Do injuries make you a cautious runner?

Deb Runs

The cautious seldom err — Confucious

Today’s Wednesday word is cautious. I feel as though I could write volumes about this one!

Every little twinge of my knee makes me cautious: have I run too much? Too fast? Is the other knee next? Will it be painful if I push harder? Will I be able to run my next race?

Then there is my mother. My mother is a strong woman, but if I listened to her way back when I got started, I would never have run another step. She was certain I would run my knees. Ironic, no? But I haven’t ruined my knees; I just have a tendency to “overuse” injuries.

And then there’s my husband, of course. Who questions my sanity when I leave for a race on a snowy and/or cold night.

I put overuse in quotes because I am a cautious runner due to my knees (well, really my IT band, so sometimes it’s hips, too). I don’t run a lot of races and my weekly mileage isn’t that high. Still I struggle with IT Band syndrome at times. Yes, it makes me cautious.

I’d like to run halfs just by feel. To push myself. Yet I find myself lining up, starting, and being cautious.

So yes, I am a cautious runner. But mostly in a good way, I think. Sure, being cautious keeps me hanging back sometimes. But I think that it will keep me running for the long haul, too. Because that’s what I hope to do.

‘There were many talented people who haven’t fulfilled their dreams because they overthought it, or they were too cautious, and were unwilling to make the leap of faith.  — James Cameron

Are you a carefree runner?

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25 thoughts on “Do injuries make you a cautious runner?

  1. Definitely a fine line. None of us would ever run if we listened to the public perception about us ruining our knees. I try to listen to my body and dial back workouts if I’m feeling really fatigued. I was better about it this training cycle and only got sick one this year (versus 4 times last year).

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    1. I was actually sick more than usual this yr, but I blame winter – I didn’t train as hard as last yr, or race as much – even tho I’m contemplating. 4 halfs this yr.

      But you’re right; it’s a really fine line!

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  2. I want to keep running so I tend to be a bit cautious, I guess. Or maybe it’s just that I don’t really care how fast I am so I don’t push it. Hmmmm…

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  3. Fear of injury is the one thing that makes me use caution in running. I’m overthinking the twinge on my foot again today. It got much better after this weekend, but after two days of running…it’s niggling again. So tomorrow will be a rest day. Cautious. Careful. Smart, I hope.

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  4. I definitely think I’m more cautious running this year with my first full coming up. Every little twinge or tight muscle leads me to start thinking worst-case scenario, but it’s also leading me to take care of myself much better. I’ve added more stretching, foam rolling, and cross training into my training, which were serious back-burner activities in years past!

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  5. I was a carefree runner for my first two years and then my stress fracture.
    I am still trying to recover and trying to manage that has not been easy, it is very hard to know how much is too much. I will have three or four runs that feel awesome, then I will ache right at injury spot and get nervous. I ache today…so I will rest until Friday…I feel like that cycle is never going to end.

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  6. Call me conservative but I think caution is wise. Hurting my ITB after my first marathon taught me to listen more closely to my body. Coming back from injury is a slippery slope. I’m glad you did not listen to your mom about the knee thing!

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