We hate injury as much as you do. We love running as much as you do. So we understand the frustration that comes from every running injury. It is an innate want that every runner wants to push themselves to achieve more. To aim, enter and finish that Ultra. Or even that 5k. You got a pair of running shoes because of the same reasons we love the sport.
You wanted something simple
Something that can make you feel alive. Something that makes you feel good about yourself. That keeps you fit and hearty. That introduces you to crazy groups of friends. That you get to see at every race.
And then you get injured. No matter how you try, your race is over. You are reduced to a walking pity party. When you entered that race, and stood at the start line, you didn’t think your race would end like this. And now, being stopped in the middle of that long race, you are stopped in your tracks by some pain. Inexplicable and excruciating. And you have to make peace with the fact that your only choice is between pulling out – which means a big DNF. Or carrying on, but as a walking, or limping mess.
And then you start analyzing the frustration
Wondering. Asking advice. What to do? How to do it? What to try? Everyone is full of advice. You go see specialists. All sorts of solutions are prescribed.
It has to be the most frustrating thing on the planet. Wanting to run and not being able to. If you were made to run as a biped, why can’t you simply erase the injury and get back to the happy runner you were?
Popular wisdom and old habits are also to blame. Pushing through the pain is as much a part of being a runner as buying new shoes. So as you start your running career, you might not be equipped with the best tools to handle the ups and downs of running and indeed running injury.
It is another of life’s paradoxes – where the body takes 6 weeks to heal no matter what. So when you have done too much, you need to let go of your expectation. And focus on getting back to running. No use trying to cling to a race or a goal whilst being strapped up, taped up and drugged up. Running is supposed to be the best thing in life. Not a job or a prison sentence.
When you get a niggle that flares up into a full-blown DNF-inducing injury, you need to take a deep breath and take a step back. This is where a coach is invaluable. As most runners coach themselves, they can easily silence the ‘coach-voice’ to get back onto running before healing has taken place.
Every runner wants to perform
We get it. You want to be better than your last PB. Complete that dream race and go for gold. Even if gold means just finishing. Every runner has their goal and their dream to reach. But you need a more long term mindset if you want to be a lifelong runner. No use in injuring yourself permanently for a short term goal when the long term implications can be so much worse.
The choice often comes down to a simple one
Especially when the issue is just starting. Either miss a week or two of training – which feels like the worst decision in the world. Or miss a whole season, or year.
When the frustration of running injury comes up, take a long term approach and rather relish in the fact that you can actually rest. Be honest. Sometime during your training programme you wished for some lazy-afternoon-couch-time, or morning-snooze-fest. Embrace that part of your running journey and come back to start another day. Everyone will be there to welcome you back. And maybe next time you can share your wisdom and support with someone else.