How to Turn 5 Years of Chronic Injuries Into Four (Healthy) Personal Bests

Imagine spending thousands of dollars to stay healthy, only to be injured for more than five years with every race slower than your first.

Kira Running PR

Kira, experiencing what it’s like to run strong without injuries

Would you consider giving up on running?

How much frustration, compounded over years, could you handle?

I want you to meet Kira – a runner so overwhelmed by her chronic injury cycle that she almost gave up running forever.

Her story is dramatic. With a successful first marathon finish in 4:09 she was excited about her future as a distance runner. But as she trained for her next marathons the injuries began to multiply.

Without consistent, healthy training, her second and third marathons got progressively slower.

Kira’s second marathon was a disappointing 4:24.

Her third? An abysmal 5:06.

When countless trips to the doctor didn’t help her ongoing pain, she looked online for an answer. She remembered:

I would spend hours on the Internet trying to figure out what I thought was some freakish thing wrong with me. I thought that I had some genetic problem with my hips that made it impossible for me to run.

Kira’s pain was excruciating and every training cycle it would force her to take weeks off from running. When she was able to run, she needed to modify her stride to avoid pain – only leading to a new set of problems, including Iliotibial Band Syndrome.

Nevertheless, she persisted. Despite her challenges, she knew she loved running too much to give it up.

My injury cycle happened for over 5 years before I decided I needed to change or give up running all together. I started swimming and biking but never found the same joy in it as running.

So for five years, Kira struggled.

Did she every get healthy (and stay that way)? Did she ever run a faster marathon?

Why yes she did!

How Kira Escaped Her Injury Cycle

Kira_Run Dirty

After yet another injury that left her unable to run for two months, Kira decided to get serious about running healthy.

In 2014, she invested in Injury Prevention for Runners (Strength Running’s most popular, and effective, course):

I decided to pull the trigger after utilizing the countless free resources on Strength Running. I had been following Jason long enough that I really trusted him and his advice.

He also always emailed me back and answered my questions, even when I wasn’t a paying customer. I had made so much progress by reading SR but I wanted to get even better and have the security of a real, well-thought out plan.

Kira was relieved at having such a specific plan to follow and it took any guesswork out of her training. She followed it precisely and started embracing the progress she was experienced.

Once I realized that it was all about mindset, it became easier. It also became “mandatory” [to follow the program] in my mind when I started seeing results. I was not only injury-free but I was getting faster!

Suddenly, Kira found herself several weeks into a new training cycle without any injuries. The weeks continued to roll by and Kira’s next marathon was fast approaching.

The Ultimate Test: Kira’s Next Marathon

She continued to run, happy and injury-free. Finally, Kira escaped what she aptly described as her “dark, depressing injury cycle.”

After so many years of chronic injuries, Kira finally conquered her sub-4 hour goal with room to spare, running the Long Beach Marathon in an impressive 3:52!

Curious to see how much you’d improve? Find out.

Beyond reaching her goal, Kira was finally running with confidence again. No longer was she heading out for a run and anticipating her next injury. By staying healthy, Kira also got stronger and faster over longer distances.

Kira explains what the program has taught her:

I learned that injury prevention makes WAY more sense that injury rehab (better to be proactive than reactive).

Injury prevention is not only easy, it is fun and makes running pain free and enjoyable.

Specifically for me, I learned that my hips and butt were really, really weak, and just running more wasn’t going to make them stronger.

Her description of the impact it has had on her running gets to the heart of the Strength Running’s injury prevention philosophy:

Running alone isn’t enough!

Kira doesn’t hold back when it comes to recommending Strength Running’s approach to prevention:

I tell every runner I know about Injury Prevention for Runners because it honestly just works. I feel so great that I can once again call myself a “runner” when at one point I had almost given up all hope.

This program is the best investment a runner can make. I believe that whole-heartedly!

Are these results long-term?

Three years later, is Kira still running strong and healthy?

Was this marathon PR just a brief detour into healthy, fast running?

Actually, not at all!

Kira was so excited about her results that we started working together more closely in my 1-on-1 coaching program a few months after her Long Beach Marathon PR.

Her current PR is 3:22 – a full 30 minutes (more than a 1-minute per mile!) faster than her previous PR of 3:52. And she set PR’s in many other distances as well!

I actually interviewed Kira about her experience with Injury Prevention for Runners:

What made Kira so successful – and is it possible for you too?

First, she took action and invested in her running.

While new shoes or a fancy fuel belt are runners’ “normal” purchases, these things don’t help you get better. Instead, she invested in her knowledge of the sport and reaped the rewards.

Second, she knew she needed to change.

After all, if you keep doing what you’re doing, then you’re going to keep getting what you’re getting.

To improve and say goodbye to your own injury cycle, you first have to change how you train. If you’re not willing to change, then you’ll remain injured.

Finally, Kira didn’t give up.

Anybody who’s been injured for a long time (myself included!) know how hard it is to miss the thing you love.

I was so depressed when I had my big IT Band injury that I sat on the couch for six months eating Oreos and watching reruns of House. Yeah, it was ugly.

But Kira understood that you have to keep moving forward and learning. Running is too special to abandon!

Just imagine if she had quit… she’d have never experienced the joy of running pain-free. Or set an enormous 47-minute PR that qualified her for the Boston Marathon.

If you’re considering of quitting running because of your own chronic injury cycle… DON’T!

Take the first step and learn more about how to run healthy.

Get our free injury prevention course here – with inspiring case studies like this, runner-specific strength routines, myths to avoid, and more.
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