Injury- Coming to Terms with Cross-Training

Fitness, running

“Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do” Oprah Winfrey


You may remember me mentioning in my last HM training post that I was having ankle problems, stiffness, aching and slight tenderness around the medial malleolus (aka that knobbly bit on the inside of your ankle!).  Having decided to stop running for a bit (very sensible), I then spent 5 days at a festival, running around, dancing, jumping and going generally a little crazy (not so sensible). I came back with my ankle stiffer than ever and panicked thoughts of Cardiff HM in the forefront of my mind.

The realisation that I can’t and shouldn’t run has finally hit home.

The realisation that the PB I’m aiming for at Cardiff is slipping further away each run I miss.

The realisation that Cardiff may not even happen.

Okay, so maybe that sounds a little pessimistic but unless you’ve been in the position where an injury has stopped you in your tracks, it’s hard to understand the strange sort of mourning period you go through before you can fully commit to switching up your training and doing all you can to stay on track.

According to my training programme, I should be doing a 12 miler today, and what I would give to lace up and just do that run without a second thought! But I’ve had my time to moan and feel sorry for myself and now, I need to pick myself back up and carry on in whatever way I can, I’ve reworked my plan and am ready to get back training- cross-trainer, bike, pool, whatever it takes (enter looking like a crazy person going aqua-jogging in my local pool).

IMG_2554If anyone spots a small blonde woman pacing up and down this pool, it’ll be me!

Here are the 4 things I keep in mind when I really don’t want to do it anymore:

How to Motivate Yourself to Cross-Train While Injured

  1. Remember why you’re training

    • Whether you’re training for a specific event, to lose weight, or even just to challenge yourself, never lose sight of that goal. It may seem that way at the time, but running isn’t the only way to achieve what you want, by doing something you don’t really want to now, you’ll hopefully be able to do what you want later!
  2. Think of cross-training as ‘proper’ training

    • I’m guilty of this, as I’m sure a lot of you are! Unless I’m lacing up for a 10-mile run, I don’t feel like I’ve done a proper training session, so for me, sitting on a stationary bike ‘doesn’t count’ no matter how hard I’ve worked.  The way to keep yourself committed is to count the x-training exactly the same as you would your running sessions.
  3. Write yourself a training plan

    • If anything is going to make you feel like your x-training doesn’t count as real sessions, not planning your sessions properly is probably the worst! For weeks I trained at the gym but without any real focus, but by re-writing my plan, I’ve been able to visualise how the sessions fit into my original goal and how they’ll actually benefit me.
  4. See the bigger picture

    • Not being able to run may seem like the worst thing in the world at the time, but I always keep in mind the fact that if I carried on running now, I’d have to stop later and probably for longer. The sooner you stop, the sooner you can rehab and the sooner you can start running again!

So, having planned out my rehab training, cross-training certainly doesn’t seem that bad anymore and I’m quite excited to dive back into training. Take it from someone who knows their stuff (definitely Oprah, not me!) and do what you have to do until you can do what you want, make it a positive step forward and not a step back.


Look forward to the photo of me in my aqua -jogging belt, coming soon (no-one said rehab was attractive!)

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