What? Are you kidding me? Injuries make you better?
I read a title similar to this in the May issue of Runner’s World and it really got me thinking about my plantar fascitis from a very different perspective. You know what? The author is right. Besides learning how to treat my various injuries, I’m learning different ways to train. With each injury I training differently, often resorting to cross-training. Cycling at the gym and swimming laps to maintain a minimal fitness level while I wait for the injury du jour to heal.
Through my running “career” I’ve faced several injuries: Stress fractures, IT band friction syndome, over-training, muscle strains, bruised toenails and arch blisters. Each one has indeed taught me something. My stress fractures have taught me to ease into a training program and my bruised toenails have taught me that when training for a marathon I need to buy shoes a half size too big.
Thanks to the article, I’ve now begun to change my thinking from despair and disappointment that I may not run this half-marathon, to thoughts of “how can I train better next time?” “how can I avoid this in the future?” and “how can I maintain my fitness level while waiting this out?”.
Here’s what I’ve come up with:
- I need to go out and buy shoes that are right for my foot type (in my case a stability shoe)
- Cross-train more
- Increase my mileage more slowly
- Listen to my body more
- Do a better job at stretching after a run (including my feet and calves)
So the next time you get injured, or asomething sets you back from your goals, try thinking about it from a different perspective – consider what you can learn from it and how it can make you better.