Runners for Dummies Chapter 5- Taking care of your sick or injured runner

Here’s the best-selling guide to taking care of your runner.

Do you have a runner in your life? This fun, friendly guide to runners prepares you for this tough but terrific time. From the basics – housebreaking, feeding, training – to the latest on runner care, supporting your runner, and the new designer breeds of runners. You get everything you need to understanding their odd behaviors.

This is the final chapter of a series, be sure to check out Chapter 1 , Chapter 2 , Chapter 3 and Chapter 4.

Chapter 5- Taking care of your sick or injured runner



Runner loves to run, and when they can’t run, the struggle with more than just physical symptoms.  In this chapter we are going to look at runners habits, what NOT to say and things you can do when you runner is injured or ill.



Runners lack a reasonable amount of subjectivity about their injury or illness. Runners DO NOT want to admit they have an injury and will refuse to acknowledge the severity of the pain.  Many runners will avoid seeking medical advice in fear that they will be told not to run. Once the finally given and recognize that they do have an injury that requires some time off, even one day off, can begin to fill your runner with anxieties about missing runs and loosing fitness.

Here is a quick infograph on determining whether the pain your runner is experiencing is regular muscle soreness or an injury.

So, now you have determined that you runner is injured and will need some time away from running to heal.  Here is a list of things NOT to say to your runner, while they are sidelined.

  • You should (bike, elliptical, cross fit or other activity that is not running.) We know these activities are an option, and sure many runners will do them to maintain their fitness.  Runners like to run and these other activities are not running.
  • Have your tried (rest, ice, compression, tape, foam rolling, cupping, magic unicorn farts…). Unless you are a medical professional, than most of this advice is redundant and annoying. You mean well, but of course your runner has heard of ice and stretching.
  • That happened to (other person) and they had to (insert large amount of time or scary medical intervention). This is just mean, your runner is stressed and probably already coming up with worse case scenarios in his/her head. Adding anecdotal stories only increases your runners anxieties and gives no real help.
  • You run too much anyways. Don’t say this! Who gets to decide how much is too much. Sure, it may be an injury from over training, but that just means your runner progressed slightly faster than his/her body could adapt.injured-meme
  • It’s only running. Your runner is aware of bigger world problems, but running is still important. Running offers a lot of benefits physical and emotionally to runners and not being able to run is hard. Please don’t belittle your runner this way.
  • I googled your symptoms and I think (insert non-medical advice you found on Google MD) Again, your runner should only be getting medical advice from a liscensed medical professional. So many things can be symptoms or signs of multiple problems.  Misdiagnosis can further injure your runner.
  • I told you running is bad for your/See this is why I don’t run. Running is not bad for you, or our knees. There are far worse things than running.
  • Now you’ll have time for other hobbies. Your right, I could become a serial killer! Just kidding, but really, I don’t have other hobbies. My hobbies include running, sleeping and eating. When I can run, the other two just make me a bum.

Your injured runner needs support.  Try to be available to your runner without pushing the subject.  Maybe think of activities that you and your runner can enjoy together and invite them along.  If you notice your runner isn’t better after a week of rest, I strongly encourage you take them to see a medical professional.  Once your runner is beginning to feel stronger, it is important to discuss preventative measures so that you runner can safely return to running. Encourage your runner to return to running slowly, train on a variety of surfaces and complete some basic strength training exercise to increases muscle imbalances.

imjured-runner-meme-2  injured-runner-meme-3

Tips for taking care of your sick runner

Just like injuries, your runner will not want to admit they are sick.  They don’t like missing runs.  There are some minor illnesses that your runner can continue to run through, backing off intensity or mileage may still be a good idea though.  The general rule is symptoms above the neck are safe to run through.  Things like stuffy nose and sneezing are not put your runner at risk.

When you runner is sick, the immune system must work hard to fight off possible infections.  The body will wear down easier and energy levels may decrease.  If symptoms persist or get worse a couple of days, taking a break is probably best.

Please be careful with anti-inflammatory drugs and your runner.  They many not be as helpful as you think.  Check it out here, for more information.

Thank so much for reading! Check out my other posts!


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Published by RunCanvas

Avid Runner, mother, wife and teacher. On a wonderful journey, taking it one mile at a time.

11 thoughts on “Runners for Dummies Chapter 5- Taking care of your sick or injured runner

      1. Thanks! I don’t think it’s anything major; just the muscles in between my achilles and ankle are a little tender to the touch. But like your post says, it doesn’t affect my form and doesn’t hurt when I run.


  1. I need that magical unicorn to fart on my ankle. Wish that unicorn was around 2 weeks ago!

    I’m an injured runner. Second injury in 3 months. Turns out both were related to the same root cause, but in 3 months I’ve trained for about 5 weeks and that’s it. Sad, huh?

    To be honest, when I’m injured, I don’t need advice. Chances are I’ve already googled all day before I even saw my friend or my significant other to tell them I am injured. I don’t need medical help, I go to a doc from that. What I really want is just someone to listen and a hug. Bonus points if you want to go out for a drink or ice cream and listen over that.

    Sometimes just having someone there for you, who lets you know they are there for you, is really the first step in the healing process.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh man, that is some bad luck. I had a string of injuries all up and down my leg. Finally went to PT and found out the root cause for all was poor ankle stability. I got a ton of bad advice along the way. Thanks so much for reading!


  2. Awesome as usual. When I’m injured I run it out as long as I can, although haven’t had any major injuries recently. But when I’m aick, I’m the biggest baby in the world. Wife gets so aghitated with me lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, you’ve just explained me exactly. I am horrible at being sick. I get freaked out thinking I might be getting sick. I turn into a huge baby. But I’ll run through anything.


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