Injury Will Slow You Down

In one way or another injury will always slow you down.  This may be voluntary or may be forced upon you by your body or doctor, but sooner or later injury will slow you down.  Now, I am not saying you will definitely get injured, as there are some very fortunate runners that have remained injury free (I think a total of 2 of them).  I also am not saying that the ultimate outcome will be that you are slower as that would just be an ignorant thing for me to say.

Injury just seems to be a part of running for most people.  I know of very few people that have been able to avoid a running injury.  If you spend any time on Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, or Dailymile you will see someone talking (or in my case whining) about being injured, dealing with an injury, or recovering from an injury.

Not only did I not run the Publix Georgia Marathon this past weekend because of injury, I also ran my slowest Half Marathon ever while running the Publix Georgia Half Marathon.  Am I upset about this?  Not anymore.  I was a bit disappointed immediately following the race and especially when I got home and checked my times from my previous 13.1's.  I didn't remember what my time was on my first half marathon, but I knew I may have been slower.

This injury has slowed me down in multiple ways.  First, I physically started to run slower to try and baby my sore thigh.  This was because of the type of injury it was and a lengthened stride that would come with faster running could possibly irritate the already sore muscle.

Second, I took a full week off about a month ago, and then ran very few miles in the subsequent weeks leading up to the half marathon.  This lack of mileage took it's toll on me with my fitness and it was quite noticeable on race day.  I was still quite ready for the half marathon distance, but not at the same pace I would have been had I been actually training more than 2-3 times a week.

The third and most embarrassing way it has slowed me down is that I now have a little extra to carry around with me.  My mileage has not been this low in longer than I can remember, and with that lack of physical activity combined with poor food choices and portion sizes, I have gained some unwanted weight.  I knew what was happening but I have had trouble changing the habits.

What can I do about it?

The first and second reasons for slowing down will fix themselves once I get past this injury and rebuild my mileage.  In fact, times like this can actually make you stronger and faster in the long run if you are smart with your return to mileage and speed work.  Until the time that I am healed there is not much I can do about these reasons.  Slowly returning to the mileage and speed work will help keep injury away.

The one thing I can do a lot about right now is the weight gain.  I am sure the weight will start coming off again once my mileage builds back up, but I cannot wait for that to happen.  I need to be making wiser food choices both in quality and portion sizes, and I need to start making those better choices now.  Waiting for the mileage to return is only creating excuses and not taking care of the real issues that are causing the weight gain.

Please join my accountability group, beating squat, or whatever else you want to call it and help keep me accountable for what I eat.  Feel free to leave a comment on any post asking how I have been doing.  The Facebook Fanpage, and Twitter are also good outlets as is DailyMile, and even good old fashioned email at

Do you have problems with injury?  Does it also cause you issues with weight gain because of the unneeded calories you consume that you are no longer burning off?  What about food choices during that time, is it harder to make the wise choices?

Please chime in, I would like to know that I am not the only one that struggles with this.

Don't forget to enter to win one of two Sony Walkman MP3 players.  The giveaway will only be lasting a couple more days and you don't want to miss out.


  1. I’ve been very fortunate and my last injury was ITB in 1995. I think I’m just too slow to get injured! That said, I try to be very wise about my running.

  2. I have been fortunate in terms of injury as well. My last injury was also an ITB and that was a few years ago.

    I would probably have difficulty making wise food choices if I was not running given how much I am used to eating in a day when I am running regularly.

  3. I'm very injury-prone (ITBS, general knee issue, PF, bunion, calf issue), so now I just don't do speed work or hill repeats at all. I am building back my base and my only structured work is trying to do my regular weekly runs at the pace the Daniels Running Formula says should be my "recovery" pace based on my 10K time. At 25-30 miles per week, I still don't have the base to do any of Daniels' real workouts.

    However, I have found (much to my surprise) that even just the small increase in the speed of my regular runs from 10:00 pace to 9:15 pace has really helped my overall speed.

  4. Thanks Johann for sharing. you were one of the ones I was thinking about when I mentioned some people that were running injury free. It pays to be smart!

    That being said, you need to tick that extra button when you post a comment here in the future and add a link to your blog. It is a great blog and worth reading! (

  5. Congrats to you too Patrick! I wish I too could say that but it seems like I am more susceptible to injury.

    Food choices are not my worst, it is portion control. The higher mileage training helps me, but then injury causes big issues when I drop mileage and not the fork!

  6. Stephanie - speed work has a lot to do with it, and Johann eluded to that as well. I have seen this very much so too and wrote about it some time ago for a magazine. I republished it here a few months back. The article was called The Speed Will Come and talked about speed work without a base being bad.

    I need to heed my own advice sometimes.

    Thanks for stopping by and chiming in!

  7. I am one huge injury - smile. I live with post polio syndrome so each time I get out on the roads I'm not sure what this body will feel like doing and I've learned to live with the highs of successive PR's in several 5K's last year to choosing to do a power walk at the Celtic 5K. This past week, my hip flexor was not happy that I tried to run hard when it was cold with a stiff headwind outside so I'll take at least a week off from running. I can offer a perspective check here as someone who never ran before the age of 55 and someone for whom running is a joy but also an incredible challenge. So remember to feel the joy in the journey, the wonderful lessons we learn as we tune in and listen and honor our bodies and then the freedom of getting out there and tearing up the roads again!

  8. Thank you Mary for helping put it in perspective. All to often I worry
    about my little issues and don't think about what others could be
    going through.

    Sorry you have to deal with what you do on a regular basis, but I have
    to say that I am quite inspired by people that have to deal with what
    you do, but continue to persevere.

    Thanks for sharing!

  9. Funny, I could have written that post.

    I've been running for about 19 months, anywhere from 25 miles to 50 per week. Dropped 50 lbs in the process. Other than a little hamstring tweak about a year ago, I've been injury free. I've recently been babying a sore calf, however still running - but reduced milage. Though my diet is good and consistent, without that caloric furnace burning full bore I've gained maybe 3-4 lbs.

    I ran for the 1st time since the Georgia Marathon this a.m., and I think I am developing achilles tendonitis - and on the verge of shutting down my running for the next 3 weeks so I'll be able to run Flying Pig on 5/1. So frustrating!

    I'm making a point of eating lots of veggies while I'm resting my achilles, and plan on dropping 5 lbs while not running just by changing what/how much I eat. Can't control how fast my achilles will heal, but I can control what I put in my mouth.

    Get better soon Tim!

    David (

  10. David, you do sound very much like me. I hope your Achilles takes the rest well and you don't hear from it anymore.

    Good luck in the Flying Pig and the weight loss goal!

  11. Sorry to hear about the injury. But it seems like you have the right mindset to get back on track. I've been extremely lucky and remained basically injury free during my marathon training (7 and counting). The main problem I have is with blisters and black toenails. I ran the National Marathon on Saturday and it will be a long time until 2 of my toes are completely recovered (why does it take so long for them to grow back). Do you have this problem? If so, any suggestions? (I only have the problem with runs over 18 miles).
    My blog:

  12. Congrats on your recent marathon and staying injury free. I have not
    had issues with blisters and I am happy about that! I have had issues
    with black toenails, but only from the full marathon distance. It
    usually takes some time for them to even turn black, but I am with you
    on how long they take to grow out. I am probably still a couple weeks
    from mine completely growing out from my marathon in November.

    Thanks for stopping by, reading, and taking the time to comment!

    Good luck in your next challenge!

  13. By the way, I have heard that the toenail issues can be caused from
    shoes that get too tight over the run when your feet swell. The shoes
    are not necessarily too small, but end up being so when your feet
    swell during the longer distances.

  14. You know, it's so simple, but I was thinking just that. Every single runner goes through some kind of injury. Most of them are minor, but there is always that one big thing you have to overcome. And that's okay. It might feel as a setback, but really, it's time to rest, enjoy other things, recoup. Good post!

  15. Thanks for stopping by, reading, and commenting Ulyana!