Make the most of your injury time

Setbacks allow you time to reflect as well as a chance to cut back on the pace, says #Run1000Miles ambassador Matt Armstrong

Matt Armstrong: hit his 1000-mile target before injury struck

Matt Armstrong: hit his 1000-mile target before injury struck

After running my own #dementia496 challenge in March for Dementia UK, I reached the #Run1000miles mark in April, which was on a great on a day out with my running club, Hyde Park Harriers – Leeds, in the Lake District on leg two recce of the Bob Graham round on the descent off Seat Sandal. This was in preparation for a Billy Bland relay attempt in June - they went on to do a highly commendable 21hrs 24mins. I unfortunately didn’t make the relay due to injury and I must admit that every mile since has been hard earned.

Running doesn’t always come easy and getting back to running after injury has been a serious effort over the last two months with physiotherapy, a lot of run-walking and I have had to supplement my running with hiking instead to just get out and try and keep my fitness. I have been out hiking some local trails in full to tick them off and ‘The Welcome Way’ was one that I did with a friend called David from work - a solid 28 mile loop which was well worth the effort.

If you’re injured or are finding the miles harder than they should be, take stock and get any real niggles seen to properly. Hiking has been my recovery strategy this time and, if you can’t run, it is great time on your feet and also helps give you that time on the trails to still enjoy them at a slower pace.

I am again looking forward to feeling the miles flow beneath my feet and have an ultra-marathon in July called the High Life, which is one of the Punk Panther ultra-marathons based in West Yorkshire which will be a 77miles/125km. 

My recovery is focused on that, as well as what feels a distant chance of making the start line for the GBUltras #RaceAcrossScotland 214 mile ultra in August along the Southern Upland Way. There have been a lot of races and events over the last few months and I have been itching to be on the start line for them, but it just hasn’t happened recently and trying to stay positive is important. I am sure the miles will come along again, with lessons learnt and new strategies in place.

The doubts that injuries can bring also bring opportunity to reflect on other parts of life and to consider what it is about running that you really enjoy. Turning those doubts into determination is important so that you can keep moving forward at the right pace for the 1000 miles or beyond.

Matt Armstrong's blog