Boris Berian is one of the fastest American 800-meter runners. But an achilles injury has sidelined him for several seasons. “The hardest part of being injured,” Berian says, “is not knowing whether or not you can get to where you were before you were injured.” He shares tips on how to bounce back from his home and training grounds in Boulder, CO.
Injury is difficult for the mind and the body. Berian surrounds himself with positive team members who can keep his spirits up when doubts creep in. Find your own way to build a positive space for yourself as you focus on recovery.
Good nutrition is always crucial to your body’s health, including muscle repair. When you’re injured, be mindful of what you eat and drink to maximize physical and mental health.
Strength training is essential for injury prevention. Berian typically completes three strength sessions per week, but it’s not all heavy lifting. One day per week is focused on light work such as ankle mobility, calf exercises and resistance band training for mobility in his ankles and feet. Berian completes heavier strength workouts on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
To build fitness and repair the body, rest is crucial. That means making easy days truly easy. Berian takes short runs of about three miles to allow his body to absorb his training gains and prioritize recovery without unneeded stress on his muscles and joints.
Dirt is easier on bones than pavement. Berian protects his body from excessive impact on the run by putting his miles in on soft surfaces, like a dirt road.
Not everyone can get a professional massage twice per week like Berian and other professional athletes. But you can loosen up your muscles at home with tools like a foam roller or the Hyperice Hypervolt. Check out our video on the best massage products to maximize recovery.
Berian’s team spends time in mindful relaxation together to jumpstart the recovery process after a tough workout. Try relaxing on the floor or with your legs elevated for five minutes or more. Take deep belly breaths and close your eyes to make the magic happen.