Being injured is so frustrating, like many other triathletes, I find training provides a welcome break from the stresses of work and family life and when I can't train everything else seems to suffer. 2015 was going to be the year where PB's were smashed, Ironman's completed and 6 pack achieved (at last).
So when what I thought was a pulled stomach muscle was diagnosed as a hernia the prospect of achieving anything to write home about was severely dented.
When doctors and physio's say rest for 6 weeks, no lifting for 2 weeks, usually I would half what they say at best, maybe 10 years ago I could get away with that but as age catches up with you what the medics say starts to make sense. I suppose that is the first lesson I have learned from this year. Listen to what doctors say, they are usually right, and if you get away with ignoring them it's more down to luck than anything else.
I think the second thing I have learned this year is to plan your training, build it up slowly and give yourself recovery time. Trying to compare my first 5k run of the year against what I had done in the past would have been potentially demoralising. I programmed training from nothing in Jan, 2 sessions a week in Feb and 3 building up to 4 in March. By April I was able to introduce higher intensity training as my strength and fitness were starting to get to where they once were. Although the increases were gradual and sometimes I felt like I could squeeze in another session I exercised self control, another new concept for me but I think it has paid dividends.
The final thing I would recommend to anyone trying to come back from injury is to take the opportunity spend some more time in the kitchen. I often read about healthy meals with super foods blah blah blah but rarely find the time to find the ingredients, never mind actually cook the stuff. There are so many really tasty, healthy, filling meals out there and once you know how to do them they are easy. There are lots of benefits of doing this; you control your diet when you can't train, your more comfortable with some great recipes when you get back to training and most importantly, your friends and family think your wonderful for cooking for them.
Probably for the first time in my life I have taken rehabilitation seriously in order to try and achieve my goals for the season and I am pleased to say after the first Olympic Distance Tri of the year I have ticked off the first of my aims for the season. Next stop will be a Half Ironman later in the summer and who knows, after nearly 40 years of trying maybe that 6 pack isn't so unrealistic.