- May 29, 2006 at 5:18 am #5240
My coach told me a few days ago that theres no way to avoid getting injured if you want to be a competetive runner. He said that eventually anyone is going to get injured sooner or later when they start running high mileage and theres no other way around it. I always thought it was possible to run injury free for many many years if mileage was built up over time carefully. Then again this kind of makes sense because you would figure that the human body was not naturally meant to exercise THAT much. The human body is definetly meant to exercise but not as much as a competetive runner. So maybe thats why that happens. My coach says “One of the keys to being a successful runner is to learn how to manage your injuries”. then he told me that he ran in college dealing plantar tendinitus pretty much his whole college career. he was fast though.
I find it kind of dissapointing that your going have to deal with a bunch of injuries when your mileage starts getting up into the 70's, 80's, and 90's. I always thought i could build up slowly and if i start getting a small ache i could just stop, take the next day off or two, then be able to resume again without any problems. and if i kept that strategu up i would be injury free for years and years. What do you guys think?
- May 29, 2006 at 3:57 pm #20690
Quite simply: great reward usually comes only with great risk.
- May 29, 2006 at 4:30 pm #20691
GTF is right, but there is something else to think about… there is risk in living every day… you could NOT run or exercise EVER and trip over the dog walking from the couch to the refrigerator… and think of the risk from not exercising… obesity, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure…
so what's it going to be? fat or fit… while your coach may be right about managing injuries (for the elite), most of us are managing our health & happiness… I LOVE to run, I used to joke that I couldn't run fast enough to hurt myself… but I'm healthier and happier than I've been in years and part of that is because I run… good luck if you truly are a competitive runner… but be sure to look at the whole spectrum… I have built up my miles over the last 5-6 years and have had fewer injuries with a consistant routine that includes stretching, massage & days off…
how well each of us does with what talent/ability we have is truly a balancing act… good luck… keep your running log in great detail & LEARN from what our body tells you… this year at 52 I'm running twice the miles I was running 6 years ago, feel better and I'm faster… heck if I can do it everyone should be able to take a crack at it…
- May 29, 2006 at 7:24 pm #20692
“Only those who risk going to far can possibly find out how far they can go.”
- May 29, 2006 at 7:39 pm #20693
thanks for the replies. I guess i fear the risk of getting a serious injury that could negatively effect me for the rest of my life (at least my running and exercising). But i must get over it. But since i love running I will just have Deal with the future running injuries that i bring with me along the way as i continue to get in better shape.
- May 30, 2006 at 12:52 pm #20694
i fear the risk of getting a serious injury that could negatively effect me for the rest of my life.
Wow, now you're getting dramatic; 'Serious injury…rest of my life.' Keep in mind this is “just” running. We're not talking about sky diving, race car driving, etc. So you get a little tendonitis, bursitis, shin splits, IT band syndrome, etc. Take a little time off and then come right back. The quality of your “normal” life shouldn't be affected – too much.
- May 30, 2006 at 11:41 pm #20695
My coach told me a few days ago that theres no way to avoid getting injured if you want to be a competetive runner. He said that eventually anyone is going to get injured sooner or later when they start running high mileage and theres no other way around it.
Yes and no. The quotes already offered, such as that offered by GTF, are very true. If you want to lay it on the line to be the best competitive runner you can be, you're going to have to risk injury. It just comes with the territory. However, don't think that injury is inevitable. I'd say I had a pretty good competitive running career so far (and I hope it's not over) but I spent the first 13 years of my running life without anything but the occasional twisted ankle, sore muscle, or whatever else. Things that require a day or two off and I'm back on my way. The only time I suffered anything more in my now 16 years running was right around my 13th anniversary of becoming a competitive runner when I broke my own rules I apply to avoid injury and suffered what turned out to be a pulled hamstring.
Yes, injury is a very real risk for competitive runners. If you're going to push yourself to the competitive limit, you're going to have to push yourself to your physical limits to do so, which means risking injury. However, that doesn't mean that injury is inevitable. Some people do go a long time without injury. If I can make it 13 years, why can't someone else make it through their complete competitive lives without injury? I don't think that would be impossible to do.
- May 31, 2006 at 12:20 am #20696
Well, with all due respect, there is a definite chasm between running for fitness and running for optimal performance in terms of injury risk. In fitness running, backing off or taking time off and cross-training is not much of an obstacle to the ultimate goal — for optimal performance, one sometimes will have to go past the edge to find out where the edge lies in seeking to get the most out of one's self. Avoiding injury usually comes with experience, though sometimes it is simply the result of “dumb luck”. I know of no great runner that has never been injured — as indicated, it simply comes with the territory.
If debilitating injury is an issue, find the best adaptions to incorporate to circumvent it: run on grass/dirt/soft surfaces as much as possible, strive for optimal nutrition (including hydration), as well as obvious stuff like not running on uneven surfaces when vision is compromised, eschewing base jumping and other needless risks, etc. I have run on many a rocky trail without a problem, yet rolled an ankle hard (necessitating more than merely a day or two off) on a stone that I just happened to have not picked up in my peripheral vision while running on pavement. As indicated earlier, freak accidents can happen, but the more you avoid circumstances where those might occur (within reason) the less likely they are to occur.
- May 31, 2006 at 12:26 am #20697
As I think about it, I also think this depends on how you define an injury. When I roll an ankle or get something sore and take a day or two off to heal up, I don't think of it as an injury. I think of it as a temporary setback. To me, an injury is something more than that.
If you are talking about a rolled ankle or something that lays you up for a day or two, yes, injuries are definitely inevitable. You may want to go into every year expecting at least one or two because you will probably experience at least that many in any given year. If you're talking about a stress fracture or tendonitis or something big like that, I think it's very possible to avoid these injuries, although one shouldn't be shocked if someone who is pushing his or her limits experiences something that leaves them laid up for a longer period of time than a few days.
- June 5, 2006 at 12:26 am #20698
I couldn't agree more with GTF. To reach your potential you must 1st find out what it is. And that involves venturing into unchartered territory on ocassion. And that regardless of doing all the right things runners are still prone to getting injuried. What I've discovered after all these years is that while injury isn't avoidable the key is how you respond when it happens. For me I need to back off at the 1st sign of an injury. And cutting back a workout or taking a day off [or two] sure beats sitting on the sidelines for a few weeks. Consistency is everything. And you can't get better if you're injuried.
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