Pardon? Yes, you heard right - running injuries can be a positive thing. Let me explain before you stop reading this blog altogether...
I've been suffering from an IT Band injury for about two to three months now. It doesn't prevent me getting around day-to-day, but it does mean that I've had to limit my mileage to about 20 to 25 miles per week. It’s frustrating, as any injured or previously injured runner will testify. You want to just get out there and train and you either can’t train as much as you’d like, or you have to cross-train more. I don’t know about you, but while I don't mind the additional cross-training session, I’d much rather be running.
Over the last few months, I've had my running gait video analysed twice to see if there’s anything in my running form that might be causing the IT Band problem, I've been to see a physio and have employed the services of a (Chi Running) running coach. I've watched countless videos on IT Band rehabilitation and have read blogs until they’re coming out my ears.
The result is that I've become much more aware of body mechanics, how injuries occur and what can be done about it. I've become much more aware of my own body and my own running form, have learnt to recognize warning signs much earlier and the importance of backing off on the running where injury is pending. I've also put in more hours of core and leg strength training than I can remember!
So, while it’s a pain the ass (or leg in my case), I’m convinced that this injury will make me a better runner going forwards - one who can train more consistently, has a stronger core and one who knows when it may be better to ditch the interval session I had planned in favor of an additional rest day.
What are your experiences of how running injuries have affected your awareness?