How to Regain Your Motivation After Injury

First of all I just wanted you to know that I’ve suffered from many, many injuries. In fact there was once a time when "Injury" could have been my middle name I got them so often.

Every single year I still get injuries but every single time I come back just as fit and strong as before.

The problem a lot of people have when they get an injury is that they panic…

"Is that the end of my running?"

"Will I ever get back to how I was?"

"Is all that hard work down the drain?"

"What about my weight? Is the weight that I’ve lost just going to come back?"

This can be an extremely frustrating time for people. Maybe they were doing great with their running, maybe they were losing lots of weight, but now everything seems so uncertain again.

So what happens?

Well the injury means that people need to take time off which could be days, weeks, or even months depending on how severe the injury is.

Then they’re faced with the road back, the road that’s going to get them back to the fitness and running ability that they once had.

That’s why it’s so easy to lose motivation when you’ve had some time off, especially through injury…

It’s the disappointment and frustration that you feel when you can’t run as far or as fast as before. There’s also the feeling that you put in all that effort to get to where you were before and now you’ve got to do it again.

Now for the good news…

Well the first bit of good news is that your fitness and running ability will come back quickly when you get back to consistent running.

In fact you’re going to regain your fitness and running ability much quicker than the first time around when you were breaking into new territory.

The next bit of good news is that virtually everybody who gets injured makes a full recovery and returns to full fitness when they get back into their training plan.

So really there’s no excuse not to get back from your injury and get back to where you were before or even better. You are capable of it and it’s only your mental attitude that will hold you back, NOT your body.

What can you do to regain motivation after injury?

Well first of all keep reminding yourself about what I’ve just told you.

You can make a full recovery! You can get back to where you were before and even better!

Yes it will take some time, effort, and persistence, but so what?

Wouldn’t you like to get back to your previous fitness and running ability and keep improving your health, fitness, and body…

Or would you rather accept the slow and painful slide towards poorer and poorer health and fitness while adding more weight?

Well that’s the choice you have, either move forwards again or go backwards.

Another good thing to do is to focus on what you can do now rather than feeling down about what you used to be able to do. Try to accept that you’ve been injured and lost some fitness.

Injury happens to everyone who does any energetic activity such as running. You are not alone with this. You are not being singled out for special treatment. EVERYBODY gets injured.

When you accept your injury and think about how you’re going to get back, it provides a much more positive focus rather than feeling like you’ve been hard done by.

Remember that it’s how you come back that matters…

If you get back to consistent running then you’ll regain everything you had before and maybe even much more…

If you quit then you’ll undo all of your hard work and you’ll backslide in the wrong direction which won’t take you anywhere near to where you want to go.

So keep persisting and come back fitter and stronger than ever. Like I said earlier, I’ve had more than my fair share of injuries but I didn’t let them beat me.

Don’t let your injury beat YOU!

What about your experiences?

Are you struggling right now with motivation after an injury? What are you going to do about it?

Have you struggled with an injury in the past? How did you motivate yourself to get back to running?

Feel free to share any comments or experiences that you’ve had as I’m sure that other people will find them useful and motivating.


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7 Responses to How to Regain Your Motivation After Injury

  1. Sarah says:

    Hi there,

    I’m currently recovering from a nasty case of shin splints! My podiatrist told me not to run or walk for 2 weeks and gave me strengthening and stretching exercises. He also fixed my orthotics (again!) I went for my first ‘walk’ this morning and came back feeling a little sore. If I’m still sore after my next walk, I’ll be seeing him again before recommencing running.

  2. dana hansen says:

    I want to tell you my “autosuggestive” experience.
    In the first weeks of running, I had a nasty fall. Fell on the street like an idiot, while running, and landed on my (already) injured knee.
    I picked myself up, and continued my run. It was sore as hell!
    When I got home, my knee was the size of a cantaloupe, throbbing with pain.
    I feared I will not be able to run anymore!
    The next day and thereafter, I ran with a brace on my knee, and what’s more important, Imade an auto suggestion by which the pain was actually “above” the knee, in my thigh, so I could carry on and forget abot the “real” pain.
    I tried to “fool” myself , and it worked!!!!!
    After a few weeks, the sore knee was a lot better, and , as I said before, I never had any more problems with my knee since.
    It shows you that “where there is a will , there is a way”
    Happy and injure free running to all!

  3. ian says:

    Hi James

    Excellent motivational stuff – keep it coming. I don’t know if this little tip might help your readers. I am 52 and had surgery in June last year and had my gall bladder removed. I was determined to get back runing asap but found my first outing 2 weeks post surgery was nothing more than a 100m shuffley walking type thing. That was a bit depressing but I decided to put my running kit on each day and only then decide how much exercise I was going to do. (If I thought about it too much prior to getting out of bed it was too easy not to get up!). It worked a treat: I perservered and finished a (really slow) 10k in October. All this year I have been running three days a week and am now clocking 10-15 miles a week and feeling really good about myself. Looking back, the thing which really helped (apart from your excellent tips) was forcing myself not to think about the run until I was in my kit and standing in the road and by then it was too late to go back to bed!

    • James says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed this blog post Ian.

      Also thank you for providing your experiences and tips, I know that others will find them useful.

      A lot of people talk themselves out of going for runs because they think too much about it before getting out. It looks like just getting on with it and not thinking about it has helped you.

      You’ve done well to come back from your injury and to keep plugging away and get back into it. Keep up the good running!

    • Kristen says:

      What great advice. I spend 10 times more time thinking about running than i actually spend running. I’m feeling sluggish, overweight and unfit after 3 months out with rib injury. I’ve been trying to summon motivation to run for the last 4 days. I’m going to take your advice tomorrow morning, jump out of bed and put on my kit before I’ve had a chance to think about it. Thanks.

  4. Liz says:

    I’ve had three back to back knee operations and I lost hope. I gained about 20 pounds and its not pretty. I’m still in recovery after a year dec 10, 2013 was the day of my injury. I lost all my scholarships for Cheer leading.
    This really helped me in many ways.
    Thank you!!

  5. San says:

    I’m struggling massively with motivation having broken my ankle. I can swim and cycle now and can walk up to 10,000 steps per day having ditched the crutches last week. But I trained myself and battled with my mind to accept a more sedentary lifestyle whilst being injured. That way of thinking has really set in now and I’ve gained 8lbs and feel sluggish and down right rubbish. I desperately need to break out of it but am stuck in a rut and feel agitated from inactivity