Had the opportunity this weekend to meet Chris Johnson, physical therapist, Ironman triathlete and founder of Zeren PT & Performance through his educational workshop on returning to running following injury.
Undoubtedly one of the biggest questions that looms in every injured runner's mind is "When is it safe for me to run again?" And if you love running you know how much that uncertainty and resting while you recover can almost drive you crazy.
With the right training and rehabilitation approach, running rehab doesn't have to be such a mystery if you look at the appropriate criteria.
Part of the foundation of healthy running is being able to balance and control your body weight on a single leg. It seems obvious but when you run, both of your legs never contact the ground at the same time. In other words, at any given time you're literally on one leg. So it would only make sense that some of the best ways to get your legs in running shape is to perform single-leg exercises to mimic the demands of running. Chris maintains a video archive of him personally demonstrating many of these exercises through his website.
Laying the foundation of solid, controlled single leg work such as the single leg stepdown can help serve as the basis for being able to return to running. As always, consult with your PT for specific parameters in regards to frequency and volume of running and also with your MD to clear any red flags before resuming exercise.