Unfortunately injuries are a part of any sport. There are probably very few runners out there who have not been sidelined by an injury at some point. It’s almost a rite of passage as a runner, isn’t it?! 

Injuries are undoubtedly frustrating, but even more frustrating is when that same injury comes back. There is nothing more disappointing and frustrating as a runner than feeling that same pain and discomfort return when you think you are fully recovered and ready to go. 

But why do injuries return? Well, there are a number of factors that can cause this to happen.

Here is my list of the main reasons that injuries come back. 

  • Not giving your body enough time to recover – at the start of an injury, take 7-14 days off running (note that you can still do other workouts that don’t use the injured part of your body). If you don’t take this time off, an injury could sideline you for 8-12 weeks. 
  • Doing too much too soon – this could mean that you are running too long a distance or you are running at too fast a pace too soon. Remember that after time off running, you will need to slowly build up both pace and distances again; you shouldn’t just pick up from where you left off. 
  • Not evaluating why you got injured in the first place – injuries happen for a reason. The cause could be a muscle imbalance or not properly warming up/cooling down/stretching/foam rolling. If the root cause is not addressed, then the injuries are likely going to come back. You might need to see a physiotherapist for them to assess any muscle weaknesses or imbalances that could be causing the injury. 
  • Running shoes could need replaced – after 500-700km of cumulative use, the shoe structure has broken down and so the shock absorption that you get with a new pair will have been significantly reduced. It is recommended that you replace running shoes around the 500km mark or whenever you start feeling niggles. 

Hopefully this post helps you avoid the disappointment that comes from returning injuries. 

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HELLO, I’m Gillian, a running and nutrition coach based in Toronto, Canada. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post, it really means a lot to me. If you are interested, I have MORE: