Today on the Doc On The Run Podcast, we’re talking about how uncertainty costs injured runners.
If you’re a runner and you are listening to this, you probably have some kind of injury that’s doing one of two things. Either it’s keeping you completely off of your feet and you’re not running at all, or you are basically running in a halfway fashion. You are not really doing your full workouts. Your workouts are not really gratifying. And you don’t really feel like you’re making progress. You have to remember here, the enemy is time.
Every day with no activity or training at a halfway level, that costs you because your competition, remember, even if your competition is your prior self, your competition would be training at full capacity. And when you’re not, it’s costing you. Now, every runner who calls me before they schedule a webcam visit, if they join me in the injured runner’s aid station, if they just want a second opinion, every single one of them calls me has uncertainty.
It usually sounds something like this. I don’t really know if I need to wear the boot. My doctor told me to use it, but I don’t really feel like I have to use it. I want to know if I can walk, even if my stress fracture hurts a little bit, but it really doesn’t hurt that much. It doesn’t hurt as bad as it did before. Can I still work out if I’m on the crutches? Is there anything I can do to maintain my running fitness? All these runners have one thing in common. Number one, they’re, well, two things really. Number one, they’re very curious about what they can actually do to maintain their running fitness. And number two, they haven’t done anything. Not yet. Why? Because they have uncertainty.
They’re not sure what they should be doing. They’re not confident that they’re not going to make their injury worse. So this is your task. Look, I really do care about you getting back to running, but not as much as you do. And I can promise that most doctors don’t care at all because it’s not their job to care about your running fitness. It’s their job to make your injury improve as fast as possible. And sometimes that happens at the expense of your running fitness and your capacity to run later.
If you don’t know what to do, you have to take some step to change direction. Either figure it out on your own, going through some self-diagnosis and self-treatment stuff, or getting a second opinion from somebody who’s an expert on running injuries. Even getting a second opinion from another doctor in your area who’s just going to look at it differently. You have to get the certainty that it’s safe for you to start doing something today. That’s really the key.
So remember, if you don’t do anything, if you don’t do anything different today, you will not be better tomorrow. You will actually be worse, and that’s the only guarantee. So figure out what you need to do to get that uncertainty behind you so you can start confidently taking some actions to restore your running fitness as quickly as possible.