The warm weather has finally made a return and many seasonal runners are out and about. Unfortunately, after months of relative inactivity, several try to pick up where they left off and very quickly wind up with an injury and side lined right at the start of the season. In the past week alone I’ve seen 7 ankle sprains from running on local trails.
When coming back from a lay-off, remember that your body has had a break. It needs to build up the adaptations it has lost to be able to handle the previous load. One of my general recommendations is to run at 70% of your previous best pace and 70% of that distance for 1-2 weeks so that your body has a chance to adapt. Ankle instability can become a chronic destabilizing force and can alter one’s entire life. Avoiding excessive stress, allowing the connective tissues, the skeletal system and the neurological system to readapt to the stress of the workout both acutely and chronically gives your body and mind a chance to slip back into old habits while minimizing the chances of injury. The fewer sprains, strains and fractures one has over the course of their training life, the longer their training life is and the higher their quality of life outside of training can be. Remember, warming up doesn’t take that long, soft-tissue management is important and letting your body adapt to a new stress is important. See you on the trail, train safe.