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‘Best foot forward…but no running’ – By Physio4Life Senior Physiotherapist, Faye Burge

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Best foot forward…but no running

A lower limb injury has quite literally taken you out of the race so you’ve plucked up courage to visit the physio.  Having been man handled, mobilised and deep tissue massaged until you are blue in the face the end result… ‘you need time off running’. That sentence alone is the reason many runners fail to seek treatment during the initial stages of their injury.


As physios we appreciate that this sentence is annoying for some yet crushing for others.  Please rest assured that we wouldn’t enforce it unless it was 100% necessary, (and being the kind hearted physical terrorists that we are, we do aim to have you back up and running ASAP)!  Running injuries happen for numerous reasons, from muscle imbalance and weakness to over use injures caused by relentless training.  Irrespective of cause the outcome of RRP (rest, rehab and physio) are normally the order of the day. So how can you maintain your cardio and keep the endorphins pumping?


Cardio work outs an include:

Swimming: even if you not a swimmer (let’s face it, many runners tend to sink!)

  • Kick boards and flippers are a great way to have variety in the pool and are a fantastic way to increase the intensity in the water.
  • Water jogging: few enjoy this due to feeling self conciseness but going for a full water sprint is the closest to running you can get whilst enjoying non weight bearing on the injured party!
  • Endurance or sprint training: interchanging your stroke helps keep your interest whilst giving you a full body work out (which many swimmers would argue is more cardio-vascularly challenging than running – hash that one out between your selves folks!)


If swimming doesn’t float your boat then try..

Biking: indoor or out door (normally this is dependent upon your injury)

  • spin classes
  • time laps (round bushy will challenge your CV system)
  • interval training (track, machine or park based)
  • endurance training (box hill is a notorious quad burn)
  • mountain biking (training balance, coordination and CV systems)


The next time your physio pulls you away from your beloved pounding of the pavements try to view it as a challenge and put your energy into some thing new. For many clients this is also how they accidentally get started into the world of triathlons.  Once you go down that path there really is no turning back….trust me!

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