5 Ways to Stay Sane when You Can’t Run

TGIF, y’all!

I’m thrilled that it’s Friday because the fam and I have some really fun weekend plans (such as horseback riding–yes, really!) and the weather is supposed to be drop-dead gorgeous.

Before I scoot off to jump on my horse, I wanted to link-up with the DC Trifecta for their legendary Friday 5 Link-Up. It’s been a few weeks since I’ve linked up and my life really hasn’t felt complete. It feels good to be back!

This week’s Friday 5 theme is open, so I’ve decided to cover a topic at which I’m becoming a pro: How to stay sane when you’re injured and you can’t run.

As you may or may not know, I’m on another running hiatus because I hurt myself at a barre class a couple of weeks ago. Don’t ask me how you can suffer a typical running injury during a barre class, but I managed to do it.  For the first 10 days or so I was really down about it, but now that I’m in PT and allowed to try short runs (as long as they’re pain-free), I’m feeling a little glimmer of hope.

So, without further ado, here are…

5 ways to sane when you can't run - alsoranagain.com

5.  Chill out, man.

Running makes me happy. It keep me fit and helps me relieve stress. Without it, I can turn into a total stress monster.

And I know I’m not alone in my relationship with running.

yoga palace

Yoga Palace: My oasis of calm.

If you can’t run because of injury, you need to find some other way to decompress. I do yoga one day a week and it helps keep me calm. Other ways to relieve stress? Meditation, taking a hot bath, or even going for a walk can help blow off steam.

4.  Stay active.

One crappy thing about not being able to run due to injury is that I spend a lot of time worrying about how my fitness is going to take a nose-dive during my time off from running. But just because you can’t run doesn’t mean you can’t exercise. I’m dealing with an IT Band issue, so I’m not supposed to run or even do cycling (which can also aggravate the IT), but there are plenty of other ways for me to stay active and fit.

One workout with Ruth, my personal trainer.

One workout with Ruth, my personal trainer.

I can still use the rowing machine, weight train, pool-jog, and swim (if I swam, which I don’t, but still). That way I won’t lose witness when I’m taking a break from running.

3.  Stay connected with the running community.

I tend to withdraw from the running community when I’m injured and I can’t run. I don’t want to talk about running, read Runner’s World, or even think about running because it just makes me feel badly. This kind of behavior isn’t helpful and may end up making you feel worse because you’re completely cutting out an important part of your life.

Credit: Marilyn.

Credit: Marilyn.

Staying connected with the running community can help you through your injury and accompanying running hiatus. You may find that your running friends can help support you, or that they may have great advice. Twitter groups like #RunChat and #BibChat can engage you with others in the running community who may also be coping with injury. Even volunteering at a race may help you appreciate the other side of running and bring you joy.

2.  Distract yourself.

Okay, so the previous 3 tips were constructive, but if you read me even semi-regularly, you know I’m no angel.

When I run, and especially when I train for a race, I try extra hard to be healthy in all ways. That can mean no late nights, no Prosecco benders, no spicy foods–and you get the idea. I propose that a non-running period should be viewed as an opportunity to engage in a little debauchery.



Hey–you’re not training, so you might as well enjoy the time off while you have it!

1.  Keep your eye on the prize.

Running injuries (usually) don’t last forever. Whether it’s just rest or time, or even therapy or (gasp!) surgery, there’s a 99% chance you’ll be able to run again. Don’t lose hope. Keep your long-term running goals in mind.chicago marathon finish lineDon’t give up. You’ll get back out there and you’ll be better off because hopefully you’ll have learned from the mistakes that injured you to begin with.

This is my contribution to the DC Trifecta’s Friday 5 Link-Up.  Please check out the Trifecta’s individual blogs: Courtney at Eat, Pray, Run DCMar at Mar on the Run, and Cynthia at You Signed up for What?! And If you’re a blogger, please consider linking up.

51 thoughts on “5 Ways to Stay Sane when You Can’t Run

    • I am so glad I have a lot of distractions in store for me this weekend. My PT told me I can try running short and slow this weekend as long as my IT doesn’t flare up, so there’s that to look forward to as well. 🙂

  1. I’m sorry you’re injured again! I’ve had a weird foot thing going on since my marathon on Sunday so while I’m enjoying the rest, I can already tell I’m going to need to get some of this pent up energy out soon…

  2. I love this! I feel like this couldn’t have come at a more perfect time for me! I’m so sorry that you managed to hurt yourself at a barre class! It’s totally possible though because I’ve done it before too! I hope you feel better soon and enjoy tour splurging time! You’ll be back to yourself in no time!

  3. That stinks that you cannot run right now. And your injury wasn’t even bc of running which is odd. That’s why I don’t do those Barre classes..haha. Actually I have never done one and have heard great things about them. But after hearing about your incident, I’m a bit hesitant. At least there are plenty other activities you can do in the mean time:)

  4. I feel your pain about what to do while on a running hiatus. Who would have thought it would be so hard to not run! I’m glad you are being smart while your recover. This is a great list!! Happy Friday!

  5. Sue @ This Mama Runs For Cupcakes says:

    Staying busy is key for me! Sorry you are dealing with this! Fingers crossed for a speedy recovery!

  6. Michelle @ Running with Attitude says:

    Sorry your injured! As someone who just got the green light to go back to running I can so relate to all of these – great tips!

  7. Stay in there, and I hope you have fun this weekend. I hope you can continue barre though, both my PT and chiro say it’s a wonderful way to build strength. I’m still battling ITBS and it’s steps forward, steps back.

  8. So glad that you are getting better, Molly; this is a great list, though, and I will certainly have to remember this as I’m sure I’ll be on a hiatus and some time or another. I’ve done it before (four weeks for ankle tendinitis a few years ago), and it was rough, but the time did seem to go by faster when I kept myself busy in other ways. I’m so excited that you have an awesome weekend planned; can’t wait to see some of your pics!!

    • Thank you, Tara! I hope you don’t have to have a hiatus like me. I’d say you’re blessed if you’ve only had one break in the last few years. You are obviously doing something right! 🙂

      • Molly, I don’t take many chances which may or may not be a good thing – ha! I haven’t really stressed my body a whole lot so I’ve really tried to be careful over the past year, or so, since I’ve started incorporating more speed work into my routine and running more races. GAH! We’ll see how it goes! Thanks so much!

  9. GREAT outlook on being sidelined. Unfortunately, I find myself sidelined all too often. I’ve become very comfortable with the “stay active” suggestion via cross training! The best thing you can do is keep a positive attitude. You learn something from every injury!

  10. Great tips! I think we’ve all been there…I know I have. It does help to keep your eye on the prize. I will be running Chicago too (my first) and I look forward to following your journey. I hope your injury heals quickly.

    • Thanks, Amy. It really stinks missing a race due to injury. I haven’t run a half since last November and it is practically killing me! (Not really, of course, but it still stinks.)

  11. Being injured stinks! I was recently down and out with a back injury for 5 months but actually discovered that my body needed the break and enjoyed the other training that I was able to do. I hope your IT band injury recovers quickly!

  12. Great ideas! It’s so easy for me to think “I don’t feel like running today” but it’s so hard to swallow “I CAN’T run today.” Hoping for quick healing…and keep remembering your last tip:)

  13. Loved your post! Currently injured for 6 weeks now hut hoping to do a 5k on Saturday. I feel just like you do about withdrawing from the running community when injured, I just can’t stand to read about it when I can’t take part. So hard!!

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