Survey: What are the biggest frustrations we have with running? This was the question I posed on Facebook and Twitter recently, to try and find out if it was the big ‘I’, injury, that causes many of us to hang up our running shoes from time to time.
And as the results came in, it quickly became obvious that injuries are indeed the No. 1 frustration of most runners – 45% of all respondents. Finding free time to run was the next biggest frustration at 16%, followed by clothing, boredom, making progress and ‘getting out the door’. A break down of the results can be seen in the figure below:
Review: I delved a little deeper into the results and talked to a couple of runners who had indicated injuries were their biggest frustration. We talked about particular injuries: what helped to cure them and prevent further issues; what didn’t work; and what made the biggest improvements to their injury-resilience. In the end it seems that ‘the little things’ add up over time and make the biggest difference. Little things = everything outside actually going for a run. Little things such as: foam rolling, stretching, correct nutrition, sleep, adequate hydration, mobility exercises, strength work, yoga, and mental strength exercises. Little things, if neglected, seem to become big things. It reminded me that Coach Mann, who was the Head Track and Cross Country coach during my time at Northern Arizona University, would remind us that we were in control of the little things outside the scheduled practice time we spent with him. Coach Mann gave us the big things to do – the running workouts! Coach Mann and the NAU athletics programme also gave us free access to a weights room and a training room where advice and ice-baths were at hand if needed – a few of the cosy perks of being a collegiate athlete! We were responsible for showing up to run hard, and then doing the little things in our own free time, which also meant recovering.
And so the overall conclusion seems to be that we need to not only focus on how much of the big stuff we can do ie. running, but also how many of the little things we can realistically include in our days – in the quest to become stronger runners.
News: Over the last few months as I’ve started coaching the Windward Training Freaks in Kailua, and as part of this survey process, I’ve realised that I really enjoy working with runners and have decided to start coaching! As an assistant cross country coach for the last three years with Iolani High School I’ve gained a variety of experience and feel ready to now start working with adults. I’m interested in helping people to become stronger runners through individualised training plans, with a focus on the big and little things – running and conditioning – with maybe some yoga too!
If this sounds like something you might be interested in, I’m opening up five places for one free initial consultation, as I develop a ‘Coaching’ page on this website. The consultation will include a questionnaire about your running history and future goals, which I will reply to within the next week. This is being done on a first come first served basis! Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to everyone who took part in the survey! It was great to see the variety of answers and interesting to see how injuries came out on top as the biggest frustration we all face in our running-lives!
Wishing you all an injury free holiday season!