Taking a Break from Running


Sometimes your body tries to tell you something and the smart thing to do is to listen to it. But apparently I’m not that smart. My body tried to tell me it was time for a running break, but instead I ran two marathons back to back. I ignored my pain and bore it like a champ, until I couldn’t take it anymore.

Last week I had an MRI that revealed a partial tear in my hamstring. I realized this meant I wasn’t going to be running any marathons in the near future, but I didn’t know what my doctor was going to say.  My hope as that he’d say I could keep running, but less and slower.

The doctor was very nice about explaining my injury.  He showed me the MRI video, and I could clearly see the tear. Then he told me what the treatment plan is: Total rest for a few weeks (I was sure he said 6-8 weeks of no running and then starting again slowly with a lot of physical therapy. But when I reread his notes I saw that he recommended 3-4 months of rest.) and a slow return to running.  If that doesn’t help, I can get PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma) injections.  And if that fails, there is always surgery.

I was a bit shocked and felt like I’d just been told my running career was over.  I asked more questions, trying to get some good news out of him. He told me not to worry and that the first thing I needed to do was to let my leg rest – no running at all for a while.

I know things could be worse, but to me, not running for 3-4 months is terrible. Running keeps my blood sugar in control, helps me keep my weight down and keeps me sane.

The only sport he told me I could do was swim (no breast stroke though). The problem is that I don’t really swim. For years I’ve been putting off swimming lessons, never having time. Now that I’m not running, I guess have the time.

Who knows maybe I’ll turn into a triathlete.


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Ryan Fightmaster
8 years ago


That’s rough. Being the idiot who also just ran two back to back marathons (April and June) with a hamstring tear, I get it. The toothache feeling in my hammy is lingering and it’s been a month since I’ve ran. I’ve continued to cycle and do yoga. The yoga works and I can feel it strengthening the glute area. Best of luck man. This could be your chance to become a tri guy.  

Scott K. Johnson
8 years ago

Ah, man. I’m sorry, Michael. That’s a bummer. 

Here’s hoping for as smooth of a recovery as possible, and that you’ll learn to love swimming while that’s what you have. 

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