How to Cope With a Running Injury

June 8, 2023

HI! I’m Molly.

Here to encourage you on your own bold pursuit of intentional living as I live out my own. I’m passionate about running, spending time doing what I love and cheering others on to approach running with joy.

Being injured as a runner is so tough, which is why I want to share some ways to help you cope with a running injury.

Since getting injured, I've been met with many messages from others in a similar position. Getting a running injury is pretty common and unfortunately, most people can relate to being forced to take time off due to injury. When I rolled my ankle, I wasn’t expecting to still be injured more than a month later. I’ve had my ups and downs with this unexpected injury; there have been days I’ve been extremely sad and disappointed. I’ve always prided myself on not letting running consume my life, but having to take this much time off has certainly been a low point. 

While I am no expert on the topic (and hope to never be honestly!!), I do want to share a few tips for what has been helping me to cope with this running injury. 

5 ways to cope with a running injury:

Stay disciplined with your recovery exercises

It can be hard when you feel like you’re not getting any better, but sticking to your rehab plan is KEY! It’s something you can do daily and something that you know is contributing to your return to running. Whether or not you feel the difference it's making, I promise it is making one!

Protect your mental headspace

This will look different for everyone, but it’s important to take steps to care for your mental health during this time. An injury is always hard on mental health – especially if it’s taking longer than expected to recover. Something I’ve done is spend less time on social media and be careful about the content I am consuming. Since I’m in the running content creation space, majority of my feed is running content. It feels like everyone else is out there enjoying summer runs and if I spend too long watching those videos, it has a negative effect on me!

Spend time enjoying other hobbies

Sometimes an injury can force a rude awakening that you’ve been putting 100% into running and 0% into other areas. While it's normal to put a lot of attention into running and even more when training, it’s not healthy to let running be all-consuming. During this time, I’ve let myself be a lot more relaxed about my routine. During training, I’m typically in bed between 8:30 - 9pm and up around 5am. I’ve been enjoying later bedtimes and waking up to no alarm (waking up around 7ish daily), which is a luxury that never happened when ultra or marathon training! In addition to catching up on sleep, I’ve been reading way more, doing more creative activities outside of social media and hanging out more with friends. While I wish so badly that I was running again, I’m doing my best to take advantage of this “extra” time. 

Find other ways to move your body

Honestly getting myself motivated to do other workouts has been tough, but I’m trying to still move my body daily. It’s OK if your routine doesn’t look the same as it did with running (I am so limited in what I can do, so mine definitely doesn't look anywhere close haha). Whether it’s swimming, biking, more weightlifting, etc., find something you can do to keep moving! As much as I don’t enjoy the bike, I feel way better every morning after doing it.

Let yourself be sad, but don’t stay there

Like I said, I have my moments where I’m really sad. I let myself be sad, but I remind myself not to stay in the sadness. If I stayed sad, it would be over a month of me feeling sorry for myself. It helps me to acknowledge that this situation sucks and is hard, feel my emotions and then keep moving forward! I remind myself I won’t be injured forever and if I stay the course, I will be back to it *soon*.

Running injuries are hard. It takes a lot of work to stay positive during a forced off season and I hope this post helps you!  

—> back to top