Injuries and runners. The two go together like peanut butter and jelly.

While it’s nice to think you will never get injured as a runner, the odds are not in your favor. At one point, the majority of runners have to deal with some form of injury. The physical pain of the injury itself is often nothing compared to the frustration of not being able to run.

If you are injured now, it’s inevitable you’ll be given advice on how to get over the injury or what you should be doing until you can run again. Those kind souls really do mean well. To the injured runner, it’s like fingernails on a chalkboard. Can they be more annoying? There is just one thing on the runner’s brain – I just want to run!

Luckily, most of us are back after a little time off, rehab or cross-training. Give it time, and it will happen.

Next time you are injured or come across some poor runner who is, think twice about what words of sympathy or wisdom you give them. There are just some things you should never say to an injured runner.

1. “You should do yoga!”

Yes, yoga does wonderful things for the body and is the perfect complement to running. I want to find my Zen. But yoga doesn’t nearly bring the same endorphin rush that running does. Runners, run! It’s what we do.

2. “You should swim/bike/elliptical!”

You are right. I can cross train with any of those options. And I will. But I don’t want to. I just want to run.

3. “I just had the best long run. I felt like I could run forever!”

Excuse me if I want to punch you in the throat right now. I’m very happy for you but considering I can’t run AT ALL, please don’t be offended by my lackluster response of “Oh, that’s nice.”

4. “Have you tried rest, ice, compression, and elevation? Or stretching? Taking anti-inflammatories?”

Umm, yeah. I’m not stupid. I know all about R.I.C.E. I’m way past that point in the injury.

5. “Weren’t you just injured?”

Oh yes, thanks for bringing that up. I guess I didn’t learn my lesson.

6. “You should focus on strengthening your upper body now.”

So my lower body will be totally weak, and I’ll be injured all over again when I return to running?

7. “That happened to my friend/sister/neighbor. She never ran again.”

Thanks for the words of encouragement. Certainly debilitating injuries happen, but there’s no reason to squash my hopes just because your experience wasn’t positive.

8. “Why don’t you find another sport?”

That’s like asking me to stop breathing. Nope. Not going to happen.

9. “You needed a rest anyways.”

Are you trying to say I look tired?

10. “See? I told you running wasn’t good for you.”

If you knew what was good for you, you’d better start running now!


By Nichols