The Run Smarter Series

How To Mentally Set Up Your Road To Recovery

When you are injured with the goal to get back to pain-free running, you often expect recovery to continuously progress without major disruptions. For example on a road trip from Melbourne to Sydney, you have your map, expected time of arrival and your trusty car. However, just like this road trip, your recovery might present with some unexpected hurdles. I recently recorded a podcast episode on recovery expectations & dealing with set backs and thought I would share some key elements for your rehabilitation.

Is your car healthy enough for the long trip?

If Sydney is 1000 km and 9 hours, do have the confidence that your car is strong enough for the journey? It would be silly do commit to a big trip with a car that constantly over-heats, makes weird sounds when it’s running and struggles to reach top speed. The same can be said for your body during your journey to recovery. So, tune up your weak points, prioritize healthy sleep habits, diet, mindset and make sure some form of your rehab includes strengthening!

Expect heavy traffic

So you have expected your road trip to take 9 hours, but what about if hit heavy traffic before you have even left the city? As the anticipated travel time creeps up to 10 hours what do you do? Most of you would impatiently squirm in the driver’s seat and tightly grip the steering wheel, perhaps trying to weave in and out of heavy traffic which will increase the likelihood of a crash. Be safe and patient! Similarly, expect that your road to recovery might take longer than expected. That’s okay, your have a whole lifetime of running to enjoy if we get this right. Certain stages of your rehabilitation might take twice as long! However, just like traffic, you are still moving forward. Be patient!

Expect dead ends on your road to recovery

Let’s hope it never gets to this point but expect the unexpected, then the realization is easier to deal with. With Sydney in sight you throw the map into the back seat and hit the accelerator only to make a wrong turn and hit a dead end. Your road trip comes to a screeching halt and you now have to back-track to see where you went wrong. This blows out your arrival time and often forces you to resume a few steps back. This signifies a flare-up or a new injury in your recovery. It’s never fun. You find yourself back-tracking and sometimes starting from square one. I feel your frustration. However, it’s good to take every set-back as an opportunity to learn. So if you hold onto the map and don’t hit the accelerator, the likelihood of this happening diminishes.

Key take away. Expect the unexpected!

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