How soon is too soon after injury?
This time I am taking a new approach and attempting at great work to listen and be smart. This was actually pretty easy when it hurt and then earlier this week considering the 40+ mph winds and temps near 0! But now I am pan free and the weather is looking better, if 30s can be better, so here I sit wondering what I should do. Hamstring issues have a high re-injury rate if the return is too soon.
How do you know when to return? 4 criteria to determine readiness (source)
- Pain: Pain free not only with walking but also when impacting through activities like one leg jumping. I have been pain free since Tuesday even with rolling.
- Strength: 4 consecutive repetitions of maximum strength test in knee flexion without pain. Yesterday I managed 3 sets of single leg presses without pain or decrease in strength.
- Flexibility: Full range of motion at baseline. After a couple could stretching session earlier in the week I am finally back to baseline.
- Functional Activities: Running specific activities with quick direction changes without pain or limitation. My trainer incorporated side lunges and jumps which I managed.
The good news is I am 4 for 4 on this list although my flexibility still sucks but that’s my baseline. Much different than my previous life as a dancer! So what to do: give it a trial run tomorrow? This is my plan, now to not get sucked into the group’s plan to run long. What is your key to determining return to running? Do you come back too early?
I almost have an easier time returning after a bigger injury when it it s obvious and the return program is slow. This will mean more listening and trying to be smart as I have 7 week until marathon day and plenty of time to build back. I plan to continue to roll and ice post workout. Luckily I have access to a sports medicine doctor who has also given me advice.