Having an injury when you’re into your fitness can make you feel demoralised and depressed, which is why many people can’t wait to get back to their exercise regime when they’ve hurt themselves. However, it is best to take it slowly, so you don’t cause yourself any more damage.
For runners who want to hit the ground again after a knee injury, here are our top tips.
Build your mileage slowly
If you find half marathons a breeze, it can be tempting to want to pick up where you left off. However, this could set your healing back considerably, which is why the Noyes Knee Institute recommends increasing your mileage slowly.
“If you took two weeks off for your knee injury, then start at about half of your previous weekly mileage. If you took four weeks off, then start at 30 per cent of your previous mileage,” it advised.
You might be used to hitting a certain speed, but you should forget about getting any personal bests for now. Slow down your pace to give your muscles and joints time to strengthen, otherwise you could cause more pain.
Until you reach at least 75 per cent of your usual mileage, stay slow and steady.
You may need to get a pair of new trainers after a knee injury, so they support your strides accurately. Your old shoes might not be able to offer as much support or might not have enough grip on the road, which means you are more likely to slip or buckle and cause yourself more harm.
If you are in need of a new pair of sneakers, the Air Max 90 GS retro running shoe could be ideal, as it has ankle support and lots of cushioning.