2 PTs Answer: How does being a Doctor of PT influence the way I train? Jenn's Response.
(Jesse: Dr Jenn Randall and I get asked this question often. So we decided to answer it separately then compare our answers.)
Being a doctor of physical therapy has certainly impacted how I approach training for the sport I love—running, in various ways.
My training and experience as a physical therapist have equipped me with the wisdom to step back and make sound decisions when I feel an injury starting. Last fall, my training was geared toward the USA Cross Country 10k Championships. I was doing long (for me), grueling workouts on soft surfaces in sometimes abysmal conditions. I felt more aerobically fit than ever before. However, the day before my big race, I went for a run and felt a sharp pain around the inside of my ankle. When it didn’t resolve in half a mile, I returned home and scrapped the run. On race day, I tried again to test the ankle and again was greeted with pain that I could tell was negatively impacting my running form. I knew my posterior tibialis tendon was aggravated. As a clinician, I knew this was not something to push through, especially when the race course I was about to run would be technical and uneven. Thus, I made the call to pull the plug on the race. I knew that allowing my aggravated tissue time to rest, rather than racing through it, was what my body needed. I used my clinical judgment to make this call rather than letting the competitive runner in me call the shots. It was the right call; if I had pushed through this injury, I would have spent much more time sidelined from the sport.
As a physical therapist, I know there are a lot of little pieces that go into staying healthy and maximizing running performance. It takes a lot more than just lacing up and pounding the pavement. My knowledge of strength training, drills, warm-ups, mobility, injury prevention and recovery helps me make space for these training components daily to complement my running routine.
Some of this comes down to:
Practice What You Preach.
I can’t expect my patients to perform regular rehab exercises if I don’t take the time to consistently do essential rehab exercises myself. Thus, my motivation to hold myself to the same high standards I hold my clients to drives me to stay consistent with the little things that significantly impact health and exercise performance.
Jesse: In the next post, see my answer (SPOILER: fortunately- it's pretty similar.. even comically so).
Let us know what you think, and as always- feel free to reach out and contact us with issues you may be having or inquires on how you can improve the way you move, feel, and perform.