This going to be short and fast. I will not talk about re-injuring yourself here. There is difference between natural setbacks and stupidity. When you injure yourself on the same spot you were hurt in the first place, that is not following the gradual steps of rehabilitation. Too fast too soon !
What I will talk about here is feeling like crap, getting sore, not having motivation, getting tired, losing major abilities, what set you apart when in shape and so on. It is difficult for some to understand, that when we detrain long term due to injury, in 2 or 3 weeks time, we can actually lose 4-5 months of fitness. The body memory will help us to come back relatively fast, but this doesn’t mean 3 weeks. The body memory is simply helping us to not to be back to square zero of 15 years ago.
So, when you have doubts, pain, micro injuries in other parts of the body, tendonitis popping up, shin splints, knee pain and so on, like regular running injuries that you did not have for 5 years or more, you must revert back to the 3 basics of human health and apply it. It is because your body did not just lose fitness. It lost recovery and fatigue handling abilities. It lost the ability to have food in the stomach while running. Your body is less hydrated and have lower glucose store levels. You have less fat burning going on. Every aspect of your physiology got compromised and ‘decreased’.
So the three basics are sleep, water and nutrition. When coming back, often you need to eat more and more from the good stuff and also drink mare minerally charged water. However, what I find the most-most-most important is sleep and napping.
Before my sickness, I could sleep 4-5 hours at least 4 times a week for a decade with no setbacks. I just did a nap in the afternoon and 2 or 3 big sleep days in the week and freshness was back. Now, if I am under 9 hours, I have a major KO during the day and my body feels overall very fatigued. I started training 3 days ago, with 2 double days and yesterday a single. This morning I will have a medium long hike and technique in the afternoon.
Application of knowledge
When coming back from injury, long downtime and sickness, please focus on sleep. Keep on sleeping a lot ! During the night uninterrupted and during the day, just nap. I go to sleep in the evening between 20h30 and 22h00. This simply means that if I slept any amounts in the afternoon starting from 15h00, it doesn’t disturb my evening hours. It can be 20 minutes or 2hours. After 16 / 17 / 18 I use an alarm clock and micro nap 15 or 20minutes top. I do that only if I had a workout or do a night job. I might have no time during the day for long sleeps. I would micro nap multiple times. For instance 10am, 12am, 2pm 4pm. This can be 30min, 10min, 15min, 15min. I am an experienced napper. I close my eyes, tilt my head back slightly, cover my eyes to be in the dark, in two minutes I am out.
Everybody should understand that the body doesn’t heal parts of it. The body keeps on healing the whole body. If you had a broken leg, but have ulcers, bad teeth, hip and knee pain, your broken leg will heal slower as the body is preoccupied with other symptoms too. Have you ever had a giant fever when the whole body is seriously infected with a virus, bacteria or toxin ? This is when for instance the healing and the anti-inflammatory work of the body stops to focus on eliminating the intruders. This is why you got pain everywhere on previous injury surfaces. I had both my achilles swollen and painful, my low back killing me, an upper vertebra and a long time broken rib just in big pain, deep cuts from a decade old cycling injury flaring up and reddening, my left upper hamstring what I have been treating for 6 months to stay healthy getting ultra tight and so on. I have a friend, any time he is sick with fever, his tatoos are getting really red and sensitive. The body is keeping pain and dysfunction at bay all the time, to make life more fun and to not to live in suffering and constant complaints.
The easiest way to keep this function going is sleep. Sleep ! Sleep ! Sleep !
You suffered an injury ? Sprained ankle, banged up knee, partially torn tendons, stress fracture ? Go for a 48 – 72hours long fasting and stay in bad. Sleep day and night with no interactions. No TV, No phone, No music, no sound. You can read time to time till you fall as sleep. Very often runners coming from big weeks of training will find this actually easy. They will just sleep like babies. Your injury will be healed or the healing will be brutally and drastically accelerated !
Fasting can be assisted with amino acids, quality vitamins (EAA) and minerals in your water, as in this case the goal of fasting is not a metabolic effect, like losing weight or reversing diabetes and heart disease.