Guest Post: What runners do when they’re injured

I’ve decided it’s high time I opened the gates over here at Castle Plod and let some other writers in to share their running wisdom (and give you lot some respite from my barrage of musings about jam).

First up, I’d like to introduce the charming David Knowles, author of the blog “Pint-Sized Torpedo”. If they were handing out prizes for best blog title, David would win a speedboat or a coconut or a million pounds or a weekend for three in Dunstable (As you can probably tell, I’m not familiar with the type of prizes they normally give out for these things).

Anyway, I’ve waffled enough. Ladies and gentlemen, here’s David…

david knowles

Jay was asking if anyone wanted to make a guest appearance on his blog, so here is my attempt.

As I’m currently injured, I thought I’d write about what runners do when they’re injured – hopefully you (and I!) will discover that where we would normally apply common sense in any other aspect of our life, when it comes to injuries and running, we don’t!

First of all; about me: ASL (for those fluent in msn speak) 27, Male, Liverpool. I run for a club called Liverpool Running Club, who I’ve been with for about 8 months, and whose colours are blue and white horizontal stripes. I love running with the club, and if you’ve every pondered should I/shouldn’t I join a club, I would say go for it.

I’ve competed in races ranging from 5km, 10km, 14miles, and the full marathon, but oddly enough, never half marathon distance, go figure! However I am hoping to change this as I’ve signed up for the Liverpool Half Marathon (which I was forced to miss last year due to injury)

So back on topic… I’ve found that being injured is very much like the stages of grief you go through having split up from a significant other or the like… Let’s take a look:

(For those really interested, I’m following the Kübler-Ross model)


1. Denial

You tell yourself that you’re fine; it’s just a twinge, something that you can definitely run off. Despite the fact it hurts to carry on running, every single time you lace up your trainers, you continue to do so, telling yourself the pain isn’t as bad as last time, or, you’ll stop if it hurts (which you never do).

It was Einstein who said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results… Ringing any bells with the denial stage?!


2. Anger

“Why me? Why do I always get injured? Look at all these people out running, why can’t one of them be injured, it’s just not fair!”

Yes, good old anger – you’re angry with yourself, with people around you, especially with people who try to tell you what to do to recover from your injury. They don’t run, they don’t know what this feels like, humph.

The anger can be all-consuming and it can take all of your will power and patience to not react to situations that normally you would not bat an eyelid at.


3. Bargaining

You may think something like “if I run for just 2 miles instead of my normal club run for 2 weeks, and then I can get back into it, I’d settle for that” or “I’d settle for an hour of excruciating pain rather than a fair to moderate pain lasting 2 weeks”

Coming up with all kinds of concoctions and deals you would make if you could, all in the name of getting back to running more quickly. In the end though, unfortunately, it doesn’t make a difference.


4. Depression

“What’s the point? I only ever end up getting injured again, I’ll get my fitness back and it’ll just be some other part of my body that packs in”.

Cutting the offending limb off always feels like a good idea at this point, as you really don’t see a time when you will be running again, so at least this way if you don’t have the limb, you won’t be in pain! There isn’t really anything anyone can say to make you feel better, unless of course, Kelly Brook was knocking at your door – well that would definitely cheer me up anyway…


5. Acceptance

You finally come to terms with your injury; you can’t run right now; it’s time to work on a plan of how you will recover and get back to running.

It’s always a long road getting to this point, but once you’re here it is definitely the best place to be; you think more clearly and handle the situation a lot better.

I’m hoping I’m not the only one who seems to go through this process; if I am, maybe I need help (!)


Thanks for reading, if you want to catch my blog, you can go to

Due to injury I’ve not been posting much lately (it’s hard to write about running when you’re not, well, running!) but I’m due to start at a lower limb service at my local hospital this week, so I’m hoping to get back in to the swing of things.

Thanks to Jay for giving me the opportunity to type some twaddle 🙂


6 thoughts on “Guest Post: What runners do when they’re injured

  1. For a while now, I’ve been thinking of joining my local club, the Kettering Town Harriers. It’s just occurred to me that their club vest is horizontal red/white stripes, so David and I could rock a Bloods/Crips rivalry.

  2. I had to laugh, I read this the other day, snorted a bit and thought ‘who on earth would be so daft?!’ Lo and behold, this post came back to haunt me today as I hobbled through my run, bargaining that if I could just finish it, I’d take a rest day in return. Us runners never learn, do we?

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