What is the real reason runners get injured so often? Surely, it cannot be about over-training or weaknesses in our bodies! Our bodies were designed to run. Our ancestors ran for their food and to survive. They didn't need to take time off from running/hunting because of a hamstring injury or a tight IT band! So why can't modern day runners continue to run without pain or injury? What is at the core of this issue? What is the real reason runners get injured so often?
I believe that as runners we all form similar beliefs and desires around our ability to run. We develop a particular thought pattern which is actually a self-sabotage trap that we fall into; and, unfortunately, we are not even aware that we are doing it. Tell me -- is the following scenario familiar to you?
When I was learning how to run, it was so exciting. The first time I ran for 10 minutes, I thought, "Wow I can actually run!" Then I ran for another 10 minutes and continued to run for longer until I completed my first 5 km. It was a wonderful accomplishment for someone just learning to run.
I continued to increase my distances to 10 kms, then to a half marathon and eventually to a full marathon. It was an incredible feeling to run those distances for the very first time. Who would have thought it possible in the beginning? I felt a wonderful sense of achievement!
At some point as my running ability progressed, my perspective changed. I now considered myself to actually be a runner. I was no longer just learning to run--I was a runner! With this realization, my whole attitude towards running changed. I developed expectations (and criticisms) of myself. I wanted to improve, get faster, and obtain new goals.
When I completed my first half marathon with my training group, we were all so happy with our accomplishment. We now knew that we were capable of running that distance, so we should be able to easily complete another one and run it even faster. However, with this self-imposed pressure to maintain or improve our performance, doubt crept in.
What if we couldn't finish our next long training run or the race we signed up for next month? If we can't meet our own expectations, we will be extremely disappointed with ourselves. We developed a fear of failure -- a fear that we may not accomplish our goals or even repeat what we have already accomplished.
All these thoughts of doubt, fear and disappointment begin to affect our energy and our running ability. We have difficult runs much more often. Sometimes we struggle for the duration of the run and when we finish (if we finish), we feel exhausted, sore, and disappointed. We dread the next scheduled run. We continue to silently criticize ourselves for not running well, and we look for physical reasons for our "weakness."
It's no wonder runners get injured so often!
Every thought we think has a physical reaction and an emotional response. If we repeat the same thoughts consistently, they form beliefs; and we tend to act in accordance with our beliefs. Our body responds in a way that is consistent with our thinking and beliefs about ourselves.
If we continue to think negative thoughts about ourselves, how do you think our body will respond? It will respond consistent with the quality of our thoughts. This is evidenced by studies in Manual Muscle Testing.
Muscle strength was tested using true or false statements and also positive and negative statements with consistent results. For example, muscles test stronger to a positive statement such as, "I am amazing" but weaker in response to a negative statement such as, "I am stupid." Read more about: Use Behavioural Kinesiology to Become a Stronger Runner
Consistent negative thought patterns often result in a running injury that prevents us from doing any running. It is a form of self-sabotage and subconscious self-punishment. Perhaps in our subconscious mind we really want a break or rest from running and the pressure and stress!
When we are sidelined with a running injury, we feel frustrated and confused. Why did this happen to me? We need only look inside ourselves for the answer. An honest examination of our thoughts will often provide the real answer to that question.
It is not necessary for runners to get injured so often. If we could go back to how we were when we were excited about learning to run. We were thrilled with each accomplishment--no matter how small, and running was fun! We were happy just to be running and discovering our new ability. We didn't place any unnecessary demands or expectations on ourselves. There was no pressure, no fear and no stress; only excited anticipation. If we experienced limitations, we just accepted them; and we worked to improve them without judging ourselves.
We can be this way again if we truly love and accept ourselves, and let go of self-criticism. If we pay close attention to our thoughts, we would realize just how many negative thoughts we continuously have about ourselves.
We can stop this cycle of running injuries by developing deep love and compassion for ourselves. When we love and accept ourselves as we are, we become free. Free from fear, criticism and doubt. In this state, we are much more likely to be successful in running and in all aspects of life. Successful people take full responsibility for the quality of their thoughts!
Our bodies can become healthier and we can run stronger and easier as we think kinder thoughts. Running can be carefree and fun again and we can enjoy the feeling of our body easily moving across the earth.
This running affirmation can help bring your mind into a joyous state of being. However, don't just repeat the affirmation mindlessly. Say it, feel it, and accept it. Let it sink deeply into your heart and experience the kind and loving feeling that comes with it. Affirmations work when we allow ourselves to connect with them and "own" them!
It doesn't sound like a running affirmation, but from my experience, it has quickly improved my physical and emotional state during a run, i.e. feeling strong and enjoying a run, rather than struggling through a difficult run.
Running often seems to be more of a mental challenge than a physical one. This affirmation helps develop our mental strength in a fast and effective way, which greatly enhances our physical strength.
On one particular run, I remember feeling nauseous at the start, and I was doubtful that I would be able to finish. I was running with a group so I pushed myself to continue. I repeated this affirmation a number of times until I felt better. I completely focused on it each time. I didn't allow my mind to wander or think any negative thoughts. After about 10 minutes, I felt better and happily finished the run. The sickness I felt was gone!
I also used this affirmation when I was running alone and I was struggling physically. My mind was negatively focused on thoughts about myself, my environment or fear of failure. When my thoughts have settled into a negative pattern, I find it really difficult to change back to a more positive state of mind. However, this affirmation has been instrumental on numerous occasions in helping me feel better emotionally and physically while running--resulting in good running experiences rather than unpleasant ones!
This very effective affirmation is one of The 10 Most Powerful Affirmations for Runners, a program to help runners enjoy running more and reduce injuries. This complete program not only gives you 10 very powerful affirmations and a comprehensive guide book, but it also includes 6 different soothing audio versions of these powerful affirmations. Audios include soothing harp music and garden sounds as well as Theta brainwave frequencies and subliminal technologies to access and positively influence your powerful subconscious mind!
If you want to truly change how your think and feel while running, check out the The 10 Most Powerful Affirmations for Runners. It's 100% guaranteed to make a difference or your money back!
So how about you? Does the self-sabotage scenario above sound familiar to you? What do you think is the real reason runners get injured?
We would love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts on the real reason runners get injured and what we can do about it in the comments below.
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