My #1 Tool & Routine for Running Injuries

Sooner or later, no matter how much you try, if you run for a long time, it’s gonna happen, you’re gonna get injured. It’s happened to me numerous times. Now, if you’re out of school, you’re out of college, it’s probably likely you can take care of yourself before it gets too bad.

Sooner or later, no matter how much you try, if you run for a long time, it’s gonna happen, you’re gonna get injured. It’s happened to me numerous times. Now, if you’re out of school, you’re out of college, it’s probably likely you can take care of yourself before it gets too bad. You don’t have to run yourself lopsided like I did in college. But when it comes to injuries, there’s a basic routine, I come back to over and over and over again. And that’s what I want to share with you today.

If you haven’t been with me here before, I’m Jesse Funk. This is a show I call Runner’s High. And you’re gonna want to hit that subscribe button to stick around for more episodes every Tuesday and Thursday, as well as my podcast, the Smart Athlete Podcast on Fridays, where I interview really awesome people from all kinds of different disciplines, anywhere from amateur athletes to Olympians, and what’s going on in their lives. It’s a really cool show.

I meet some really amazing people. So, we want to talk about injuries. Know that it’s gonna happen. And this routine that I want to share with you is basically for soft tissue injuries. If you’ve got a stress fracture or something that is skeletal, go to your doctor. The kind of things that you need to do for a skeletal issue are going to be different than this.

But what happens to most of us is we get some kind of soft tissue injury sooner or later, right? There’s something, a little irritation here, a little pain there. And me in particular, I’m going through one of those right now. I’ve got extensor tendonitis in one of my feet. This is the first time this has ever happened in 20 years of running. So, it was new for me.

I was concerned it was a stress fracture. Unfortunately, it’s not. I was following all my basic rules, not going over 10% in jumping up in mileage every week. We were actually only doing 5%. You know, I’m still only under like 40 miles a week, taking plenty of rest, doing all those kinds of things. But it crept up on me anyway. And I went to my go-to routine after I figured out what was going on.

Now, you will know the basics of it that you’ve seen everywhere else. But there’s a couple other things you need to do if you want to keep running and stay in shape without taking a ton of time out. Now you’re going to know this, RICE. You’ve seen this acronym everywhere: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation, right? This is the basic idea for injuries across the board pretty much.

And I generally agree with them. They’re going to do a lot of good. I focus more on the ice, in particular, to reduce inflammation. Sometimes you’re going to be taking NSAIDs, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, like ibuprofen. But I cannot prescribe that for you because I’m not a doctor. So, check your doctor, your health provider in terms of guidance in regards to that.

But when we’re talking about soft tissue injuries, RICE, the RICE method is the basic thing to go to. But I modify it because most of the time, the suggestion is rest, ice it, compress it, elevate it. Great. Those things are effective. But when we’re training, what we have to balance is not going too hard to make the interview worse. And also not taking too much time off to lose fitness.

Now, if something is hurting you enough where it is affecting your stride, meaning you’re now hobbling, you’re limping as you’re running. And you’re probably going to need somebody else with you to see this. Because it can sneak up on you and you can be limping and not really noticing that you’re doing thinking that you’re running normally.

But if you notice it, then it’s definitely bad. At that point, you need to take time off, period, period, period. How many times do I have to say it? I don’t know. But the case is that you need to take time off because it’s gotten to a point where you’re not automatically going to be able to rehab it out. And that is the thing that I go to is rehab or prehab in this case. But addressing that soft tissue injury by doing some kind of isolating exercises to help strengthen it.

Now, in my case, in particular, that means I’ve been picking marbles up with my toes to help those extensor tendons in those areas get strong, right. I’ve also been doing single-leg calf raises because I noticed that calf was weak. Now, my routine here is to do it basically three times a day, if I can, three sets of 10.

This depends on your kind of fitness level, how severe the injury is, what the exercises are. And you have to determine what is that particular injury you have. Now, one way I self-diagnose injuries is to try to isolate, okay, where’s my pain? Now let’s look at an anatomical model of that area of the body. Because I’m not an exercise physiologist, I don’t have all that stuff memorized. I just -- I never took anatomy, sorry.

Once I do that, I go through, look at the muscle structure and say, it’s probably this. Now, what kind of exercises isolate that muscle group? And if I do the exercises for that muscle group and feel it in that area, feel that pain in that area, as I’m doing that, then I know, hey, this is probably my issue. Now, to do rehab for something, and you know what, it can be uncomfortable.

But it shouldn’t be agonizing or painful to try to continue through an exercise. This is where you have to take self caution. If you’re doing it and it’s getting worse, then stop. You’re doing too much. But if you have something that’s kind of bothering you, kind of itching, slightly painful when you run, kind of nagging at you, pay attention and get ahead of it to do those exercises to make it stronger so it doesn’t become something worse.

Now, you may clicked on this video because you want to know what my number one tool is. And I don’t talk a lot about other company’s products because I represent my own company and I don’t sell any of this stuff. But I don’t often like to talk about other company’s products because I don’t feel like it’s my place as a brand owner to kind of critique, you know, positively or negatively other company’s products.

However, in this case, it’s so essential, it’s so useful that I am going to share it with you, and that is KT Tape. Now, it comes in these little rolls. I get the pro version, which is synthetic fibers. It’s supposed to last a little bit longer, you can wear it in the shower. They recommend that it’s going to last for seven days. I typically find it depends on the particular injury.

Now, mine right now, as you can see, it looks like this. And it comes out very easily in the pool. I’m taking this week off maybe longer just to try to get it under control so that I don’t have to take even more time off as I suggested earlier, which means this week, I’m biking and swimming more than I normally would in place of those runs.

But when I’m in the pool doing flip turns, tape comes off really easy because it’s on my foot. Now I’ve been in the pool with KT Tape in other places, hamstring stuff, absolutely no problem. So, it depends on where it is. And it also depends on the application. It’s better if you shave. Gentlemen, if you don’t shave, it’s better if you shave to apply it. I don’t know and that’s part of my issue too. Clean skin also good.

Now, KT Tape is not the only brand that makes this. There’s Kinesiotape, Athletic Tape. There are a lot of brands that make it now. They may be the original, I’m not absolutely sure on that. But it is my go-to for these kind of, well, I’ll say minor injuries where it’s kind of bugging you but it’s not affecting your stride but you know something’s wrong. It kind of helps, at least in my opinion, work on getting you to continue to work out, relieve some of the stress when you’re not working out, and when you are so that things can heal when you’re going through that prehab routine.

Do you have experience like I do with being injured? Do you have any tips you can share with your fellow runners? Leave them in the comments below. I’d love to see what you do and hopefully, we all, together, can help each other stay injury-free training longer so that we can be faster together. I’ll see you next time on the next episode of Runner’s High.

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