Coping With A Running Injury

I am now starting week three of not running. I know it’s not the end of the world, but it is not how I planned to spend my June! Since running is important to my sanity, I’ve had to come up with a plan for coping with a running injury.

Running Injury
1. Get a diagnosis. I hurt my foot hiking (so maybe it’s not technically a running injury, but it is keeping me from running!) and when it was still swollen and painful a week later, I went to the orthopedist. I needed to know whether it would be OK to push through the pain, or whether that could make things worse. Since I chipped a bone on the top of my foot, pushing through the pain is not what the doctor ordered! 

2. Do what you can. Coping with a running injury is all about doing what you can when you can. Borrowing from some of my favorite chapters of Carla and Ronnie’s book, I am being flexible so I can stay consistent, being determined instead of obsessed about not running, and seizing the opportunity to catch up on my cross-training. 


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Basically, I can do anything that doesn’t hurt, which means cycling, most low-impact weight training exercises, and yoga. I am still exercising 6 days a week, just not running. Some days, I have to push away thoughts of “why bother?” but I know my body is benefiting from the change of pace. 

3. Maintain your routine. I have my alarm set for 4:40 or 5:00 am so I have time to walk Tiger Lilly and get my run/spin/workout in before work. I don’t need quite as much time for my injury-modified workouts, but I am still getting up early so I don’t get used to a different schedule. Plus, my body expects a workout in the morning, and a shower and coffee just don’t work as well to wake me up if I haven’t gotten some movement in too. 

4. Treat yourself. It was serendipitous that I got new tops for spinning class at the Athleta Sweatpink event the day before I hurt my foot, but having new outfits to wear for the fitness activity I still can enjoy makes it slightly less painful to not be running.    Yes, I do like the strappy peek-a-boo look!

I also treated my toes to a gentle pedicure–if they look better they will feel better, right?

5. Anticipate your recovery. Just like looking forward to a vacation can help me get through those last days of work, anticipating my recovery is keeping my spirits up. I’m not counting on being able to run at Fitbloggin’, but being forced to take June off will have me almost looking forward to running in the heat and humidity of July. 

Do you have any other tips for coping with an injury?

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30 Responses to Coping With A Running Injury

  1. Andrea says:

    Wishing you a speedy recovery! These tips are great for anyone dealing with a frustrating injury. And I love those tops on you!!

  2. Carla says:

    I hate cardio.
    I couldnt do cardio for months when I hurt my back.
    I was so unbelievably grumpy (and befuddled since I didnt even like it) about EVERYONE else being able to do cardio.
    I grew bitter about other people doing cardio when I was sidelined.
    Id have been better following yer advice.
    Carla recently posted…What if it all went away?My Profile

  3. Having been injured multiple times, my advice is to do what you can do! Luckily for me, I was able to bike while I was unable to run!
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…A running adventureMy Profile

  4. I feel you it sucks not to be able to run. Sounds like you will be back really soon. Enjoy biking for a few weeks it;s so nice out! I want to read that book too
    Deborah Brooks @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted…Spicy Summer Gazpacho-Meatless MondayMy Profile

  5. It’s hard, but I think you (not you in particular but injured people) just need to gain acceptance and move forward with a plan. Stressing won’t make it better. I’m dealing with a kind of injury right now. I think I need to take some time off as well. I’ve got this nasty IT band syndrome in my hip and it is extremely painful. I plan on doing glute and hip strength work, spinning and yoga to keep moving!
    Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes recently posted…Weekly Recap: A few runs and could it be ITBS??My Profile

  6. Just Keep Going is all you can do! trying to push through pain won’t lessen it or make it go away. I think you just accept what is and find other activities to enjoy. I’ve only dealt with one significant running injury but it seems like a distant past at this point! Hope you get to feeling better soon. Love those Athleta tops 🙂
    Mar @ Mar on the Run recently posted…Workout Recap & a Berry Good Weekend!My Profile

  7. Wait! I totally missed this. I’m so sorry that you’re injured! It is such a bummer to not be able to do the things you love but I love your approach to it and how you’re keeping yourself sane. Especially #wycwyc – that’s been my life the last 3 months. And that Athleta top is cute! Hope you’re feeling better soon.
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted…Recovery Yoga for RunnersMy Profile

  8. Theresa says:

    I, too am recovering from an injury although mine is the rotator cuff. I was prepared for a bone spur removal and 4/6 weeks recovery and came out of surgery with 2 tears that were found and 6 months recovery! For me it’s been a tough mental recovery. I was not prepared for not being able to have my summer fun of running, biking, waterskiing and swimming. Yes, I’m in pain somewhat and not being able for 6 weeks to move my arm has been tough, I will not lie. But 2 weeks out of surgery I talked my surgeon to at least let me walk on the treadmill, slowly of course. Then I talked him in to letting me do lower body and core. So lunges, squats, lateral lunges and inverted sit-up have been my best friend for the last 5 weeks! I’m #wycwyc for the next 5 months and can’t wait until I’m
    Fully recovered and ready to play!

  9. I like it! A few new tops for your new activities sounds like a great pick me up! A pedicure always makes me feel better and a few fitbit challenges to keep me walking! 🙂 Heal fast!
    Mary Beth Jackson recently posted…The First Weekend in June!My Profile

  10. I am so sorry you cannot run, but very happy you are able to spin so you can still get some great workouts in.
    Abby @ BackAtSquareZero recently posted…RACE THE LANDING 5K SERIES #3 – 2015My Profile

  11. Steena says:

    You already know my tip: SWIM!! SWIM! SWIM!!@!! 🙂
    Hope it heals soon!

  12. I so agree – do what you can! It does stink to not be able to run – trust me I know! But doing what I could to stay strong and active helped to keep me sane…at least most of the time 😉 Hope you’re back to running soon.
    Michelle @ Running with Attitude recently posted…3-Day Refresh ReviewMy Profile

  13. Oh, I feel for you! I had 5 months of no running this winter and two summers ago spent 9 weeks with no running. So hard to not do the one thing that you love the most when the weather is so great! Retail therapy always helps 🙂 Love the cute athleta outfits!
    Sandra Laflamme recently posted…Helpful Cycling Safety tips for the newbie cyclist or triathleteMy Profile

  14. Debbie says:

    Getting pain checked is key. I remember a colleague got a fracture and she walked around for weeks without knowing it.
    It is better to be safe than sorry.
    Have a lovely weekend!
    Debbie recently posted…How To Start Planning An Editorial Calendar For SuccessMy Profile

  15. Injuries suck! My last significant injury was not caused by running either, but, like you it kept me from running for a long time. One piece of advice I read from Susie at Suzlyfe, was to practice getting good at your alternative activities, not just think of them as things that you “have to do” until you get better. I thought that was a great idea.

    PS Love those tops (and the peek-a-boo look)!
    Debbie @ Coach Debbie Runs recently posted…10 Ways to Cause a Running InjuryMy Profile

  16. I hope your recovery is fast and that you can get back to running ASAP!
    Pragati // Simple Medicine recently posted…Progress not PerfectionMy Profile

  17. AmyC says:

    Nothing beats retail therapy!
    AmyC recently posted…I Joined a Fitness CenterMy Profile

  18. jill conyers says:

    There’s not way to sugar coat it is there. Being injured sucks. The only thing that really helps is to find a way to safely move as much as possible.

    Being injured feels like the end of the world at first.
    jill conyers recently posted…Stop Negative Self-TalkMy Profile

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