Running Injury Psychology

A running injury is often a startling reminder that we are not invincible, but rather biological beings that need time to adapt and become stronger. If not detected early and managed properly, an injury can no doubt be one of the most frustrating obstacles that crop up between runners and their goals. Injuries are obviously physically damaging. In addition to the damage to the actual injured area, often a bi-product of dealing with an injury is yet another overuse injury as a result of favouring the injured area! A classic example of this is abnormalities in running gait caused by leaning to favour one side of the body. Possibly even more damaging though, is the psychological impacts that the experience of dealing with injuries can have on a runner; particularly those injuries that persist over any length of time. One such impact is to a runner’s focus. Injuries present an immediate threat to a runner’s ability to stick to their training program . Dedicated runners make daily runs a habit and routine and it’s this routine that is such an important part of consistent training that leads to running success. Even the most disciplined runners are can find it difficult to return back to that routine after a forced period of no running. Injuries not only throw runners off their training schedule, they also affect a runner’s ability to race well mentally. During a time when pacing and fuel management should be the foremost thought on a runner’s mind, the haunt of recent injuries past can have definite negative impact on self-confidence. Tapering for an important run is difficult enough without wondering if you’ve trained enough. Perhaps an injury has thrown your training off schedule for a significant amount of time.

The Silver Lining

On the up side, there are several reasons why a running injury can be viewed as a blessing in disguise. We’ve all heard that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. Many veteran runners emerge from the dark days of dealing with a running injury with a more diverse and creative training attitude. Often this includes new stretches and strengthening routines that they’ve added into their training program to prevent injury recurrence.

A running injury can also provide you with valuable training feedback. By listening to our bodies, we learn to become more biologically aware of our ability and, inability, to adapt to specific training stresses. An injury is your body’s way of informing you that you have crossed the proverbial line of what it’s willing to take in the form of stress. This presents an excellent opportunity to re-evaluate your training program. Since we are ever-changing biological individuals, it makes sense that 90 mile weeks with double hill sessions might not elicit the same positive training response as it may have 4 years ago!

Finally, suffering through an injury can really give you a renewed sense of gratitude for something often taken for granted; the ability to simply get out and enjoy a pain-free run!

With all of this said, a running injury is certainly something that every single one of us can do without! Make sure that you do all that you can to stay off of the injury list and keep your training going by incorporating these tips for avoiding running injuries ! Why not learn from the mistakes of others?


Manage IT Band Syndrome
Manage 'Runners Knee'
Manage a Hamstring Injury
Manage Shin Splints
Manage Plantar Fasciitis
Manage an Achilles Injury
Manage a Stress Fracture

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