Monday, July 15, 2013

I have been a runner for many years now and the most frustrating part is dealing with injuries.  Injuries suck.  A few months ago, I had a pain in the middle and the right side of my right foot.  It was something that slowly built up and when it finally got bad, I decided to stop running.

If you are a runner, you know when you "stop running" that the injury is typically pretty bad.  However, as a former obese person it becomes a whole other challenge due to the fear of regaining weight.  Regardless of what situation you are in, questions pop up:  Can I be injured and not got gain weight?  What type of exercise can I do to replace the running portion of my cardio routine?  Will I lose my fitness while I am on the sidelines?  Why ME?  WHY ME AGAIN?  Why did I take up running?

I have experienced many minor and somewhat major running injuries over the years.  Many different emotions are created once you realize you have an injury due to your extracurricular activity: disappointment, sadness, depression, anger, etc.  I have felt it all, I have felt sorry for myself, I have cried and I have been extremely upset.  So what do you do once you realize you have an injury?  You fight through it because at the end, you will be a stronger person and you will rise again.

Overcoming Running Injuries

Mentally:  Wow, this is the toughest part and no matter what I say, I am sure you not truly apply it until you learn on your own.  However, my biggest advice is to know that no matter how much time you take off from running that it will just be a blip in your "running career" when you look back at it in 20 years.  Yeah when you are hurt and are in the middle of a 6 week layoff, it is horrible.  It feels like the worse thing in the world.  Your non-running friends don't have a clue what you are going through.  However, guess what?  Two years later and you look back, no big deal, right?  If you try (I know it is hard) to look at it this way, it becomes easier to handle.

Nowadays I really try to think of the positive.  If I am hurt, I think about what I can work on during this non-running period.  Core needs more work?  Great, time to do more core exercises.  Do I have time to take swimming lessons?  Okay, lets go sign up.  If you can't run, it really is not the end of the world, it just seems like it.

Physically:  Now, what you replace running with varies depending on the severity of your injury.  But here are some ideas that will keep you active:
  • Stationary Bike
  • Bicycling Outside
  • Jump Rope
  • Boxing
  • Body Weight Station Workouts (i.e. Push ups, pull ups, crunches, dips)
  • Weight Lifting Station Workouts (i.e. Kettle Bell swings, dumb bell curls, dumb bell shoulder presses, dumb bell chest presses)
  • Workout videos
Can I deal with injuries (minor or major) every other for the rest of my life?  I don't know.  To be honest, they are mentally draining.  Am I getting better at handling them?  Yes! Will I one day just turn to weight lifting or bicycling because I get frustrated of not being able to run?  Maybe.  I am not the most patient person, but I am getting better at it.

What I can tell you is that I will be staying active for the rest of my life because I know I will not go back to being 355 pounds.  I have many running goals to accomplish and I hope I reach them.  I will continue to work hard for them.

I need to remember that I am not like the many runners out there.  I didn't run when I was young.  I didn't run cross country or track in high school or college.  In my younger years I did everything I could to avoid running.  In baseball, I hit the ball far so I can jog to second.  Or I tried to hit it over the fence so I can jog around the bases or a home run.  When it was time to run in gym, I faked sickness.  So I have no running background so my body is still trying to build its base and I sometimes forget about that.

Therefore, what I continue to work on is trying to train and work out smart.  This means I need to keep working on knowing what my body can handle.  Is 40 miles per week too much?  Then I need to analyze my workouts and determine I am not going over 40 so then I need to organize my week to make sure I spread out those miles and/or consistently add bicycling to my cross training to ensure I still stay active each week.

Yes running injuries are bad, but for me it is still better than being obese at 355 lbs and gaining weight by the day.

By: Fred Lechuga

1 comment :

  1. Runner's knee is also called patellofemoral pain syndrome. ... Pain when you bend the knee -- when walking, squatting, kneeling, running, or even sitting. Germaine Zinck