Regular readers of this blog will know that I suffered a nasty injury to my calf (and lower back) a week or so ago, mostly due to my own negligence. For those of you that missed it, visit this page and look for the "Listen to your body" post. This is a perfect example of me not doing the smart thing, and basically paying the price for it.
Anyway, took a week off my sprint training (and almost all other leg related training) due to this injury. Figured I'd give it at least a week to heal, so I can come back stronger. So, did that, about a week's passed, and the pain's abated to a great degree, so I thought I'd start to ease back into my sprint routine. Remember, I love training my legs - and sprints are one of my personal favorites, so you can imagine how frustrating it is for me to just have to sit back and not be able to even run, let alone sprint.
So, made it over to the park again this morning, and started to warm up in readiness for the sprint. Did a few "trial" runs, they didn't feel right though. Uh-oh, not good. . .Did my first "medium pace" sprint, and the calf started to complain again. Uh-oh, here we go again. . .Only this time, I'm a wiser person. I'm definitely NOT going to ignore my body's signals while "coming back" - so did a few brisk walks around the park instead (which I can do without any pain) and then did some other upper body exercises before calling it a day.
And that's what you need to do as well, when returning from injury (or if you're just starting out, or haven't exercised in ages). Listen to your body, and understand what it's telling you. It can be frustrating "sitting on the sidelines" not being able to do what you'd like, but as you can see from my experience, the consequences of ignoring your body's signals altogether aren't too pleasant.
You also need to judge your body's signals accurately. Not waking up on a cold morning to go running simply because "you cannot" is laziness despite what your body is telling you, but not running because of a genuine injury is reasonable and sensible, and you need to heed your body's advice on that one. Always remember that though your body's always telling you something, YOU are the ultimate judge here - and it is YOU that decides how to act upon those signals.
Do so wisely, and you'll ensure that you stay on the right track!
PS: Fast and Furious Fitness offers you many routines that will help you stay on track as far as your fitness is concerned.