Happy Wednesday, and thanks for joining us for another Runners’ Roundup! We have been so glad to welcome so many voices to this weekly community!
I’m not doing much (any) running at all, these days. Instead, my calorie burn comes from twice-a-week physical therapy, gym cardio and weights, and at-home pt exercises. It’s hard to envision running evolving from the series of stretches and flexes I do every day, but that’s the end game.
Be clear about your goals.
There were no questions that my goal, apart from recovering from two broken bones, was to run again. Specifically, to run half marathons, and maybe one spite marathon. Everyone in PT has different goals, whether they include getting back to functional life or going on to a competitive level of activity, and it’s important that everyone is on the same page.
Ask questions, but also trust.
The other day, we tried a new move: lunges on a slider with a thera-band around my ankles. I repeated the move a few times, and felt absolutely nothing. Thinking I was doing something wrong, I opened my mouth and asked what I was supposed to be experiencing and how it would help me. My PT came right over to adjust my form and show me where I needed to concentrate my efforts and why. It still doesn’t feel like I’m getting a ton from this particular motion, but I also trust that the (runner) PT, knowing my goals, is using them to help assign exercises.
Again this week, I got on the shuttle and my PT set the resistance. I tested it with a single leg press, and it was not quite easy, but certainly not challenging. Instead of letting it be, I asked if we could try a slightly more difficult setting. The PT obliged and asked me how that felt. I was honest when I said I wasn’t happy about the increased weight, but I could do it, and so I did. It was hard, but I can do hard things. While I don’t want to aggravate anything, I’m not going to get anywhere without challenging my comfort zone either. It also explains why I leave PT in a full sweat, every time, without fail.
Ask for recommendations.
Obviously, not every home is equipped with a full suite of PT equipment, and not every patient has access to a gym, so it can be difficult to replicate exercises independently. Your PT can show you ways to modify things for when you’re not in their office. I have used towels for straps and paper plates for sliders. Tall, plastic, drinking cups can fill in for cones and throw pillows can replace foam mats. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. As an added benefit, these are all stretches and workouts that will continue to help me when I am running again.
Do the work.
Friends, I don’t even want to tell you how many hours I spend doing PT exercises at home. Some days, it feels like that’s ALL I do. The fact is, the more consistent I am at home, the better my sessions at PT will go, and the more I can build and improve. If I only do PT moves while at PT, I lose entire days of fitness, strength and improvement. I’ve worked too hard to get to this point, and while I can’t rush healing, I can certainly help it along so I can get back to what I love.
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If you’ve been to PT, how did you use it to reach your goals?
Any crazy modifications you’ve had to employ in order to make PT exercises more home-friendly?