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 the first four chapter (linked below)!

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.


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! If you missed the previous Chapters be sure to check them out using the links below

Interested in working with a Running Coach?

I am a VDot  Certified coach with over 14 years of coaching experience! Having worked with young beginners in the middle school level, and high school athletes who have gone on to compete at national Division I championships. I have designed training plans for runners who are just starting, reaching for new distances, Boston Qualifiers and those looking to earn a spot at the Marathon Olympic trials.
Completely customized plans that are developed at your current fitness level to get you to your goals. 

 For more information click here


Published by RunCanvas

Hi I am Janell! Avid runner and coach with 14 years of experience helping runners reach their goals. Wondering if working with a running coach is the right choice for you? Run coaching is available for ALL levels and paces. If you run, you are a runner. Hiring a running coach will help you to become stronger and more resilient – both physically and mentally.

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