Coming back from injury

Questions are regularly posted on (and other forums) about returning from injury, or dealing with injuries. So these are a few generic tips to help you come back to full training and racing as quickly as possible.

1) Can you still train, but in an altered format? cross-trainer/eliptical training, Aqua-jogging if it’s a running related injury. Can you make some adjustments to your bike set up, such as changing the saddle hight? Swimming- focus on specific drills, eg. balance and kick. Don’t simply stop altogether if you can avoid it.

2) Seek advice EARLY. See you GP or physio as soon as possible. The longer you put it off, the longer the rehab is likely to be, as more and more compensatory issues will develop as your body tries to deal with the injury.

3) Accept and understand the grieving process if it means missing races, or even a whole season. Some good advice on the psychological element of injury rehab on this site

4) Use the time to progress your skills in other areas. Eg. Learn bike maintenance. Do an evening course in sports massage. Get your coaching qualifications and help out at your club.

5) Set goals. Speak with your physio and coach, set out short, medium and long term goals so that you all know where you are at, and where the rehab is going, and how it all fits into the larger picture of returning to racing.

6) If you haven’t got a coach, get one! The majority of injuries in triathlon are caused by training mistakes. Having a coach to bounce idea’s off or guide you more formally will prevent you from overcooking the training and breaking down in the first place. They can also help you gradually re-build your fitness after your lay-off from injury, in a controlled manner.

7) Learn from your mistakes, and ensure you include pre-habilitation exercises in your weekly program to reduce the risk of being out with injuries in the future.