5 Ways to Cope with Injuries When Training for a Marathon

Elite runners deal with injury concerns throughout the entire running season. While injuries are physical problems, you should know they can affect you emotionally and psychologically. Therefore, learning how to cope with an injury during marathon training is necessary.

Training for a marathon takes months of planning and execution. It's unfortunate for an athlete to suffer an injury as they prepare for an upcoming marathon. But when it happens, you must cope with the obstacles that might affect your performance on marathon day.

Be positive

It's impossible to see the positive side of an injury when it threatens the progress of your marathon training. Becoming frustrated and upset are normal reactions, but don't let these emotions fester for too long.

Getting through an injury period doesn't mean being comfortable as you wait to heal and recover. Instead, take the injury as a learning moment and let every injury make you a better athlete. Learn about your body and how long it takes to recover from recurring injuries.

Rather than sulk, take control of your mindset and correct the weaknesses in your training that led to the injury. 

Live in the present

Live in the present

After suffering an injury, you undergo the stressful part of not knowing when you will heal. It's a torturous phase filled with anxiety and uncertainty because you don't know how soon you can hit the tracks again.

Injuries also affect your training schedule, and you might be tempted to quit if you feel you need more time to be ready before the marathon day. Don't.

It's also tempting to try and force your injury to early recovery, but you risk aggravating it more. So instead, always take each day after an injury as a small victory—another day towards becoming pain-free.

Thinking about the future you can't control emotionally draining. Celebrate each progress no matter how minute it may appear.

Avoid stress triggers

Stress triggers are expected for most marathon runners. They are things that can take you down the dark side of recovery if you get exposed to them. Stress triggers are unhealthy and lead to a pattern and path of self-destruction.

They can be anything, including checking daily updates of miles your partners are clocking during training. But, unfortunately, knowing such information does nothing to aid your recovery and won't lift your spirit.

On your road to injury-free, consider physical therapy and avoid situations that may negatively impact you.

Support and boundaries

Injuries can make an athlete feel isolated because they can no longer interact with others in training. But injuries aren't new to athletes, and seeking support from friends, and fellow training partners might help you recover mentally.

Support also means empathy and strategies that can help smooth your recovery. Setting boundaries can also help you during your recovery phase. For example, it's human nature to fizzle out anything that involves running once you have a training injury.

Set boundaries among friends on sensitive issues about running when they know you can't recover in time. No one needs negative energy when going through a stressful time.

Discover yourself

You don't know who you are if you aren't a runner. But this is an opportune moment to discover other aspects of the sport that don't involve running. It's challenging for elite runners to picture themselves as something else besides completing a marathon in record time.

But you can use this time to indulge in other positives in the sport and the people around you. So while getting another hobby seems drastic for a temporary problem, there are different ways to occupy your time.

Runners have a community, and an injury can easily make them feel disconnected. But there are so many activities one can do, including volunteering for trail maintenance or supporting upcoming runners for the local race.

Use the time to connect and give back to your community.

Other Forms of Training When You Have a Running Injury

Other Forms of Training When You Have a Running Injury

A running injury shouldn't mean that you have reached the end of your cardiovascular training. Not all forms of marathon training include running. If your physician gives you the green light to train, you can try the following exercises as you wait to recover.

Gymnasium machines

Cross-trainers and steppers are excellent ways to improve your cardio. However, unlike swimming or cycling, you all need to support your body weight to make the exercise intensive.

Resistance training

Resistance training is essential for any athlete who wants to build strength and endurance. It also helps athletes become more proficient and faster. Consider at least one resistance training day a week.

Mental training

Training for a marathon requires mental strength. You should be able to picture yourself completing the marathon within a predetermined time.

Becoming proactive even after suffering an injury entails concentrating on other aspects of running that will take you to the finish line. Stay motivated by maintaining the perfect nutrition and hydration.

Focus on improving your running technique, controlling your breathing, and posture. Having the right mentality before a race can aid you in fighting fatigue and boost stamina when you need it for training and running the marathon.

Core training

Core training exercises are essential for runners who want to build a strong foundation. These exercises don't require weight and help in body control and alignment. Exercises like push-ups, planks, reverse crunch, and leg raises are core training that you can start as an amateur to build your core.

Core exercises are useful at any stage of your training. You can use them as warm-ups, in the middle to break the monotony, or at the end. In addition, core training helps to improve a runner's economy by including coordination and posture.

Flexibility training

To run a successful marathon and complete it is a success you can attribute to your flexibility. When you are flexible, you easily avoid injuries as you can control your body to the subtlest of movements at any pace.

Flexibility also improves your running technique, which is important if you want to be at your best on race day.


Training and resting are what make a complete athlete. Unfortunately, Overtraining is a leading cause of injuries. Be sure to develop an alarming injury rate before you develop an alarming injury rate. Injury prevention through relaxation is an obvious way to let your body have the rest it needs to recover. While it's healthy to keep active by taking up other forms of training, remember not to overtrain and risk more injuries.


It's near impossible to find an elite runner training for a marathon and has never suffered an injury setback. Yet, lack of training interrupts progress, and it's among the obstacles beginner athletes must learn when coping with an injury during marathon training.

Be positive even after an injury, and concentrate on improving your running technique while off your feet. It's a bummer to skip a marathon because of an injury, and athletes should take care of their bodies to prevent overtraining.

Coming back to regular training after a long-term injury needs easing. Don't be in a rush, as you might get another injury.

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