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25 Things I’ve Learned (the Hard Way) About Running Injuries

running injury

Photo credit: H. Neal.

1. Even if you’re the most careful person in the entire world, it can still happen to you.

2. You are not invincible.

3. Even if you have friends with superhuman running powers that do all the things you’re not “supposed” to, it doesn’t mean it won’t happen to you.

4. Doctors don’t know everything.

5. What’s best for person x may not be best for you.

6. It doesn’t matter what any doctor says — only you know if you’re getting better and when it’s time to get back into action.

7. Rest is evil.

8. Rest is oh-so-necessary.

9. You will not spontaneously combust if you do not exercise for a week. Or a month. Or FIVE.

10. Not all doctors are created equal.

11. When all else fails, keep finding something else to try.

12. Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.

13. Just because it hurts in your knee, doesn’t mean the injury’s not in your hip. Likewise, just because it hurts on the left doesn’t mean the problem’s not on the right. More on that later…

14. Unless you fell, tripped, ran into something, twisted spastically, or did something else completely bizarre, it’s a running mechanics issue.

15. Having a mechanical issue doesn’t mean you failed as a runner.

16. You can get an overuse injury running less than 5 miles a week.

17. You can get an overuse injury running 100 miles a week … although I wouldn’t know about that.

18. If you don’t fix it, it’ll always come back to haunt you.

19. Again, doctors do not know everything.

20. You don’t need a medical degree to know whether a doctor’s treating your injury right. Don’t shush your instincts.

21. Ice is cold. Very very cold. It can be your best friend.

22. There are other activities in the world besides running.

23. Other activities besides running still hurt.

24. Surgery doesn’t have to be the answer.

25. You’ll run again one day. If you want to. If you rest. If you make good judgments. If you have the patience of a saint … or have somebody to take your frustrations out on. Or a blog to complain about it on.

Got anything to add to the list?

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