Friday Five: Favorite Activities for Injured Runners

Hi everyone!  It’s finally Friday, and time for the Friday Five Linkup with Mar, Courtney, and Cynthia!  I’m not the happiest person this week, mostly because I re-aggrivated my stupid injury by doing too much in my strength training workout on Monday night.  Just when I thought I was getting better too.  Since I’ve been dealing with #recoveringrunnerproblems for waaaay too long over here, I’m starting to get pretty sad about not being back to normal yet.  I ran on Tuesday and was not feeling great afterwards, so I’m taking a break from running until next Tuesday to see if that makes everything better.  If not, I’ve got a game plan for getting back to running at a much slower pace than what I’ve been trying so far (I’ve got a “What would my PT do?” mentality right now).  So what’s an injured runner to do when she can’t run?  Here are my top 5 favorite activities for injured and recovering runners:

Five Favorite Activities for Injured Runners

1. Relax with a good book:  This has two perks – you get to sit and rest your injured muscles, and you also get to take your mind off of your running stress while reading!  This is my favorite way of dealing with stress.  Obviously you don’t want to go for Runner’s World Magazine or Born To Run while doing this activity, unless you’re looking for a reason to have a pity party.  Bonus points if you do this activity while drinking coffee!

2. Try a new workout:  This is going to depend on what your exact injury is, but maybe there’s a workout out there that won’t aggravate your injury.  For example, if your foot is injured, try doing something that doesn’t involve your feet.  I know that Suz has been doing a lot of this during her recovery, and it’s amazing to see her getting to the gym even when she’s got a lot of workout restrictions.  Obviously stop if you feel your injury site begin to hurt, but you may be surprised what the rest of your body can do while you’re healing!  I didn’t even like spin class until I was told that it was the only exercise I could do while I was banned from running, and now I love it!  Just be careful and listen to your body.

3.  Get outside:  Even though I can’t run outside on my favorite trails, I’m still trying to get outdoors as much as possible.  I love going for a quick walk out in the sunshine, especially on my lunch break!  Just being outside calms me down and makes me feel happy no matter what is going on with my injury.  With the sun returning to almost normal heights in Alaska, this is a huge mood booster!

4.  Meet up with your running friends:  If you are seriously missing your running buddies and are dying to back on the trails with them, invite them to do a non-running activity instead.  You’ll probably be pleasantly surprised by what you all look like when you’re not wearing spandex and layers of winter running gear, and you may find some non-running things that you all have in common!

5.  Practice gratitude:  This is so incredibly hard when it feels like everything is going wrong with your recovery, but it’s so important.  I’ve been feeling pretty negative all week so I plan on making this weekend a time of gratitude and self love.  I’ve got some tips on how to do this here!  Instead of focusing all my energy on what I can’t do, I’m going to be thankful about what I can do.

What are your favorite activities when you’re injured?  What is the longest time you’ve ever spent recovering from an injury, and how did you get through it?

42 thoughts on “Friday Five: Favorite Activities for Injured Runners

  1. Great post and since I’m injured as well, I can totally empathize! I’ve been reading more in general lately which I’ve found to be wonderfully relaxing. I also have been taking my dog on more walks which is a nice way to get moving and get outside. While I don’t mind the bike, I’m getting really sick of it since it’s my primary form of cardio.

    1. I know how you feel about the bike! It’s tough when you just want to run and can only do one thing. I love the idea of taking walks more! I could probably handle that.

  2. Swimming (but not in winter), yoga. But nothing really beats a good run, I know — my ankle has been bothering me the last couple of weeks. I’m going to the chiro today & I’m really afraid she’s going to tell me not to run. 😦

    1. Oh no! I hope she doesn’t say that and that you’re about to keep on running. Hopefully you won’t actually need to use any of my tips and can stay injury free!

      1. Thankfully she said I could keep running & I share what I’m doing for it on the blog today.

        I think the taping must’ve helped because it was a hard run for me & it does feel better.

        I’m sure the other stuff I’m doing is helping too.

        Thanks for the concern, considering your own problems!

    1. I like that way of thinking about it! It took me a while to feel that way, but now I do really think that I’m able to just focus on the positives and what I can get out of my injury experience. It’s hard to do but so important!

  3. I have been wanting to read this book I got for Chrismas but I feel so guilty taking the time out to read it while there is so much other things I should be doing. Luckily I am not injured. But it is a great activity to do even if your are not.

    1. I know that feeling! But I feel like reading helps me relax and be happier, so it is an activity worth doing sometimes!

  4. I’m sorry you’re injured right now. It’s the worst. But it sounds like you’re doing all you can to recover and get back out there quickly. I try to get outside too, even if I can’t run. The sunshine on my face helps deal with feeling down about not running. Take care and hope you’re back out there soon!

    1. I really thought I’d gotten past the injury and was on my way to recovery, but I guess not. Hopefully it’s just a small setback and I’m on my way back to running soon!

  5. Oh no! I’m sorry about the injury. Being injured is the worst. My usual activity when I’m injured is being mad and cranky… But my favorite is probably yoga. Haha! I need to practice gratitude when I’m injured. Get better soon!

    1. Haha yes to the mad and cranky stuff! I’ve been a bit of a mess this last week. I should be doing yoga instead though! 🙂

  6. This is a GREAT list! I once sprained both my ankles at the same time in soccer. I spent my recovery time cheering on the team, helping out the coach & athletic trainer, learning more about my injury and how to recover, and icing icing icing. Can you ice your injury? Hope you’re feeling better after the weekend! Have any fun plans??

    1. Oh no! How did you manage to sprain both? I love that you were able to see it in a positive light instead of negative though. I’m not sure if I can ice it at this point – it’s been happening to me basically since May so I feel like I’m beyond that step. I actually use a heating pad sometimes to relax my muscles – that seems to help a lot! I guess I just need to take more time to recover and hopefully I’ll be ready to run soon!

    1. Ugh I’ve been injured for a while now and thought it was behind me when I got cleared to run back in December. I guess I just wasn’t ready yet, so I’m going take more time to work on that! My PT cleared me for cycling back in November when I couldn’t run, so I guess I should get back to that!

  7. so sorry to hear you’re feeling sore again! that must be so frustrating, but it sounds like you’re taking all the right steps. i love biking and barre for when i’m trying to take it easy, impact wise. i actually bought the online version of pure barre when i was getting over my ankle injury because then i could still go at my own pace while getting a workout i love.

    1. I love barre! But I know my hips/butt can’t handle that right now. I can definitely do some cycling so maybe I’ll focus on that while working on getting my hip strength back!

  8. Longest time recovering from shin splints was 6 month and I was very very grumpy and impatient!

    1. Oh man! I’m currently on month 4 so I know that can’t have been easy for you! I’m glad you were finally able to recover and get back to running!

  9. Oh no!! I hope it’s just a super-quick blip away from training and not a serious setback 😦 I feel like almost all of last year was spent recovering from one injury after another, so I feel like I experienced a fair share of activities for injured runners! I combined two of yours – books and meeting up with running friends – and started a book club within my running club. It’s been a refuge for members who have gotten injured, so they can still see people from the club and commiserate while also talking about books (and possibly having a drink or two). It’s proved to be a great idea!

    1. Me too! I love that book club idea! I’m hoping that I’ll still be able to spend time with my running buddies even if I can’t run. Thanks for the idea!

    1. I feel like I’ve been injured forever now! It’s so frustrating that I’m back to no running again, but at least I can still find ways to have fun and stay active.

  10. I’m itching to get back to running, but am also scared I’ll re-injure myself. So far I’ve kept busy with BodyPump and spin, two activities I love but tend to fall off when I’m training for something.

    1. Nice! I do have to say that without running I have more time for yoga and spin, so it’s not all bad I guess. I guess I just wasn’t ready for running yet. Make sure when you get back to running that you don’t go to fast or too hard! I’m sure you’ll do great at getting back to running again.

  11. UGH! sorry to hear you’ve aggravated your injury! boo and hope things get better. Knock on wood it’s been a long time since my last injury but I did a lot of bike riding and seated lifting. Kept my spirits up a little even if I couldn’t go all out.

    1. I like the idea of seated lifting, and I can definitely still use the bike at the gym! Hopefully I’ll find a way to stay active and sane while getting back to running again. I need to get stronger so I’m going to make the time to do that!

  12. Being injured is certainly an exercise in patience. I cycled and ran in the pool for 10 weeks due to a stress fracture in my foot — with NO running. I then ran a marathon 4 weeks later. I’m not exactly sure where your injury is, but have you thought about pool running? It’s intense!

    1. Pool running sounds awesome! How do you do that? I’d love to be able to do the motions of running without hurting my hips.

  13. Ah, being injured is so frustrating! These are great tips – especially reading non-running things, getting outside, and finding another activity you can enjoy. The saving grace with my fractured foot was that I could still ride my bike.

    1. I can ride the spin bike too, so I guess that’s what I’ll be up to for a while. It’s definitely frustrating, but I’ll hopefully be back to running soon!

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