can provide a motivational boost. However, it's essential to be mindful of the lifespan of your running shoes. Switch them out after 400-600 miles, depending on the shoe, to avoid the risk of injuries. Moreover, understanding your running gait is fundamental. Whether you're a neutral runner or require more supportive shoes, getting the right pair is vital. Reputable shoe stores can guide you in finding the perfect fit, ensuring your gear supports your running style and minimizes the risk of injuries.


3. Prevention:

Engaging in regular stretching and foam rolling sessions, not only keep your body healthy but hold specific advantages for runners, such as increasing blood flow and maintaining muscle flexibility. It can be pretty boring and mundane, but stretching helps prevent muscle imbalances and improves range of motion, while foam rolling aids in releasing muscle knots and tension. Rather than daunting hour-long sessions, I opt for shorter, daily routines—10-15 minutes. Little and often feels much more achievable!


4. Joint Complex:

Joint Complex is a super supplement from Revive Active with 10 active ingredients specifically formulated to support your joints all in one daily sachet. Marine Collagen, MSM, Glucosamine & Hyaluronic Acid are just some of the key ingredients to support cartilage, bones, connective tissue and muscles function, which is why it's part of my daily routine. Joint Complex gives me the confidence that I'm covering all bases when it comes to my muscles and joints.


5. Relax:

Achieving peak performance isn't just about training hard—it's about embracing rest and recovery. Maintaining a balance between lighter training days and full rest days is key. Personally, I ensure one full rest day every week, a practice that remains consistent regardless of my fitness level. This intentional break is vital for both body and mind, allowing a complete reset. Taking time off isn't a setback; it's a strategic move. Adequate recovery enables the body to adapt and prepares it for the challenges of the upcoming training week. Remember, rest is not a sign of weakness; it's a crucial element to staying consistent and injury free.


6. Sleep:

Amid various recovery methods, sleep stands out as the most cost-effective and accessible, yet is often the most neglected! Prioritising a solid 8 hours of sleep nightly is more than just a luxury—it's a cornerstone of staying healthy. Beyond revitalising energy levels, adequate sleep enhances productivity, fortifies the immune system and accelerates recovery. No matter how intense your training regimen is, without proper sleep, your efforts may be in vain. Consider sleep not just as downtime, but as a crucial investment in maximizing the benefits of your hard work. It's a simple yet potent recovery tool that can make a world of difference in your overall well-being and performance.


7. Rehab:

Injuries often stem from weaknesses and the body compensating for them. That's why consistent strength training is crucial for both recovery from injury and injury prevention. Addressing those weak areas acts as a proactive measure against recurring issues. The key lies in consistency—commit to your rehab exercises, no matter how small they may seem. This dedication not only facilitates recovery but establishes a foundation of strength, reducing the likelihood of future setbacks!

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