Injury is every athlete’s nightmare. I am not spared.
I got diagnosed with dengue fever in mid-August. The doctor told me that my fitness level would be affected because my blood palates count would drop. After 10 days’ rest, my doctor told me my blood palates count was stable and I quickly jumped back to training.
Soon, I strained my right hip flexor and glutes. One injury led to another. Eventually, I had to pull out from all my running events and year end key race to focus on recovery, strengthening and conditioning and rebuilding my fitness for Boston Marathon 2020.
There are some things I learnt throughout this period.
- Never take the doctor’s words lightly. There is a reason they have to complete so many years of education. And never underestimate the potency of a mozzie’s kiss.
- Always discuss with your coach (if you have one) before returning to training after falling sick.
- We all know that strength and conditioning is important but we may not have the expertise. I found working with a reliable and knowledgeable strength and conditioning coach to be significant in my progress. My program is a more targeted now.
- Stay positive and be very patient. Recovering from an injury is like watching the stock market. Some days, we see an upward trend and then the chart takes a plunge as a new injury surfaces. It can be very frustrating and there are several “test the legs” days. Ultimately, I take it as a learning opportunity to understand my body better and learn some skills that can benefit me on the long run.
- Be open and accept the reality. An endurance athlete can be very determined and persistent, even in the face of adversity (or injury). Just think of the word “endure”. I think it’s pretty self-explanatory. However, we have to recognise and accept that we are human and do get injured. When that happens, just drop all thoughts of competition and focus on recovery!
- Stay happy! Getting injured can be emotional especially when you have to withdraw from key races. Race entry fees are not cheap too! Engaging in alternative sports that makes you feel good and happy such as aqua running and cycling helps to take the mind off the injuries.
I think having an injury is the body highlighting our weaknesses. It gives us the opportunity to build the body so that it can become fitter. Just keep loving the sport!