It Takes Time to Heal

I’ve been here before, several times in fact. I’ve had at least three instances since 2011 where I’ve had the same reoccurring spinal injury sideline me from running only to work my way back within a few months. Each time I saw either a physical therapist or sports chiropractor to help get me back to running, but here’s the thing, I probably wasn’t letting my body fully heel before attempting to make my comeback.


The Comeback Plan

My most recent physical therapist was great in reining me in and reminding me to give my body time to heal. She also reminded me that the healing process takes time, possibly up to a year. When I graduated from PT in mid-July, I had her blessings to start running again as long as I go slowly using run/walk intervals. In the past, I started by running a mile, then two miles, etc. until within a few weeks I was back to running at least five miles whenever I went for a run.

While visiting the farm earlier this summer, I started my comeback with run/walk intervals. Fast forward six weeks and my running segments have been feeling really good and I’m encouraged with how easing back into running has gone so far. Now that I have six weeks of 2-minute run/4-minute walk intervals under my belt, I will move to 3-minute run/3-minute walk next month. I have zero desire to overdo it and plan to stick with each new ratio 0f intervals for a month as I move toward running exclusively.

Mid-July through August – 2-minute run/4-minute walk intervals

September – 3-minute run/3-minute walk intervals

October – 4-minute run/2-minute walk intervals

November – 5-minute run/1-minute walk intervals

December – running exclusively


Complementing with Cross Training

Of course, I will continue to keep cross training as an integral part of my training plan. I’m convinced that focusing on strength training has been a huge in part of staying relatively healthy during the decade when I was running several marathons per year. During the last three years I have brought cycling into my training plan which has helped complement my cardiovascular training without putting additional wear and tear on my joints.


My Promise to Myself

Here’s hoping my body will continue to respond positively to my gradual reintroduction to running – I promise myself that I will listen to my body and take a step back if necessary. I will continue to respect my body’s limitations and not push it beyond its current abilities. The goal right now is much more than to simply get back to running, it’s to get back to running with a body that is strong and fully healed, one that’s not susceptible to reinjury.


  • • Do you have any reoccurring injuries that continue to plague you?
  • • Do you or have you used run/walk intervals as part of a rehab program?
  • • What other forms of rehab have you used?