Receiving the news that you must stop training for whatever sport you love is heartbreaking. If you are anything like me you probably won't hear much else from the doctor giving you that news as the emotion takes over your concentration.
You too are probably hooked to the endorphins released from pushing yourself in sport but don't worry, you can get through this. Here are my top tips for maintaining sanity whilst recovering from injury...
1. Focus on what you CAN do! Being able to do little more than swimming and aqua-jogging during rehab, I focused my energy on making improvements with those activities.
2. Get as much information as you can from your specialist allowing your mind to relax and stop going over thousands of questions. You need to use the rest time for your body and mind to energise not spiral out of control with questions.
3. Actually do the exercises you've been told to do! No matter what a plonker you think you look and how stupid you feel, other people will not be thinking this. Aqua-jogging is never going to be cool but I had to embrace it.
4. Learn something new. Anything. Growth and development (physically or mentally) makes you feel stronger and gives you a sense of purpose. I used my time off to learn Adobe Illustrator which I would have never done given the amount of time I spent running over mountains. Learn to knit, code or speak a new language.
5. Keep your body moving in which ever ways you are allowed. Yoga, swimming, cycling... Exercise releases endorphins making you feel mega!
6. Volunteer if you can. Giving to others gives you the biggest feeling of self worth which you probably need at this point. I chose to foster a cat for my local rescue centre as it's something I couldn't give the time to when I was training.
7. Write! Write down the development with your injury on a daily basis. The daily changes may seem tiny but as the weeks pass you'll see the difference in what you are writing down. Looking back over it makes you feel pretty good when things start to improve.
8. If you can still be involved in your chosen sport some how, do it. I coached a 'Couch to 5k' group up until I was no longer able to ride a bike. This way I still felt connected to what I love. Start an online group or get involved in an existing one.
9. Be open and honest. You are not the first person to go through this. Opening up to others makes you feel refreshed and people have some great tips to offer, or at least a cup of tea and a chat.
10. Surround yourself with positive people. I'm sure there are plenty in your life but if you really do struggle to find them then search online for positive, happy people. Read positive books or watch some TED talks.
11. Someone said to me 'This too shall pass'. And they were right, however you feel right now, it will get better. It will take time, you might know how long, you might not, but it will get better.
I would love to say that with all of these things going on you'll have no time to think about your injury but unfortunately I known that's not true. Stay strong and know that you are not the only person going through this. :)
After not running in any races for many years due to my nerves, I decided recently that I needed to overcome my fear so I could compete again. Taking on a mental challenge can often be harder than a physical one but sometimes with more rewards afterwards.
I did some research and picked out a few key points to help me. Below are three short videos to show the main tips that I used to overcome my nerves before the Queenstown marathon. When race day came round I felt confident and calm. Take a look...
Tip one -
Familiarise yourself with the route and area.
I don't know about you but the thought of running more than 6km is pretty painful to me!
So, increasing the distance of my weekly runs, to train for a long event, is pretty daunting until I apply this process that has worked for me a number of times.