Since I’m back on the injured list again, I’ve been receiving all sorts of “advice” from well meaning friends, family and random strangers. Everyone seems to be an expert when it comes to injuries. To the injured runner, it’s like finger nails on a chalkboard. I just want to scream sometimes with certain comments. There is just one thing on the runners brain – I just want to run!
Next time you are injured or come across some poor runner who is, think twice about what words of sympathy or wisdom are said. The runner is probably already very crabby from not being able to run.You definitely don’t want to make them even more angry!
There are just some things you should definitely NOT say to an injured runner.
“You should do yoga!” If you know me, you know I love yoga. But is it a substitute for running? Absolutely not.
“You should swim/bike/elliptical!” The cure for every running injury, right?
“I just had the best long run. I felt like I could run forever!” Thank you for digging the knife in my heart just a little deeper.
“Have you tried rest, ice, compression and elevation? Or stretching? Taking anti-inflammatories?” Huh. Never thought of any of those.
“Weren’t you just injured? Thanks for remembering that.
“You should really focus on strengthening your upper body now.” Because that’s really going to help my lower body injury?
“That happened to my friend/sister/neighbor. She never ran again.” If you are just looking for something to say, this is not it.
“Why don’t you find another sport?” Why don’t you find another friend?
“You needed a rest anyway.” A rest from you talking so much.
“Have you gained lots of weight from not running?” I WAS feeling good about myself today. I knew I shouldn’t have worn these pants today!
“When you run that far, you are always going to be hurt.” Is that a Golden Rule?
“It’s only running.” Said someone who obviously is NOT a runner.
“There’s always next year to run that race.” And that makes it magically all better?
“See? I told you running wasn’t good for you.” So is doing nothing. I’d rather run.
If you are injured now or in the future, it’s inevitable you will be given advice about how to get over the injury or what you should be doing until you can run again. Those kind souls really do mean well. I know everyone is just looking for something to say to make the runner feel better. But what’s the best thing to say to an injured runner?
“That totally sucks.”
I wrote a similar article for RunHaven earlier this year. A portion of it is used in this post.
What’s on your list of what NOT to say to an injured runner?