Returning to a run program after an injury can be tricky. You must make sure that what you are doing does not cause further injury and you need to maximize any pain-free activity to hasten your return.
Once you can walk pain free and can jog lightly for three or four minutes employ some of the following activities for about four weeks as you slowly, safely return to a run program.
- If unable to run consider ramping up swim yardage to focus on form, fitness and overall improvement.
- Use a walk/run program to re-adapt tendons, ligaments and muscles to the run-specific movements. Keep effort zone 1 easy and start with one minute jog, three minute walk intervals and work your way up.
- Incorporate power walking into your schedule. Best done on a treadmill, raise elevation to 5-10 percent and keep good form and posture. This is a good low impact activity.
- Work the elliptical. It mimics run motion without the pounding impact of the road. Keep cadence nice and high and work on regaining run form.
- Deep water running. Use a flotation belt and simply run through the water. Maintain tall posture and don't let your feet hit the bottom. Use positive visualization to see yourself back "on the road".
- High cadence, easy gear riding is always a great supplement to running. The pedal revolution mimics the run motion and a high cadence will help maintain and increase cardiovascular strength.
After about four weeks of measured and careful efforts, you should be able to resume a run program. Remember to start slow, be patient and increase workload safely.