It’s no secret that I love physical therapy (PT). After injuring my ankles, I finally decided to stop self-diagnosing and to go see a medical professional. Best decision I’ve made during this whole cycle of marathon training. I thought I’d share a bit about why I love PT so much and what happens when I go.
For any athlete, it can be scary when you start to feel pain outside of the norm. I think the natural tendency is to just try and run through it, hoping it gets better. In my case, I took a couple of days off due to the pain…but then I ran 10 miles. Not the smartest move. When I finally decided I’d let a PT take a look at my poor, aching body, I was terrified. I thought I was going to get scolded and be told not to run (if you had told me a year ago, I’d be nervous about being told NOT to run, I would have laughed in your face).
I nervously made my way to PT and explained my problems. After doing some diagnostic exercises (which determined that, among other things, I needed some serious strength training), my PT watched me walk down the hall. I hadn’t gone halfway when she said, “Yep. I see exactly what your problem is.” As it turned out, what I thought might have been a strain was actually a problem with the way I walked (again, among other things).
At the end of the appointment, I was given lots of homework, told to walk primarily in supportive shoes (aka sneakers) and scheduled for twice a week appointments for the foreseeable future. I was also told to incorporate strength training in my regular routine. I’ve written before about my efforts to do so, but haven’t had great success. I usually feel so burned out from running that the idea of doing another workout is hard to fathom. But, as I told my PT, I’m very good at following instructions, especially when those instructions mean less pain. So I downloaded the Nike Training Club App (I’ll do a full review soon!) and committed to doing a NTC workout 2x a week.
The best thing about PT for me is feeling like I have a support team for my marathon. My PT and I talk about what’s happening in our lives, I let her know what my run schedule looks like for the next couple days and I report back after runs (especially after long runs). During one of our early sessions, my PT said “oh thank goodness you came in – you probably would have been limping from mile 18 of your marathon.” Oh. And the icing — that’s pretty awesome too
Do you go to PT? If so, is it a positive experience for you?