How to make a comeback after injury

Tough subject, but let’s talk injuries.


There are few main points I want to address on this topic, using my personal experience and years of knowledge and study.

Let’s clear one thing up first, Pain is our bodies last sign that something is wrong, the same as feeling thirsty is already a sign that we are dehydrated. So, when we start feeling pain, it is indicating there may well have been a problem for a while, and in my experience the site of pain is very rarely the problem.


There are two types on injury:

Catastrophic injuries - where something is usually broken or pulled from a single movement or impact, like broken bones, dislocated joints, muscles tears, ankle sprains.

Over tension injuries - caused by tight and over tensioned muscles and or moving in a bad position. Over tension injuries account for approx. 98% of all injuries.


If you came to me for a sports massage treatment, maybe an issue with your tight calf’s, I would not be particularly interested in massaging your calf’s and making them feel better, because guess what… you would come back in 4 weeks with your tight calf for another massage. As much as you may think I like rubbing your bodies covered in oil I don’t! I would rather be looking at your movement patterns and biomechanics and finding out why this is happening and then we can address the cause and stop the calf’s from getting tight in the first place.

Unfortunately, this is not a simple or straight forward process, you should start by looking at your body as 1 muscle, joined together by over 650 muscles. If one muscle is tight and is pulling on another muscle, that said muscle pulls on the other, like a chain reaction the body will brake down at some point and cause you ‘pain’ the last sign that something is wrong.


So, what can we do if you find yourself in pain? Firstly, find yourself a therapist that is interested in finding the cause of the issue not just to treat the area of pain, and get them to do a biomechanical assessment. I work with an amazing team of professionals, starting with an assessment either with myself or Toby our osteopath finding the cause of the problem and addressing what exercises you need to be doing and avoiding. Having regular sports massages with Josh, who will help to keep the muscles relaxed and freely moving to maximise the rehab process, and massively reduces the risk of injury. Remember don’t wait till you feel pain, this is already to late for ‘just’ a massage.


If you came to me for a sports massage treatment, maybe an issue with your tight calf’s, I would not be particularly interested in massaging your calf’s and making them feel better, because guess what… you would come back in 4 weeks with your tight calf for another massage. As much as you may think I like rubbing your bodies covered in oil I don’t! I would rather be looking at your movement patterns and biomechanics and finding out why this is happening and then we can address the cause and stop the calf’s from getting tight in the first place.

A few years back I tore my calf muscle bad, and it took a good few years to get back feeling 95% confidant with it. I worked out how and why it had happened, I addressed the issues, I then started treatments, finding what worked for me and what I needed to do. I had acupuncture, changed my running trainers, changed my training methods and running style, had massages, stretched and strengthen it. Mine was caused from years and years of tightness, weakness and imbalances, so I knew that a few weeks off and a few stretches was not going to cut it. I needed to change what I was doing daily and do that for a long time. We are what we do often.

Once I was able to start training again, I had to build up very slowly, and this ladies and gentlemen is where majority of people go wrong.

When I say slowly, I mean, slowly, always keeping in mind that ‘pain is the last sign’ so when I trained, I would stop before I felt pain. This started with a 1mile run at a very easy pace and on grass too, with about 20mins of warming up, including mobility and muscle activation. Week 1, I did this session once, week two I did it twice, week 3 I did it three times. So instead of increasing the volume of each session every week, increase the volume with more sessions, this is a much better way to come back to training. Once I was happy with my progress at week 4, I needed to increase my fitness level again, and this is not going to happen running slowly! Another mistake I see a lot of people is that they build up for too long and too slowly (pace wise) Now you need to start running with perfect form at your previous running pace/intensity. Now you want to starting running reps, try something like 3 x 1mile efforts. This would be so much better and safer than just running 3miles+ in one session. Then progress that to 4-5 x and then you can start making the ‘miles’ faster. Everyone will recover at different rates so listen to your body and be positive.


A lot of people think after a few weeks of ‘rest’ (I hate that word, I’ll come back to that in a minute) they can carry on their usual training loads and volume, sorry but you can’t. If this injury has taken 6months+ to become an issue, expect it to take just as long to fully recovery.

So why do I hate the word ‘rest’ well to put it bluntly, rest is the worst thing you can do for an injury, and remember we are talking about the 98% of over tension injuries. Of course, it will feel better after a few weeks of not doing anything, because it’s whatever you are doing on it that it is making it hurt in the first place. So during your rehab, it will not magically get better you MUST do the exercises to fix the issue, the strength work, the mobility work, the activation work, and do not give me the bull and say you don’t have time, if you usually have time to train for 30-60mins you have time to do 20mins of rehab work. Make it part of your daily routine. I have not had issues with my calf since and that is because I have kept up with the exercises, and I am focused on prevention rather than treatment. Just because your pain goes away, does not mean you can stop to rehab exercises, they now become your prehab exercises.

If you must rush anything, rush being patient, and remember, everyone loves a comeback!


Love coach



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'I tried to be normal once, worst 2 minutes of my life'

With over 17 years coaching experience and 10 Ironman finishes myself, I am here to support you, coach you and share with you my knowledge and expert advice to help you achieve your ultimate human performance.

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