Welcome to this month's newsletter -- Why Do Runners Get Injured?
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Why do so many runners get injured so often? Surely, it cannot just be about over-training or weaknesses in our bodies! Our bodies are naturally designed for running and we should be able to run without pain or injury. Our ancestors ran for their food. They didn't stop running because of a hamstring injury or a tight IT band! So what is at the core of this problem? I have a theory that maybe you can relate to....
Back when I first started learning how to run, it was so exciting. The first time I ran for 10 continuous minutes, I thought, "Wow I can actually run!" Then I ran for another consecutive 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 distance to 10 kms, then to a 1/2 marathon and eventually to a full marathon. It was such an incredible feat to be able to run those distances for the very first time. Who would have thought it possible in the beginning? It was so exciting and exhilarating!
But at some point my perspective changed (and many other runner's too I suspect). We now considered ourselves to actually be runners. We are no longer just learning to run--we are runners! With this realization, our whole attitude towards running changed. We developed expectations of ourselves. There was now a commitment to keep it up and to get faster. Don't get me wrong. We all want to continue to run and keep running into our golden years, but now we have placed tremendous pressures on ourselves to obtain new goals.
When we completed our first half marathon (for example), we were so happy with our accomplishment, but now that we know we are capable of running that distance, we feel we should be able to easily complete another one and maybe even faster. However, with this self-imposed pressure to maintain or improve our performance, comes doubt. What if we can't finish our next long training run or the race next month? We put pressures on ourselves to finish a certain distance at a certain time and if we don't accomplish it, we are very disappointed with ourselves.
We developed a fear of failure. We are afraid that we may not accomplish our goals nor maintain what we have already accomplished.
All these thoughts of doubt, fear and disappointment begin to affect our runs. We have "bad" runs much more often. We struggle for the entire duration of the run and when we finish (if we finish), we feel awful. We feel sore and tired and we dread going on the next run. And then we criticize ourselves continuously for not doing as well as we had expected. It's no wonder runners get injured so often!
Thoughts created in our mind result in emotions which are held in our bodies. If we continue to think negatively and generate negative emotions in our bodies, what effect do you think they will have on our bodies? All this negative energy will eventually result in a running injury that prevents us from doing any running. And maybe somewhere in our subconscious mind, that is what we really want—a break or rest from all this pressure and stress!
So now we are sidelined with a running injury. We feel frustrated with life because we can no longer run. We have to sit it out for at least a few weeks to give our bodies a chance to heal.
But it doesn't have to be this way. If we could go back to how we were when we first learned to run. We were happy with each accomplishment no matter how small. We were happy just to be running. We didn't have any expectations of ourselves. There was no pressure and therefore no fear and no stress. If we had limitations, we just accepted them and we continued to work to improve them without judging ourselves.
We can be this way again if we totally love and accept ourselves and stop the pattern of self-criticism. If we can learn to pay attention to our thoughts, we would realize just how many negative thoughts we think each day, hour, or even minute about ourselves.
We can turn this around if we develop a 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.
Our bodies will be happier and will move much more easily again and without all the added negative energy. Running will once again be carefree and fun. We can again enjoy the wonder of how easily our bodies move across the earth.
The following running affirmation can be very helpful in bringing your mind into this joyous state of being. However, don't just repeat the affirmation mindlessly. Say it, feel it and be present with it. Let it sink into your heart and really connect with the feeling of truly loving and accepting yourself. For affirmations to work, you must associate emotion with them and "own" them!
This affirmation may not sound like a running affirmation, but from my experience, I have found it to be very effective in improving my state of being during a run, resulting in an enjoyable run, rather than a difficult one.
Running is often more of a mental challenge than a physical one. This affirmation helps develop your mental strength in a very effective way.
On one particular run, I was not feeling very well at the beginning. I felt a bit nauseous and I was doubtful that I was going to be able to continue. I was running with a running group that evening so I pushed myself to continue. I began to repeat this affirmation and completely focused on it. I didn't allow my mind to wander off or think any negative thoughts. I don't remember how long it took but probably after about 10 minutes, I was feeling much better and I enjoyed the rest of the run. The sickness I felt had gone away!
I have also used this affirmation while running when I was not in a positive state of mind and running felt difficult. My mind was negatively focused on thoughts about myself, my environment or fear of failure. I don't know about you, but I find it really difficult to change from a negative state of mind to a positive state of mind once my mind has settled into a negative pattern. However, this affirmation has been instrumental on numerous occasions in helping me change my state of mind from a negative one to a positive one and change what would have been a "bad" run to a "good" run!
Incidentally, this very effective affirmation is one of The 10 Most Powerful Affirmations for Runners, a program to help runners become more confident and reduce injuries. This complete program not only gives you 10 very powerful affirmations with a comprehensive guide book, but it also includes 6 different audio versions to listen at your convenience. Audio versions include soothing harp music and garden sounds as well as Theta brainwave frequencies and subliminal technologies to access and 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? Why do you think runners get injured? Do you have a running affirmation that helps you get through and turn around those "bad" runs? Or maybe you have another technique that works for you?
In any case, we would love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts on why runners get injured and what we can do about it in the comments section below.
As always, keep running, smiling and be happy and peaceful!
With love and peace,
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