PART IV – INJURY PREVENTION AND RECOVERY
Ultramarathoner & medical student
Experimenting in sport with scientific analysis on performance
Sponsors: Runners Plus, Honey Stinger, HIVE
INJURY PREVENTION AND RECOVERY
Have you had injuries in the past? How have you managed them?
Yes, I have had my share of injuries, many of them resulting from inexperience combined with over-training or perhaps better stated, training inefficiently (note: training inefficiently to Teddy is “too many stressors at one time”). I use ice for any minor ache and pain and deep tissue massage for sore muscles and tendons. Researching the right stretching and strengthening exercises and performing them consistently with purpose has helped me overcome plantar fasciitis and iliotibial band syndrome as well as small bouts of patellar tendonitis and even a broken ankle (years ago).
What do you actively do to prevent injury?
I can’t do enough it seems like! The easiest and best feeling exercise is perhaps deep tissue massage with a foam roller, which has been instrumental in getting rid of iliotibial band pain and keeping it from returning; however, the best prevention is strengthening the balance muscles – gluetes medius and minimus – in your hips as well as stabilizing the ankles and arches with your own muscles – as opposed to the “arch supports” that are often used for easy fixes to difficult problems. My current project is strengthening my feet with some very easy barefoot runs as well as home workouts that I designed with resistance bands.
I focus on one stressor at a time.
Identify and determine the goal for each run (recovery, endurance, etc)
How do you determine what you can run through and what you can’t?
This is always a difficult question. I have found that the circumstances also dictate the limits here, the threshold rising quite a bit during a race. The easiest determinate for me is whether or not I can maintain my running form. If yes, usually that means whatever pain I am feeling isn’t going to cause lasting damage. If I find myself compensating for any pain by changing my gait or developing a limp, I know something is seriously wrong that I shouldn’t push through.
How do you manage small aches and pains as you train?
Ice and massage, always. Tumeric is a great natural anti-inflammatory, but I tend to let my body ache when it needs to as this natural radar does a good job of letting me know how recovered I am from a previous workout. Honestly since adopting a mostly plant-based diet over the last two years, I don’t get sore muscles and joints anymore. Usually if my body hurts, it is because I did something wrong and I need to correct it with some focused stretching/strengthening.
How do you recover when you are putting in so many miles?
Feel free to DM Teddy on Instagram with questions!