10 Things You Should Never Say to an Injured Runner
Being out of commission is bad enough for an avid runner, OK? Don't make them feel worse.
You're a runner who can't run right now and it stinks. Maybe you were training for a race and skipped too many rest days. Maybe your foam roller is gathering dust in the corner. Or maybe you tacked on a few extra miles to your long run. Whatever the reason, now you're injured and doing everything you can to stay calm. Cross training. Meal prepping. Totally not moping around, right? (Avoid feeling this way ever again and take note of these 8 Running Myths That Could Be Setting You Up for Injury.)
One thing you can't control is other people who chime in on your new, less-than-ideal condition. Friends and family might mean well, but to some runners-those who consider their sport as something they do to stay sane-their comments make being injured even worse. So next time a runner friend goes down for the count, avoid saying these things and everyone will be OK. Runners: Share this with your friends ASAP.
"You were running too much anyway."
Everyone has their own personal limits and goals, and it's best not to cast judgment on their training plans.
"Have you Googled your symptoms yet?"
[I did and now I think I'm dying.] The only thing worse than WebMD is RunnersMD, a.k.a. runners who self-diagnose by reading horror stories on the Internet. Do yourself a favor and make an appointment with a physical therapist or get a running injury assessment. Knowing the truth about your injury is way better than spiraling deep into web-based fear.
"Now we'll finally get the chance to hang out!"
No, we won't, because I'll be hiding under the covers for six weeks until this stress fracture magically heals itself.
"I told you running was dangerous."
This statement is usually accompanied by something along the lines of "It's awful for your knees," or "You're going to regret all those miles when you're in a wheelchair." Of course, no one who lectures on the dangers of running has ever picked up running themselves. (On that note: Here are 13 Ways to Really Piss Off a Runner.)
"You were so healthy! I'm shocked you hadn't gotten injured before this."
Your friend might be trying to remind you of the better days, but this only hurts worse. But hey, cut yourself some slack because doing so can actually lower your risk for running injuries.
"It's too hot to run anyway."
Not when you get up at 5 a.m. or when you're prepped and wearing 75 SPF sunscreen. Not when you have dozens of really cute running tops that help keep you cool. So, nope-the heat would never stop you.
"Can't you just pop some ibuprofen?"
Chances are you've tried most of the super obvious fixes: the R.I.C.E. method, pain relievers, stretching until you can stretch any more. It takes a lot of tried and failed methods for a runner to finally stop, well, running.
"Just go to CrossFit/SoulCycle/yoga instead"
So much of running's appeal lies in the routine and self-created regimen. Nothing can replace that for you. But in all fairness, you can use this time to try out new ways to cross-train and get out of your comfort zone. (You've always wanted to try deep water running, remember?)
"I just had the BEST race."
Oh, really? Because I wasn't just eating my feelings, refreshing your race results and boiling with envy. If a friend is celebrating a PR and wants to share, try not to be a sore sport. You'll be back at it again, and you know you'll leave her time in the dust.
"Wanna go for a run?"
DEVASTATING. This is why you should tell people you're injured or need to take it easy for a few days, weeks (or, sadly, months). You'll eliminate any awkwardness that might arise when your healthy friends ask you to join their early morning runs. Try not to scream, "YES, BUT I CAN'T" in their faces, and remember, patience in a virtue.