5 Ways to Stay Motivated During a Running Injury

It has been nearly 3 months since my hip flexor started bothering me, and while it hasn’t been fun to deal with this injury, I am doing my best to distract myself with other things and not get too down about the situation.

I am the queen of finding things to do, so the time I would have spent running has been filled with all sorts of other things: cooking/baking, hiking, adventures with Cullen, traveling to Minnesota, and working on this blog more.

I know eventually I will get back to running and pounding the pavement, but in the meantime, here’s how I am staying motivated and not giving up on my ultimate goal of running a sub-3 hour marathon.

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  1. Find a new hobby.

    This is huge and the key to not letting your abundance of newly found time cause you to sit on the couch and eat bon-bons. Maybe this new hobby is something you have been wanting to try for a while: a different sport, learning to play a musical instrument, taking an art class, etc. Or maybe it is something you have dabbled in the past but haven’t had the time to devote to it before.

    I have spent my extra time trying new recipes in the kitchen and making things I don’t always have time to make: homemade bread, protein bites, my own salad dressing, etc. I love trying new recipes and seeing what fun dishes I can make for my family.

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  2. Volunteer at a race

    I can’t say I have done this yet, but I have always want to volunteer at a race. What a better time to volunteer than when you are injured. Yes, you would have to watch others racing, but I think this could also fuel your passion and motivate you to not give up hope. Most of the people out there racing have probably had their own injuries they have dealt with in the past.

  3. Do all those ‘little things’

    Now is your time to do all of those ‘little things’ that often get neglected when we are in serious training: foam rolling, stretching, strengthening exercises, eating right, and sleeping. I have been sleeping about 9 hours every night, which has felt amazing! I sometimes feel guilty sleeping in until 7:30 or 8:00 a.m., but I know my body probably needs it–especially after 18 months of sleep deprivation. I also like to take some time before bed to stretch and foam roll to wind down at the end of the day.

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  4. Change your focus

    Whatever may have caused your injury whether it was self-inflicted in making a poor training choice or something that was a freak accident, come to accept that ‘it is what it is,’ and move on. Focus on what you need to do to get better and remember that eventually you will run again.

  5. Plan out your goals

    Take some time to think about how you will approach your training differently once you are healed: write out your goals, tell others, and don’t lose hope that these things are still possible. While you may not be able to pick certain races to run, you can still set goals that pertain to your training such as wanting to lift weights twice a week, spend 15 minutes stretching every day, running with a friend once a week, finding a new trail to run, etc.

    With time and patience, your injury will subside and you will run again. Let this ‘valley’ light an even bigger fire under you to work towards your goals. During the time I haven’t been able to run, I find myself ‘wanting it’ even more than I have in the past. Once I am healed, I am going to do everything in my power achieve my goals and be the best runner I can be!

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