How Can You Still Be A Runner When You Can't Run?

Hi All

by way of introduction, I am a fitness blogger at I am working on an article about how you can still feel like a runner and know that you belong to the 'running tribe' in times when you can't run - due to an injury. I would love to hear about how you 'keep that runner spirit' alive in those times! 

For example, I volunteer as a marshal for races; or write about running on my blog - this way I do not lose touch with what I love doing the most: running.

How about you?



  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    It's an identity thing. I know people who consider themselves runners without actually being able to run anymore.

    I used to think of myself as a runner before I even was a runner. Eventually I got around to it and haven't stopped since.

  • ClagClag ✭✭✭

    I had 5 months out with injury last year and volunteered lots at our local parkrun. It was a great way to still be a runner, and get my running fix, inspiring me to get back to it when I was healthy again. It was also great to have a supportive community to return to - everyone was delighted just to see me running again, with no pressure on times etc.

  • One of the coaches with the club I belong to has recently had a knee replaced. 

    He has continued to coach our beginners/C25K group by bicycle (except when recovering from surgery of course!), has helped as a committee member and with the website.  Plus he regales us with stories of the races/marathons/ triathlons he's completed. 

    Is he a runner?  Hell, yeah!  image

  • TimeaJTimeaJ ✭✭✭
    I loved reading these examples, it just shows that being a runner doesn't necessarily mean you needs have the physical ability to run, it's more of a mindset, really.
  • I still think myself a runner despite a 6 1/2 year enforced absence. The thought of getting back to it keeps me keen and I like to ensure I have some decent trainers ready in boxes for that day when it comes.

  • I'd say that you're still a runner as long as you think you are. If you have the mental attitude that you'll be running again as soon as you get over whatever it is that's stopping you, then you're a runner.

    In the meantime get involved by volunteering, making sandwiches, taking photos, anything really that keeps you in with the running community.

    I was out for most of 2016 due to injury, but always thought of myself as a runner undergoing a temporary pause. I'm now back running again and planning 2017.


  • I completely agree that you're still a runner as long as you think you are. I found that being injured has made me appreciate running more and it's opened up a whole other community of runners who are injured! It certainly makes you appreciate it more when you can get back running.   Similarly to you TimeaJ I used my time to blog and create a resource to help others. I got so frustrated trying to find good treatment I made a free resource listing those that can help which you can search for those who specialise in runners. One of the blogs that might be useful is about how to choose a treatment provider to help you get back from injury quicker -

    Good luck and don't get disheartened. It can be boring doing the rehab but it's worth it!


  • some advise to aspiring runners, is to get your biomechanics looked at before you buy shoes. Look rather for the potential for injury, as the incidence is very high particularly amongst new runners. If your start to running can be with less injury, your enjoyment will grow.

    sometimes a multi-disciplinary approach is what is needed to sort problems out.

    othertimes, its best to get your gear, get started, then listen carefully to your body. 

    have a good stretching routine to back up your running, cross train to deal with muscles often not worked in running.

    otherwise, build slowly and increase moderately as your body gets accustomed to the stress of running. And becomes more resistant to injury. 

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