The greatest feeling in the world for a runner who has been unable to pound the pavements and fields because of an injury is to once again tie up the trainers and get back on the comeback trail.

However it is not always as simple as that.

For a start the last thing you want is a recurrence of the injury that stopped you in your tracks in the first place.

The question asked therefore is: “How do I do it?”

Fear not. I have the answer. But let me first of all tell you a little story.

I have competed in more than a hundred races over the years and would class myself as nothing more than a decent club runner who does his best.

Two months ago I was hit by something that many people suffer from. Sciatica. It had in fact returned. The pain is excruciating .The sciatic nerve is irritated and becomes compressed hitting you with a sharp stabbing pain from your back to your toes.

As a result running stops, weight piles on and misery sets in.

You can stretch. You can take painkillers. After a while the pain eases but it is still there.

You then have to decide whether or not to start putting pressure on your back once again by running.

If you feel you can, please follow this advice. Be patient. Do not attempt to return to your 55 minute 10k pace straightaway.

Swallow your pride and go back to being a beginner. It is working for me.

Walk a lamppost, jog a lamppost. Walk a lamppost, jog a lamppost.

Do this for half a mile. That is your first training session and guess what? YOU HAVE RETURNED TO RUNNING.

I have crept up to one mile without any undue after effects but hey I feel great because I am back in training .

I don’t care if it takes me months to train for my next race. Perhaps I could start off with a parkrun.

Right now my lampposts are my targets and that’s good enough for me!

Peter Hayward



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