I’m injured. I can’t run.


There are many thoughts, emotions, feelings that go through your mind when this happens. I am not happy because my goal of being fit and able to run has to stop.  I’m mad, I’ll have to start again and build that fitness I fear of loosing.

The worst case thought, I’ll never run again. Or not so dramatic, not to worryits just a tired muscle, joint, tendon, skin problem, it will go away. I’ll just take a day off. Get on my bike.


I’ve looked through my old running diaries, pages and pages from little books, and there are so many references to soreness after or during runs.  Also a lot of blank pages with no run recorded. The injury won.

But the good thing I noticed, when I was young, that I recovered and achieved some pretty satisfying times and results. So I carried on my running life and trained and raced.

I have learned that the recovery time for my injuries now, takes an annoyingly longer time!


I listened to a podcast about running injuries that if you run more that 40 miles a week the chances of you having an injury in that year are 70% !

The good news is there are many people and procedures available to help you recover or even better ways to train, that will reduce considerably your risk of injury.

I have been very fortunate to have running colleagues that are Massage therapists, Physio therapists, Sport Doctors, Chiropractors and my coaches to keep me running.

Stretching, weights, Pilates, yoga, cross training, rest, exercises, operations, orthotics, drugs, diet all can improve your running injury risk tolerance. Where you run, on the road or in the forest trails and how far you run, 30K a week or 90K,are risk factors. A critical factor is doing too much too soon.


What you wear on your feet can have a big influence on  your running injury potential.

My experience selling running shoes at the Frontrunner for almost 40 years has exposed me to  many feet and foot functions, and the importance of getting the correct shoe for the correct purpose. Analysing gait, foot shape, injury history, shoe wear patterns can be like detective work to solve the problem of running injury prevention. I have also had experience of people recovering from terrible accidents, that you would think make returning to running impossible. Thank goodness more people do that don’t.


So the current problem is a right foot achilles injury. I cant figure out the direct cause. I have taken time off. Nope didn’t help. Self massage, some relief but no cure. I have adjusted my orthotics, and my shoes. No joy. I have begun  Physio Therapy. The old diary suggests that I can recover from this type running setback. I realise though, it may take a bit more time to regain my pain free running status. I’ll give it a go.


Running makes us feel good. We run for that reward. Being injured takes the chance of the reward away, we don’t like it, but there are many solutions available to us, to help us return to do the thing we love to do. Run.


April 11, 2024 — John Coates

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