Last week I posted a bit about the running injury I’ve been dealing with for over a month now. While my achilles seems to be improving, my posterior tibialis is getting worse. I’ve also been dealing with a rotator cuff injury but that doesn’t really impact my running. Then, I managed to get rear ended on Halloween and I’ve been given a NO EXERCISE for at least 2 weeks order. I’m stressed. I’m in pain. And I can’t use my normal version of stress relieve for the foreseeable future.
I’ve been doing some research on how to deal with a running injury without going insane. I’ve found some good tips – a few of which have worked for me, and some not so much – but if you find yourself in the same boat, maybe they could help you.
6 Tips for the Injured Runner
- Stay social – One of the worst parts of being an injured runner is missing your running friends. The past month has been AWFUL for me as I watch my friends all run their fall goal races. I’m thrilled when they post new PRs and fun finish line pictures, but there is definitely some jealously there. I was able to meet up with a few running friends to spectate our local marathon a couple weeks ago and that helped a little. Grabbing beers with them afterwards helped even more.
- Cheer on fellow runners – If you can’t participate in a race you’ve signed up for, see if you can volunteer. If volunteering might aggravate your injury at least go cheer on your friends. I knew I wouldn’t be able to stand to work the entire marathon, but I was able to go out for a few hours and cheer people on from a great spot 1 mile from the finish line. I did pay for it a bit later with a sore achilles from all the walking and standing, but it was great to give friends hugs and hi fives as the ran by. A few of my friends cheering with me even did some running alongside struggling runners, giving them that little boost. They couldn’t run 13.1 or 26.2, but they could cover a half mile here and there.
- Keep your schedule – If there is one thing runners thrive on (me especially) it’s structure. I think it’s one of the reasons I do so many races. I puffy heart training plans. While injured, I’ve tried to keep as close to my usual training schedule as I can. I go to bed and get up at the same times, and do my PT when I would normally run.
- Find other ways to deal with stress – Running is a HUGE source of therapy for so many people. When a runner is sidelined, they lose that method of stress relief. Do what you can to unwind. I’ve rediscovered Dancing With the Stars (Bindi Irwin has to be the most adorable and endearing human on the planet) and Survivor (don’t get me started on Abi). I’ve also started re-reading the Harry Potter series…because I can.
- Stay positive! – This is probably the hardest for me to do. I am definitely a glass half empty sort of person but I had the word “believe” tattooed to my wrist for a reason. I need to believe that I am going to come back even stronger and will be out running with my friends in 2016.
- Get help – And lastly, if you are really struggling with the emotional side of injury and feel yourself becoming obsessive about your inability to run, get professional help. Injuries suck, but they shouldn’t feel like the end of the world, and if they do, a therapist can help you work through it.
Do you have any tips to add to this list? If you’ve found yourself on the couch, what has helped you get back out there?
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