Written by Ann Brennan
I have heard this several times over the past two weeks. Apparently I have become the mom of the running community. I am willing to accept that role if it means getting through to the runners who are sabotaging their chances of running a strong marathon.
In the past few weeks I have run with several injured runners. Yes, injured. People with injuries that are causing them to limp on a regular basis. People who can pinpoint the cause of the injury and still refuse to take a few days off to rest.
I understand their reasoning. The plan calls for a run today, therefore I have to get it in.
But these are smart people. They are people who can understand that running is only making their injury worse, but they can’t allow themselves downtime because the plan says…
So, today, I am here once again to play mom. Today I am here to say, rest, ice, compress and elevate. Stop sabotaging your training. Treat the injury now and you are much more likely to make it across that finish line on race day.
I get that it is hard to skip a workout. The workouts are what move you forward. That 20-mile run is just the thing to give you confidence for race day. But will it do that if you are in pain the whole time? Will it move you forward if you start the race with a limp?
Yes, I am being a mom. But the truth is, YOU KNOW THIS. You know that it makes no sense to sabotage your efforts by making an injury worse. It makes no sense to push through the pain if the swelling in that joint is made worse. It makes perfect sense to nurse it. Make it better and then go out.
I am never one to say skip a race (unless there is a good way to reschedule it sooner rather than later). I understand the draw of race day. But I am one to tell you that resting an injury is always the smart move, fresh legs never ruined a marathon, and knowing you have made the smart decision should give you the confidence you need to get it done on race day.
Okay, mom is shutting up now. Sort of, after I say one more thing. Go get that ice, the compression socks, watch some tv with your feet up and for God’s sake, get some rest.