I am sidelined with a muscle strain injury. Boohoo. It sucks – I can tell you that. The injury happened during my last marathon .

I was about 20-21 mile in the race and all felt good when it happened on my left leg.

The injury slowed me down about a minute per mile and prevented me from running a consistent speed.

I still had a new personal best time for a marathon, but all that does not help me now. I simply have to wait this one out and if you are a runner you know that this is a tough situation.

We runners, we do not like to sit around. But I am trying to be patient knowing that the rest for my body is important so that the injury can heal.

Every morning when I wake I do a mental check of how everything feels and I take it from there.

So, I knew that a pulled muscle or strained muscle takes some time to heal, but I wanted to know how long exactly.

There are three different grades of how these injuries are measured against. Here is what I found out (also assuming that you did not rupture a tendon or so).

Grade 1 Strain:

This is a mild strain. Only minor parts of the muscle fibers have been damaged. Healing occurs in two to three weeks. Usually you do not need to visit a doctor or physical therapist

Grade 2 Strain:

This is a moderate strain. Your muscle has significantly more damage than in a grade 1 injury.

The good news is that the muscle is not completely ruptured. Healing occurs within three to six weeks. Depending on how things feel after 3 weeks you might want to visit your doctor or physical therapist.

Grade 3 Strain:

This is a complete rupture of your muscle. This is a very serious injury and most-likely requires a visit to the ER, your doctor, and your physical therapist. The healing period can take up to three months.

Well, the good news for me is that I think this is a Grade 1 strain injury that I have. I did not have any bruising or visible swellings as an example.

I definitely feel the improvements even though healing is much slower than I hope it would be.

Unfortunately I cannot take days off from work and give it more rest, but I am definitely keeping things on the slow side for now.

How do you treat a muscle strain injury?

The best treatment you do is to ice and to rest. Compression might help as well and in some cases elevation helps, too.

No matter how tempting – cease any activity that uses that muscle as much as possible.

If you have a grade 3 muscle strain injury you’re in for physical therapy and maybe even surgery depending on what exactly happened.

For grade 1 and grade 2 injuries massages, use of a foam roller, or physical therapy can help the healing process.

So, I am probably looking at another 5-7 days of rest at the moment. Arghhhh

But since I am not that active physically, I am active mentally quite a bit. I have been thinking about doing this for quite a while, but now with a bit more time on my hand and after having read a motivating book I am going to give it a try.

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