Today on the Doc On The Run podcast, we’re talking about why you need to focus on possibilities and not limits or obstacles when you’re an injured runner.
Before we get started in this episode, I just want to thank you for checking out the Doc On The Run podcast, our YouTube channel, and for subscribing. Every time you subscribe or leave a review, it really helps us reach other runners who need help just like you.
Now listen, today we’re talking about why you really need to focus on possibilities instead of problems when you’re injured and what I mean by problems is the problem is not that you have a stress fracture. The problem is not that you have an Achilles tendonitis issue that’s really bugging you. The problem is that you’ve been told some things that freak you out into doing absolutely nothing because I don’t help people get better from running injuries, I help injured runners figure out how to run. That’s what I really do.
What I hear from runners when they call me is they’ll say, “My doctor said the ligaments will take four weeks to heal.” “My doctor said I couldn’t run until my next X-ray.” “My doctor said I had to wait six weeks until the stress fracture recovers.” “My doctor said I just have to sit around and rest and recover.”
That phrase rest and recover resonates with us as runners because we know if you go run a marathon, you need to rest and recover afterward, but you don’t rest for six weeks and if you have a hard workout, you do some mild repeats or you do a really long run, you know you need to rest and recover afterward. You need to take some time to let your body heal and recover.
But you have to remember that when you have a running injury, you only have one injured part. One, not all of you, one and you cannot wait for a month, a month and a half, two months, three months, six months, a year for all of the rest of your body to atrophy, for you to lose all your muscular fitness, all of your aerobic fitness, for your bones to actually get less dense and weaker, for your neuromuscular connections to get all disrupted in a way that makes it extremely difficult to get your running form back. You cannot afford to do that.
So what you have to really do is think about what you can do. You have to focus on the possibilities instead of the injury. Think about this. If you do a marathon, should you go for a run the next day? No. But what might be a good idea, a really short, easy bike ride, maybe a really short, easy recovery walk, maybe an easy swim or move around in the pool. That makes sense to us.
But when runners get injured and they say, “Well, I can’t do this, and I can’t do that.” You hear these timeframes, like four weeks, six weeks, three months, six months, a year, you sort of translate that discussion from your doctor, which is usually frankly very limited.
I mean, the fact is is that even though I do a lot of really short episodes on the Doc On The Run podcast, some of these episodes are actually the same length as your doctor visit. I only do one hour consultations. I do not schedule new patient, evaluations, discussions with runners who need help, I do not do that in a 10-minute thing, a 5-minute thing, or a 3-minute thing. That’s what podcasts are for, not doctor visits.
When you have the injury and the doctors told you quickly a couple of things and you put it all together and come up with this picture of I can’t run for a long time, you’re making a mistake. So you have to think about what you can do. Could you go to the gym and lift weight and not stress your Achilles tendon? Could you go to the gym and lift weights and not stress your stress fracture? Could you maybe go to a yoga class and just skip some of the poses that you think will put stress and strain on that one injured part that you’re trying to protect as you go through this? Can you walk, can you go for a hike? Is there some way that you can run while you’re actually decreasing the stress and strain to that one injured part so that you can strengthen everything else in your system?
Remember, your whole body needs to be getting stronger through this process of injury in order to better support that one weak and injured part that you’re going to have to carry as you start to run when you get back to activity. So think about that. Really try to focus on the possibilities. Do not focus on the injury, the limits, the obstacles. Think about what you can do today to start getting stronger today and that will help you get back to running as quickly as possible.
Now listen, again, I really appreciate you listening to the podcast, follow me on YouTube, all of those things and if you could, please take this, whether you see it on YouTube, or if you’re listening to it on audio, take a screenshot, put it on social media, send it to one of your friends who really needs to hear it, so that you can also help them avoid all the trouble that happens when you sit still after a running injury unnecessarily.
Thanks for checking it out and I’ll see you in the next episode.