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Open Letter

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  • 30-09-2018 9:00pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 2,065 ✭✭✭


    Running Injuries

    If you run, you will get injured. That one, unfortunately, is a certainty. It doesn't matter whether a pro or a hobby-jogger like myself - it will happen. Sure, personal injury profile depends on internal factors such as individual strength and weaknesses, overuse/under and external factors etc. but if you run, you will get injured. Fact! With that out of the way, we can move on!

    The ideal scenario is that you catch that niggle in time, not allowing it to develop into a real injury. Sh1t happens. Injuries happen. It is nothing personal!

    The one question that keeps occupying the consciousness is as odd as it is simple. I constantly ask myself - 'Am I actually fit?' I have had plenty of time to muse over this question, with at least 2 hours of cross-training each day to make me miss the fresh air, the feeling of being outdoors and being free, on an ever-increasing scale. I have today come to the conclusion that I am not fit. I like to call myself a 'good club level runner' - whatever that is - aka a half decent runner. I am not slow, nor fast. I choose to dedicate a fair chunk of my life to running. It was and never will be a sacrifice - how can a choice ever be called a sacrifice? I run many slow miles and many faster miles. While I have developed nicely into a 'half decent' runner, I have now come to the conclusion that in fact, I am simply unfit. The last three weeks has made me look at running in a holistic sense. Over the past three weeks, I have spent hours upon hours doing things I would usually avoid like the plague. I haven't run a step outdoors now for 3 weeks but one thing is certain: I am now a fitter man, Sounds odd, right? Counterintuitive almost.

    To all those runners injured. To all those runners who will be injured. Stay positive. I 100% believe that one can leave the injury ward a far fitter, stronger and most importantly, a stronger well-rounded athlete and person. The glass is always half full; in injury, focus on areas you have neglected. That really can be the biggest area(s) of growth.

    I entered my second ever yoga class earlier this week. The first one proved tough, very tough. If one were to cast their eye across the studio, I think I would appear the 'fittest' (lowest BMI etc.) Many participants were in fact 10-20 years my senior, with many carrying a few extra pound..........or two! 45 minutes later? I was in ribbons, while the majority around me were flying it. Was I fit? No chance. I had no core strength, no flexibility...........nothing! All the stuff I should have been doing over the previous years cruelly laid out in front of me. That really made me think. I was in no way negative (I really loved it) but everything I was missing out on by only running played out in front of me over 45 short testing minutes. I love those moments of clarity.

    I enjoy devoting a sizeable portion of my day and week to running. I enjoy almost everything about running but I think I enjoy being fit and healthy more. Running enables self-preservation. It often gives you the reason not to do something you want to partake in. I am far from endorsing taking up that casual Russian Roulette gathering down the road but don't let training or the fear of possible injury ever stop you!

    The proof will be in the delicious pudding. It will be interesting what happens when I lace the runners and hit the tarmac once more. That will be the acid test.

    In confession, I will admit on numerous excuses on not attending classes I had planned to participate in. My injury gave way to those feeble excuses, thus my sudden direction change! I think, as runners, many of us, including myself, pigeon-hole ourselves far too quickly and easily. We get into a habit, albeit a good habit, of running miles and races. Maybe, just maybe, if we broadened our approach to overall fitness and wellbeing we will, in fact, turn out to be better athletes and in turn, better runners.

    I'm often drawn to the rambling of a 'once-was' runner. He recalled seeing a middle-aged man looking for his disposed of t-shirt after completing a marathon. The runner could not bend down, barely able to retrieve his second layer. The story-teller was a talented runner but he unfortunately no longer runs. I firmly believe that the impression left its mark on him. I don't want to be that runner. Time on the sidelines gives you space to reflect and in reflection, I will endeavour to broaden my approach and be less tunnel-visioned. It is, after all, a big wide world out there!

    Time will tell, of course. My history indicates a gradual return to the single-minded miles of running outlook but this letter may be the opening chapter in a fresh new approach.

    Time will tell!


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,080 ✭✭✭BeepBeep67


    You ok hun?


  • Registered Users Posts: 928 ✭✭✭TRR_the_turd


    Breaking news. If you do a sport to a decent level you will pick up injuries. In other news, water is wet.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,415 ✭✭✭Singer


    I prefer to think of it as the curse of boards: "stop logging, get injured" :D

    P!sstaking aside, it sounds like you've got a great attitude as ever DR, hope the comeback trail is short and satisfying!


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,236 ✭✭✭AuldManKing


    Anyone else reading this to the Willie McBride tune??


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,340 ✭✭✭TFBubendorfer


    I'm often drawn to the rambling of a 'once-was' runner. He recalled seeing a middle-aged man looking for his disposed of t-shirt after completing a marathon. The runner could not bend down, barely able to retrieve his second layer. The story-teller was a talented runner but he unfortunately no longer runs. I firmly believe that the impression left its mark on him. I don't want to be that runner.

    I would much rather be* that middle-aged runner who can't bend down any more than the ex-runner who no longer runs.


    * I may already be that runner ...


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,551 ✭✭✭Ceepo


    Maybe you should consider that Flexibility doesn't equate to fittnes.
    Bring the yoga class out for a run and see how far they get..
    flexibility is a good thing for sure, but only if you still have a integration of movement.
    A lot of Yogies I see are disconnected in their movement


  • Registered Users Posts: 164 ✭✭blueskys


    Like Ceepo said, 'fitness' is an elastic concept.
    Really we should be thinking about balancing - strength, speed, suppleness, stamina along with balance and posture. Most runners to be honest look in pain and have terrible posture. Doing any activity to excess leads to overworked/developed/tight muscles in a certain area to the detriment of others.
    Look at kenyan runners - no effort or pain on their faces.
    You need to expand your concept of what 'fit' is.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,704 ✭✭✭✭RayCun


    I can touch my toes, I'm reasonably flexible. Immediately after the marathon, though, I'd be ****ed. It's not a good time to judge someone's overall fitness :pac:


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,825 ✭✭✭IvoryTower


    Some strength work, some mobility work(running focused), rest days, sleep, nutrition, be grand!


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