You’ve had an injury, done the acute rehab and now are thinking about returning to your sport (under the guidance of your physio of course!). A common mistake people make is that they try to return to the same level of activity that they were doing pre-injury which can often lead to other injuries developing or flaring up the pre-existing injury, having a goal and plan of progression is one way to prevent this from happening.
An effective way to set a goal is by using the S.M.A.R.T goal system… Say you were training for an upcoming fun run, an example of a S.M.A.R.T would be as follows:
- Specific: I want to compete in a fun run in August
- Measurable: The distance I want to compete in is 10km
- Attainable/ Achievable: I’ve previously done a 5km fun run and have a running history so 10km is good next step! You don’t want to choose a goal that’s impossible to achieve, but wants to be something that challenges you.
- Results Focused: Run 10km in under 2 hours
- Time Bound: It’s February now, the fun run is in August; you have 6 months to achieve this goal
Once you have an end goal, you can then start your plan of progression. Sometimes working backwards and breaking things down can be a good way to figure out what you need to achieve before you start. You can’t run 10km straight off the bat post injury so start small and build.
Remember nothing more than 10% each week and only change one variable (ie. distance or speed). If you try to bring all components in at once that’s when you’ll run into trouble!!