Today on the Doc On The Run Podcast, we’re talking about the most painful part of a running injury.
There are lots of different kinds of running injuries. You could get a metatarsal stress fracture that causes this aching pain in your foot every time your foot hits the ground when you’re running. You could get a plantar plate sprain where you get pain on the bottom of your foot at the base of the big toe joint that hurts and feels lumpy every time you walk around your house without shoes.
You could get an Achilles tendon injury that feels like sharp pain or numbness or tingling or anything around your Achilles tendon that causes you trouble. Now, that pain isn’t what really stops you from running. I know this, because this weekend I’m lecturing at a conference that was supposed to be in Scotland. Now, it’s online. Most doctors at those conferences, when they approach me to ask me questions after the sessions, I know that those doctors think runners like you call me, because I can fix the stress fracture.
Those doctors think you call me because I can help you heal your plantar fascia when it’s torn, or maybe in some way, I have some ability to stop the pain in the foot that keeps you from running. I know that those doctors are wrong. It’s not really that pain that stops you from running. It’s not that pain that gets you to call me. That’s not really the real reason that most runners call me for a telemedicine visit or consultation.
Really, when you get a running injury, the real pain to you is when you start to question yourself.
Doubt sets in.
You become fearful.
You’re actually afraid to go run and push yourself, because you think something’s going to go horribly wrong and you’re going to get worse.
Your confidence starts waning.
You actually start to lose the self-image and the confidence that you have in yourself as a strong, healthy runner who can go out and run 20 miles, who can run 10 miles fast, who can run three miles at a blistering pace. You start to see yourself differently. You view yourself as losing ground. You feel like you’re falling behind just like you would in a race when something goes horribly wrong.
There’s nothing worse than being in a race, and you feel like your stomach is upset. You’re sick to your stomach and you’re keeping on pace, but then suddenly, because you have literally an upset stomach, you start losing pace. You know that your competition is getting further ahead, and you’re getting further behind. That is what’s really painful.
The feeling that you’re actually getting weaker, knowing that you’re starting to atrophy, that you’re actually losing your aerobic fitness that you took months and months and months to earn. That’s why people call me. It’s because of those things.
You’re afraid of losing all of your fitness, getting weaker, stiffer, and not being able to be that same strong, healthy runner you’ve always been. It’s not because of the running injury. Most runners don’t really care about the foot pain or the Achilles tendon pain.
The real pain is mental. You have to address that when you have a running injury. That’s really the most important part. I wrote the runners’ recovery journal to help you address that, to help you look at the way you view yourself as a runner.
I’m telling you, the most important thing, the reason that I see people get better or worse is that they either view themselves as someone who is capable of healing the running injury and getting back to running quickly, or they view someone as a victim who has an injury that is keeping them from running and they feel like they don’t have any control over it. You have absolute control over all of it, but you have to figure it out. If you’ve worked through some exercises in the Runners Rapid Recovery Journal, and you figure out what it is that you can do right now to take the stuff you learned in training and apply it to your healing, that actually really helps.
Don’t be confused. You have to heal the tissue. You have to make the thing heal itself. You have to get better, but there are things you can do that. Just like in a race, when you start to lose confidence and you start falling behind, you typically fall further and further behind, because you become exhausted mentally. The same thing happens with running injuries. That is really the most painful part of any running injury.
Any over training injury is really nothing more than an exaggerated version of the same thing you do to your tissues during your normal workouts. You just want little too far. So what you need to do now is really and truly look at all of the things that made you recover faster when you were training and apply them to your recovery and your healing.
That’s really the key!
Right now the Runner’s Rapid Recovery Journal is on sale and you can get it at discount. You can get an instant download version today. You can find a link in the show notes at the bottom of this episode at docontherun.com under the podcast tab.
Go check it out!
Get the Runner’s Rapid Recovery Journal…
Pain is the best tool to help an injured runner decide when run. You don’t have to figure out what to write down. We made a simple Pain Journal PDF for you.
If you have a question that you would like answered as a future addition of the Doc On The Run Podcast, send it to me PodcastQuestion@docontherun.com. And then make sure you join me for the next edition of the Doc On The Run Podcast!