Ignoring pain isn’t a solution: How to deal with an injury
For this week’s Weekly Wisdom, I wanted to write about dealing with injury because I’m just getting back from an injury myself, and it’s been a hard time for me. I have been learning a lot about myself during this time –more than I would have if I’d been racing and training like planned.
Of course, I have been injured before during my long career as a pro cyclist. I’ve crashed, had broken ribs, injured my knee(s), etc. But as crazy as it sounds, I never actually had to take a lot of time off or miss races due to it.
So this situation was all new to me.
The difficult thing was that my injury –pain in my right thigh– was an old injury that had returned. This means I made my first mistake by continuing to race, even while the original injury was happening. Now, I was forced to pay for that mistake and we were left with trying to figure out what was causing that pain and how to mend it. I couldn’t keep riding my bike through the pain.
I’ve not been racing for almost two months now, and I’ve been struggling.
I just love to ride my bike and if I don’t ride my bike, I like to be active and do other things. I can enjoy a rest day and taking it easy, but spending a whole day on the couch, watching TV, just isn’t my thing.
Of course, as a pro athlete it is even harder if you are forced to take time off during the race season. There is a lot more pressure to perform and deliver results. Everything you think about is to be back on the bike and racing as soon as possible.
I still hoped to be able to race my Nationals, but time was running out to get fit and ready to have a good race. This added even more stress on me. Once we finally decided that I’m was not going to race at nationals, I felt much better.
Instead, we decided to take the time to get the physical treatments done, to heal and recover, and get back to normal training along with some local racing. This was the best plan to get me back to 100% as soon as possible, and I’m glad to be getting back out there, ready to race. I’m very grateful to my coach for all the advice and for my team to give me the time to recover and a reasonable race programme for my comeback.
Here’s what I learned from dealing with my own injury:
- If you feel that something isn’t right, do not just push through it.
- Diagnose where the problems and pain are coming from and why. See your doctor or PT for an accurate diagnosis
- Be patient and really listen to your body.
- Ignoring the pain isn’t a solution.
- Once you know how to treat the injury, come up with treatment and recovery plan, and set goals.
- Take a step-by-step approach to getting back to your normal training routine
- Trust and listen to your coach/PT/physician! Do what you are suppose to do and don’t overdo it.
ALP Cycles Coaching is a Boulder-based coaching company with three female coaches at the helm: Alison Powers, Jennifer Sharp and Patricia Schwager.
Each coach brings her own coaching strengths and personal experiences. Road racing, track, endurance mountain biking, time trialling, making the leap to living and racing in Europe – they’ve got you covered. Find out more about Alison Powers and her Alp Cycles coaching company at here.