It’s finally time! You’ve had your ankle surgery, patiently waited through your recovery, worked regularly with your physical therapist, and are now ready to hit the road and get back into running! Whether your ultimate goal is regular jogging around the park, training for the New York Marathon, or something in between, the running world is your oyster with your imporoved ankle to support you. However, you might be a little anxious about getting back into the swing of things. After all, you don’t want to risk messing up all the hard work that went into the weeks following your procedure. We get it, and we are glad that you are taking your ankle health seriously. If you are nervous about the process of running again, take comfort in the fact that you don’t have to go it alone. We are happy to answer any questions you might have each (literal) step of the way. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you start.
Don’t rush it
It’s pretty unreasonable to think that you will be back to your pre-surgery running times and distances your first time out. In fact, depending on the extent of your injury, getting back to your record-setting levels might not be realistic. Think back to and rely on your running basics. Instead of looking at your watch, focus on what first drew you to the sport and what you enjoy most about it. Take in the sights, sounds, and smells around you, and revel in the feel of your feet hitting your surface of choice and propelling you forward. Simply embrace the fact that you are running again.
Think safety first
You might have graduated from rehab, but you still need to keep your health in mind. Remember to stretch as you work out, and don’t forget to put on any supports or special shoes that you need to keep your feet and ankles in good condition. Also, keep in mind where you are running. Avoid paths that are covered with debris, like sticks and rocks, and be mindful of weather conditions. A slick spot due to rain or ice can wreak havoc on your ankles if you hit them at the wrong angle.
Don’t be a hero
Unfortunately, sometimes ankle surgeries don’t provide the results you expect. If you experience any pain as you are out running or notice any sounds or symptoms similar to what you experienced before your ankle procedure, stop your activity and be sure to report to your doctor before the hurt gets out of hand. Putting off an exam because you are worried about what you will find out can be more damaging in the long run.
Keep at it
Starting off slow and dealing with moderate aches and pains can be frustrating, especially if running has always come easy to you, but don’t feel like you should give up. If you are passionate about running, you’ll find that it is worth the effort. Set realistic goals with the help of your physical therapist and remind yourself of where you came from.