Healthy Running = Happy Running (you guys are so inspiring!)

2014 is the Year of Injury Free Running. And this month, I’m focusing entirely on injury prevention, publishing more than ever on the blog and my email list.

Earlier this week I showed you why you’re injured, with specific examples of downright dangerous prevention advice. When I read suggestions on the web to Run less! Walk more! Feel like you’re dying! I consider permanently cancelling my internet subscription and living off the grid.

But then you turn it all around for me.

I wanted to know what healthy running meant to you. So I set up a survey, asking:

What’s your favorite aspect of being healthy? How does it make you feel to run without injuries?

Hundreds of you replied, sharing your deepest thoughts on what it means to run healthy, without pain, and free of injuries.

The response was staggering and your feedback is honestly very emotional for me. I remember back to when I was chronically injured and the feeling of desperation I constantly felt.

I kept asking myself, how long am I going to feel helpless? Does anyone else understand how frustrated I am? Why the hell was I so stubborn?

So, I understand your pain. I know what it feels like to constantly deal with a “foot thing” or a “calf thing” or a “hip thing.”

More importantly, I understand your joy. 

Running gives us an unparalleled freedom to experience the world – it makes everything else feel easy. Whether that’s picking up your kids or just standing up from a chair, running helps us feel grateful for a healthy body.

Plus it’s just so much damn fun!

There’s Nothing Like Healthy Running!

Today I want to share the most uplifting comments I received about what it means to run healthy. Thank you for making my day!

Healthy Running

Share the happy, click to share this on Twitter!

Here are even more responses that make me smile (and I hope you too!):

“My favorite aspect of being healthy is being able to say YES when my friends ask me to do something active with them, like their first 5k, a hiking trip, rock climbing, mud runs, pub runs or even just a long walk.”

“To run without injury is very freeing. It decreases the dread of milage and increases the pleasure of running.
It’s a blessing to feel the body embracing life with great health.”

“It feels good to move confidently, knowing I’m keeping my body strong and healthy.”

“Being able to train without any injuries is a testament of dedication, preparation, and fitness at any particular level you’re at. It’s a damn good feeling when you can click on all three gears.”

The “Sneaky” Reason Why Injury Prevention is so Damn Important

Staying healthy is great for the emotional aspects of running. Healthy running makes us happier, we’re more empowered to tackle our big goals, and life just seems more fulfilling.

But there’s another reason why injury prevention is one of your best tools for running faster: it makes you more consistent.

Not all of us can run 10 miles every day (or even 6 miles a day). But what if you took the standard 25 miles a week you might run – and ran that mileage for an entire month? Or maybe six months?

How much more accomplished would you be as a runner if you could run 25 miles a week…for a whole year?

When you can’t run higher mileage, faster workouts, or longer runs, consistency is what makes new personal bests possible.

In a time when many runners are always looking for more! more! more! it may be just as effective to do the same mileage over a longer period of time.

Here’s an example of my annual mileage personal bests from the last few years:

Annual Mileage Totals

2010 was a significant new personal best for me – by 193 miles. I even managed to squeak in a PR in 2012 by a whopping mile! And last year – 2013 – was a huge PR!

But here’s the interesting thing: none of those years included a weekly mileage PR. The reason why I ran more is because I was simply more consistent with no major injuries. I haven’t had a significant injury since my IT Band injury in 2009.

Without any injuries, you don’t have to take valuable time off to recover and help yourself heal.

I use this principle religiously with the runners I coach. Once we get to a “good” mileage level, which is subjective and based on a wide variety of things, they stay there. A common mistake is to always increase your mileage or constantly search for a weekly mileage record.

Long-term thinking makes injury prevention easier since you’re not making big jumps in mileage.


Weekly mileage is short-sighted when compared to monthly mileage. And monthly mileage is short-sighted compared with annual mileage.

When are you most likely to get hurt?

Monday I announced a new presentation on the times during your training when you’re most likely to get hurt.

It’s now available – if you’re on the injury prevention email list, you received it yesterday. If not, sign up here and I’ll send it to you.

Now, I want you to think about your running over the last six months:

  1. Were you “greedy” with mileage and added too much, too soon?
  2. How can you apply these principles of consistency and long-term thinking to stay healthy?
  3. Do you have any questions for me?

Leave your response below and I’ll do my best to reply to each comment.

I hope you’re having fun with this injury prevention material and more importantly, learning from it and applying it to your own training!

To get the latest injury prevention presentation, sign up here and it’ll be in your inbox within an hour.

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