A few runners that I coach have been dealing with running injuries and they're not very happy about their doctor-mandated breaks from running. When you're used to running on a regular basis, it's extremely frustrating when an injury forces you off the roads and treadmill. As is usually the case with anything we're denied, not being able to run makes us want to do it even more. So here are some tips on how to deal with the emotions and stress that come with running injuries:
- Stay active. Talk to your doctor about recommendations for safe cross-training activities during your recovery. Some good choices are usually low-impact activities such as yoga, Pilates, or swimming. An injury recovery period is a perfect time to work on your weakness. And the physical activity will help prevent feelings of sadness and anger.
- Don't abandon running altogether. Although not being able to run may make you want to forget about running, staying away may actually make you feel even worse. Keep in touch with your running buddies and stay up-to-date on their training. Use your recovery period as a time to get involved with running in other ways, such as volunteering at a race or cheering on your friends.
- But find other outlets, too. Now's also a great time to focus on non-running aspects of your life. Get together with some non-running friends for coffee or dinner, or catch a movie or a play. Read books and magazines that have nothing to do with running. Doing something that isn't part of your regular routine will help you appreciate your time off.
- Think positive! Try not to adopt a "woe-is-me" attitude. An optimistic outlook will help speed up your recovery.