Things to Never Say to an Injured Runner

sad runner

When you hit the injured list, it seems like the "advice" comes nonstop about what went wrong. Well-meaning friends, family and random strangers become experts on running injuries. To the injured runner, it's like fingernails on a chalkboard.

Next time you are injured or come across some poor runner who is, think twice about what words of sympathy or wisdom are said. The runner is probably already very crabby from not being able to run.

"You should do yoga!" Yoga is wonderful, but is it a substitute for running? Absolutely not. Being blissed out on yoga is not the same as a runner's high.

"You should swim/bike/elliptical!" The cure for every running injury, right? While all of those activities are a great alternative to running and a great way to keep some cardiovascular fitness, it's still not the same.

"I just had the best long run. I felt like I could run forever!" Thank you for digging the knife in my run-loving heart just a little deeper.

"Have you tried rest, ice, compression and elevation? Or stretching?" Huh. None of those crossed my mind at all.

"Weren't you just injured?" Why, yes. Yes, I was. Thanks for remembering that.

"You should really focus on strengthening your upper body now." Because that's really going to help my lower body injury how?

"That happened to my friend/sister/neighbor. She never ran again." If you are just looking for something to say, this is not it. The poor injured runner doesn't want to hear bad news.

"Why don't you find another sport?" Because running and I were meant for each other!

"You needed a rest anyway." What I need is a rest from unsolicited running advice.

"Have you gained lots of weight from not running?" I WAS feeling good about myself today. I knew I shouldn't have worn these pants today!

"When you run that far, you are always going to be hurt." Is that a Golden Rule that applies to everyone?  I missed that one in the runner's rule book.

"It's only running." Said someone who obviously is NOT a runner.

"There's always next year to run that race." And that makes it magically all better?

"See? I told you running wasn't good for you." So is doing nothing. I'd rather run.

If you are injured now or in the future, it's inevitable you will be given advice about how to get over the injury or what you should be doing until you can run again. Those kind souls really do mean well. We know everyone is just looking for something to say to make the runner feel better, but what's the best thing to say to an injured runner?

"I'm sorry that happened to you. I hope you are back to running soon!"

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