One thing is pretty certain when you are a runner is that you’re likely to pick up a running injury at some point. For some people, it could be a regular occurrence and being on first name terms with the physiotherapist. The important thing, though, isn’t necessarily the injury itself but how you deal with it.
We runners can be a pretty stubborn lot and run through it where possible and use it to gain brownie points at the starting line of our next race or take a week or so out, do nothing apart from feel like the world is going to end then gingerly start running again. There is not a race anywhere in the world where you won’t find runners on the start line discussing their various injuries (Top Trumps style) and try to outwit each other by saying they’re not expecting much before going out like a bullet out of a gun.
If and when you get an injury, the first step should either be the doctor/physiotherapist/podiatrist depending on what the illness/injury is. If you feel unwell and unable to train, go to the doctor, if you have pain in a muscle or joint then go to the physio and if you are getting pain or problems around your foot the straight to the podiatrist. Get an appointment with these people as soon as the injury flares up as they’ll be able to treat you quicker and they will give you great advice on rehabilitation. Unfortunately, just resting is unlikely to resolve the actual injury and can often lead to other injuries from the body overcompensating.
The main thing is actually to listen to your body and go with what it’s telling you to do. Where your head will likely to tell you to try a run, your body will let you know if and when it feels able to run and when it needs to rest. Never google your symptoms as you may well believe you have some rare incurable disease. While many people can suffer the same injury, the symptoms and severity can vary in everyone and diagnosis and treatment can vary as well. Only do the search after you’ve been diagnosed so you can get an understanding of what the problem is.
I’m lucky in that I have never suffered a running injury and the only running-related injury I have had was a cracked rib after falling off my bike during training for the Paris Marathon. I went to the doctor as soon as I could and had a chat with a physio friend and really the only thing I could do was let it heal itself. I walked everywhere (slowly!) until I felt I was able to do more then I started jogging at a slow pace as my ribs became sore if the intensity was too much. This seemed to work as my recovery took less than the doctor predicted and I was able to run Paris pain free. It pays to listen to your body and seek advice as soon as possible