I wanted to share with you an actual e-mail conversation between a patient and myself. 

This patient is an elite runner with whom I’ve worked with in the past.

She asks, “I have a question/ inquiry, I have been back to running as usual for few months now and things have been going great! I have a race on the books for Feb 9th so miles and intensity are increasing and will continue to increase for the next 8 weeks.
I am wondering if there is anything we can work on as a preventative measure for injury and to make sure I don’t do anything stupid?”

Now, I’ve already created a program for this athlete that includes things like strength/balance training, core work, mobility drills, etc. that are tailored to address both her individual needs, and her needs as an overall high-performing runner. Therefore, she’s already doing A LOT as a preventive measure towards injury.

However, I responded to her questions with this:

“We talk a lot about this concept of work:rest ratio. Essentially, it means that if you’re a couch bum, and aren’t doing much training, then therefore, you don’t need to be resting/recovering a whole lot. 

If there’s very little stress on your body in the form of training volume, then you don’t need to be resting, you need to be working harder to keep the ratio even.

On the other hand, and in your case, if you’re training a lot, increasing volume, stressing the body/nervous system/soft tissue, then you need to be resting/recovering really hard, as well. 

We need to focus on keeping the seesaw balanced and the ratio as even as possible.

Rest/recovery for you can come in the form of deloads, rest days, massages, recovery boots, coming into the clinic for soft tissue work, myofascial work, needles, etc. Whatever form of rest/recovery you choose, just make sure that it gets implemented more frequently when the stress you’re putting on your body begins to accumulate.

When the seesaw becomes one-sided, and the ratio becomes uneven, that’s  when injuries start to occur.”

I hope this helps.