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What advice would you give a new runner about running injuries?

Let’s talk about your support network. Do you have one? Do you have an inner circle of trusted runners you can reach out to for advice?

Race Front Runners

I’ve been fortunate to have had hundreds of teammates over my 8-year career running cross country and track in high school and college. And over those years, I had over TEN coaches that gave me invaluable advice, suggestions, and recommendations on how to achieve my goals.

If I had a bad race, someone was there to tell me I could do better – and hold me accountable to push myself next time.

When I was running well, I had several coaches to encourage me (and to reign me in when I was doing too much, too soon).

And when I got hurt, I had a team of trainers and coaches to help me get healthy.

One of my big goals with Strength Running is to bring that advice to you. You may not have had that many coaches to learn from. Or been on a team for nearly a decade. But you can still learn from them through SR.

Today, when I ask for advice, I always go to those who are performing at the highest levels. The wisdom, nuance, and guidance is simply unparalleled.

This is why when I hired a runner to write the Boston Course GuideI chose a 2:25 marathoner who has run the Boston Marathon FOUR times. I wanted to make sure readers of this book knew the important aspects of the Boston course and Athlete’s Village, while ignoring the details that won’t help you run a better marathon.

It’s why I interviewed leading experts like Matt Fitzgerald, Alex Hutchinson, Brad Hudson, and Dr. Peter Larson (among others) for Injury Prevention for Runners. The program includes over four hours of audio with the world’s smartest authors, coaches, clinicians, and researchers.

And it’s why I demand to be held accountable as a coach. I’m 100% transparent that I don’t know everything – but after 16+ years of training, having over 10 coaches myself, and getting my runners results like this and this, I’m confident I can help you prevent more injuries.

Recently, runners who have invested in my injury prevention program have been telling me how they’re doing now. The results are powerful:

“Last year I had a calf injury and ITB problems and running suddenly became painful and really frightening. So I researched and researched and finally chose to use Jason’s Injury Prevention program. Since then I have had no further issues and am back stronger than ever running with my two buddies who are 10 and 15 years my junior.

Being sidelined with an injury was devastating. So I made sure it did NOT happen again. I am so grateful that I found this program which has enabled me to recover quickly and to prevent any further injuries. After all I need something on my side if I am going to challenge them over the last few kilometers!” – Gina

“This program has transformed my running, giving me much better focus on both how I run and also on my strength training to support it. My running has never felt better and I am able to run further, faster and on harder courses than ever before.” – Thomas

“This program has really changed the way I train and I am so happy to have more control over preventing injuries. I never would get to the cause of why I was getting injured and the cycle would continue, one injury after another. This program gives you the full spectrum of injury prevention and it has helped me make leaps and bounds in my training. Thanks so much!” – Mike

Awesome! How would you feel if you could run without all those constant aches and pains? If you could feel energized for your runs and not dread yet another running injury?

Staying healthy can be a game-changer for most runners. You’ll finally experience consistent training and be able to run more, run faster, and feel good doing it!

If that sounds good to you, check out these free injury prevention videos.

Coming Back Strong – Elites on How to Prevent Injuries

Today I want to highlight the injury prevention advice from world-class runners – those who know what it’s like to train really hard and sometimes suffer a serious running injury. While these runners may not be in your support network (we should all be so lucky!), we can certainly learn from them.

There’s an excellent reason why I chose to share these quotes from elite runners: pros have perspective and know what it takes to achieve their potential. Training and injury prevention principles are UNIVERSAL, meaning the same strategies that work for a pro can work for me and you. We just need to scale them down a bit!

These are excerpts from Coming Back Strong: Distance Runners on Injury, Cross Training, & Rehab by Don Kopriva. Here he interviews 76 elite runners (!) about how they deal with injuries and how to return from injury stronger than ever.

Evan Jager: “Enjoy every single day I get to do what I love, which is running”

Evan Jager is a Nike-sponsored athlete and the current American Record holder in the 3,000m Steeplechase with an 8:06.81. He was a two-time All-American at the University of Wisconsin-Madison before he turned professional after his freshman year.

His thoughts on being injured and preventing injuries:

“The main thing I’ve learned from every injury I’ve had is to enjoy every single day I get to do what I love, which is running.

As a runner, you need to know when you can and cannot push your body through aches, pains, and potential injuries. During my most recent injury I either stationary biked or aqua jogged for 60 minutes.”

Lessons learned: enjoy running when you’re healthy, understand soreness vs. potential injuries, and cross-train when you’re hurt.

Dathan Ritzenhein: “The harder I work out when injured, the faster my comeback is”

Dathan Ritzenhein is one of the most decorated American distance runners of all time. He’s a two-time national high school cross country the champion, NCAA cross country champion, former American Record holder in the 5,000m, the second fastest American born half marathoner of all time, and a two-time Olympian. You can also read this interview with Dathan that I did in 2012.

More important than his accomplishments is his injury history: with nearly ten stress fractures and multiple other foot injuries. Dathan knows a thing or two about dealing with injuries!

“[When injured,] give yourself goals. It’s always easier to take small steps toward the end goal. Don’t live by those goals, however. If you’re not ready to run yet, don’t set yourself back by running too early.

Don’t run through something that’s getting worse. You’re not indestructible. Take care of it before it becomes a season-ending injury. Get on the therapy and cross training right away and the time lost will be minimal. I train more when I’m injured than when I’m healthy. I put in so much more time because it makes my return to good fitness so much faster.”

Lessons learned: set goals that propel you forward, be proactive about small pains that could turn into injuries, and cross train as much as possible.

Galen Rupp: “If you cross train diligently, you’ll be amazed at the fitness you retain”

Galen Rupp is an Olympic silver medalist and the American record holder in the 10k and indoor 3k, 2-mile, and 5k. He’s run 26:44 for 10k and 3:50 in the mile and is a 5-time USA Outdoor Track & Field National Champion.

Impressive, isn’t it? Here’s his advice on how to deal with running injuries:

“There are a lot of things that you can train through, but you have to be smart about it. Be patient and understand that everyone will get injuries during their career. The great athletes are those who are able to weather tough times and get through periods of disappointment.

If you cross train diligently and put in the work, you’ll be amazed at the fitness you retain. Getting hurt should not make you train less or be scared to push things. Just make sure to learn from past mistakes and be smart with your training.”

Lessons learned: Patience and diligence when injured is key, cross train if you’re hurt, and don’t get scared to run hard again once you’re healthy!

Now let’s hear YOUR advice!

Seeing these quotes from some of the world’s best runners makes me realize we have more in common than we think. Even though these runners can perform at levels I can’t even fathom, we can still learn from them.

My favorite lessons here are:

  1. Understand soreness vs. pain and be super proactive about injury prevention
  2. Cross train when you’re hurt
  3. Be patient! Injuries happen to everyone

Let’s hear from you, too, so we can all learn from the collective wisdom of the Strength Running community and broaden our support network.

Leave a comment below answering this: What have you learned about injury prevention during your running career?

I’ll choose my favorite reply and ship the winner – US only – a free book of their choice (a running book, 50 Shades of Grey, whatever you want)!

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