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The Backup Plan - A Guide for Injured Runners

Injury can be absolutely devastating. When life throws up a "no running" sign, what’s a runner to do?

Resilience is one of the hallmark qualities of a true athlete - the ability to recalibrate and adapt in the face of challenge or adversity.

Ok great, But but but ..... how?? ? Running injuries are hard, but finding credible information on how to stay fit while injured can be even harder.

Don’t worry, The Backup Plan’s got you !

The Backup Plan is a FREE ebook that I've created on cross training, injury prevention, and returning to full training for the injured runner, chock full of all the information I wish I had while navigating my first few injuries .

Hold up a sec - Who am I, and what makes me think I’m such an authority on cross training ?

I’m Jess! A Canadian Olympic 5000m runner with an MSc in exercise physiology .

Running at an elite level often finds athletes toeing the line between peak performance and devastating injury. I’ve crossed that line a few times over my career , suffering tendonitis, strains, a fracture, a concussion, you name it. I was even hit by a car once! These setbacks forced me to develop effective cross-training routines through research and a LOT of trial and error. Over the years, I’ve got it pretty down pat and have managed to run Olympic qualifying times within weeks of returning to running following an injuries.

I’ve been frustrated by how hard it is to find credible information on cross training to maintain fitness during an injury. Everyone has heard legends of athletes who have shattered PBs and won championships shortly after being confined to a pool for weeks with an injury, but I’ve spent hours searching and it’s never been clear to me WHAT they actually DID! Why does training have to be so secretive ?

Navigating injuries is difficult and can be very isolating, and I want to share the knowledge and experiences I’ve gained in hopes of helping YOU! The Backup Plan was conceptualized mid-water running session and became a passion project as I put together all of the information I’ve gathered and learned through personal experience. At the time, writing The Backup Plan gave me purpose during a long recovery from achilles tendonitis as I felt I could help others.

Don’t be intimidated by this document- the page count is high, but the font is LARGE and the info is plentiful! I hope you enjoy The Backup Plan, chock full of all of the information I wish I had had during my first few injuries. Happy Healing!

By Jessica O’Connell MSc, CSEP-CEP, OLY. Coach at Grit Coaching For more coaching advice, check out or visit our IG page @grit_coaching

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