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Sometimes it may seem like having an injured runner friend is almost as bad as being injured yourself. They whine, are touchy and leave you stranded on group run days. But trust me—being injured sucks way worse. As not to ignite an already short fuse, it’s best to choose your words carefully. Read on for five examples of what NOT to say and five safe options that may save your friendship and help your injured buddy on their way to recovery.
“I’d ask you to go for a run, but you’re injured.”
Thank you Captain Obvious. No, your running buddy may not be able to run with you, but they can grab a smoothie, meet you for a post-run coffee or maybe, depending upon their injury, you could meet them for a pool run. Being injured can feel lonely, and company is just the thing for healing on a mental level. It’s still okay to tell them about your runs, but you may need to listen to some injury griping too.
“I bet the forced rest is nice.”
Are you kidding me? How many high-strung, avid runners truly like to not be running? No doubt, your friend’s time away from running is necessary and healthy. So are mammograms. And I have yet to meet the person who enjoys the experience.
“I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t run.”
Congratulations. You just failed the first lesson of sensitivity 101. An injured runner doesn’t know either, but they’re trying to figure it out. Maybe think of some things you would do if you received a no running sentence and schedule a time to do said activity with your friend. For starters, consider going for a bike ride, try a new yoga class or sign up for swimming.
“Have you tried _____ (insert latest physical therapy craze here)?”
Yes, yes they have. As well as every other random cure found on Google and WebMD. Not running is generally a last resort. If someone is injured enough to sit on the sidelines, chances are they’ve received advice from at least one, if not many more, medical professionals.
“But you were looking forward to _____ (insert iconic goal race here). Will you be better in time for it?”
Well, we certainly hope so, don’t we? The truth is, when it comes to healing, everyone is different. Your friend needs to know you love them for more than their negative splits. And there is always another race. Maybe next year, you two could even train for one together.