#843 Overtraining injuries are caused by weakness - DOC

#843 Overtraining injuries are caused by weakness

Overtraining injuries in runners are actually caused by weakness and  that’s what we’re talking about today in the Doc On The Run Podcast.



The unfortunate reality is that when you get an overtraining injury from running, it’s not because you did too much because you’re too strong and because you’re too motivated it is because you are too weak. You are too weak to sustain the stress applied to that piece of tissue, that one injured piece of tissue that got injured when you did a workout, after you did a previous workout that injured it. That’s what really happened.

So, it’s not that you’re too strong or you’re too stubborn or you’re just running too much. It’s that your piece of tissue was too weak. I know this always rubs runners the wrong way because we think we’re motivated, we’re strong, we’re athletic and weakness is not really something that sits well as a descriptor for any athlete. But the reality is, is if you get injured you have to understand how to correct that weakness. That’s one of the biggest things.

The thing that is my biggest beef with doctors and what I speak about over and over when I go to medical conferences is that the number one treatment that most doctors seem to want to recommend to runners is to stop running. And I understand that if running actually caused the injury, well yeah, you should stop doing that thing. However, it’s not really running that caused it.

It’s a specific weakness to that specific tissue. And so, if you just stop running, that’s the only guaranteed way to get weaker. You’re going to lose all your fitness if you stop working out. So instead of instead of just waiting and just not working out, I think you have to figure out how to workout while reducing the stress and strain on that one injured piece of tissue that actually got beaten up and led to this overtraining injury.

Getting weaker is not the solution to weakness. It’s the problem. You’ve got to realize you can workout as long as you can reduce the stress on that piece of tissue. And if you go to see a doctor, and the doctor says, “Okay, I just want you to take some time off”, then you need to stop them immediately and say, “How am I going to maintain my running fitness?” And if they say, “Oh, don’t worry about it. We’ll figure that out later.” That is not a good plan.

You need to insist upon understanding how it is that you can reduce the stress and strain on the injured piece of tissue while you workout and maintain your running fitness. And then, once you’re back to running, you really need to think about your running form and all of the training errors that you might have made that could have led to that injury in the first place. If you do that, you can continue running without expecting to get that same kind of overtraining injury again, but you’ve got to get stronger, not weaker.

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