Whose fault is it if an injured runner is not getting better? Well, that’s what we’re talking about today on the Doc On The Run Podcast.
If you’re a runner and you’re trying to improve and you don’t improve, whose fault is it? And before we talk about running injuries, let’s talk about when you’re not injured. You hire a coach, you know the coach is qualified, you know that the coach has given you a valid training plan and you know, that you can execute.
But then something goes sideways, your baby gets sick, you get an additional work project, you’re sent away out of town on work, something happens, and you miss some workouts. If you don’t communicate that to your coach, and you skip workouts or you inadvertently stack workouts together and you get injured, whose fault is that? Well, if you didn’t communicate it to your coach to have your coach give you an opportunity to modify the training plan to accommodate your changing circumstances, it is your fault every time.
If you talk to your coach and your coach doesn’t make good adjustments for you and you do exactly what you were told by the coach and you get injured, it was the coach’s fault. But what about when you actually are injured and you’re not making progress? Virtually everyone who calls me for a private consultation over webcam has one thing in common, they’re not getting better.
They’re frustrated, they’re tired of sitting around, they’re sick of not exercising, they know they’re losing all their running fitness, and they know that it’s going to get worse before it gets better, and they don’t want to wait anymore. So, they’re fed up with the usual thing. They’re ready to take the process of changing their course of recovery in their own hands and start to change that path and they’ve decided to figure out what they can do differently and that’s what we talked about.
But part of what I talk about is they have to be 100% responsible for the circumstances they’re in and going forward. So, if you go see a doctor and the doctor spends three minutes with you, and you don’t get your questions answered, and the doctor says, “I’m really sorry, I’m busy. I got to go.” and leaves, that’s actually your fault. You have to stop the doctor and say, “No, no, no, I got some questions. I really need you to answer these. I waited three weeks for this appointment. I just need three minutes of your time.” That’s a fair way to put it, wouldn’t you agree?
When you go see the doctor, if you’re not getting better, it’s because of a lot of things and truthfully like if the doctor doesn’t know how to treat your injury or doesn’t understand runners at all, then 80% of the fault might be on your doctor when you’re not making an improvement. But it’s always at least 20% your fault if you’ve seen a doctor and you’re not making progress.
Part of that is that you just don’t understand what pieces are missing and this may be true if the doctor knows everything about that particular injury, happens to be an expert in that particular condition because if you don’t know which pieces you’re missing, you don’t know what exercises you can add given any stage of recovery of that particular injury, well that’s your fault.
It’s your responsibility to communicate the importance of your running activities to your doctor or do not expect your doctor to factor that into your treatment plan. And if your doctor is completely dismissive of your need to return to exercise, your need to maintain your running fitness, then you have to figure out the pieces that you can put into that puzzle to maintain your running fitness and get back to running as quickly as possible.
The best way for you to get better as quickly as possible is to figure out every single area where you can take responsibility and actually do something to change your circumstances. That’s the stuff I talk about in the Injured Runners Aid Station. I do trainings every week where I talk about specific strategies, strategies to do those things. I give you a place where you can actually submit questions directly to me and I answer them in a members only podcast. If you want to check it out, you can check it out at www.docontherun.com/aidstation, so go check it out, and I’ll see you in the aid station.