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Best Running Tips Newsletter, Issue #039 -- Injury Prevention and Motivation are THE Hot Issues

October 31, 2012


Hope you are well and your running is fine.

My running year has been on and off. Mostly off, ha, ha....

I first had a minor setback in my running. I did a trail run earlier in the year. It was a 22k mountain run, toughest run I have ever done!

I anticipated to be out there for two hours, thinking half marathon time plus an extra 30 to 45 minutes because of the hills. But it ended up being almost three hours.

It was tough.

Downhill you'd have to be really careful because it was steep and slippery.

Uphill it was really tough as it was so steep at times everybody had to walk up.

The trail did not have a lot of flat ground. It was either steeply up or steeply down... Painful.

Towards the end, pretty tired and getting less coordinated I fell and hit my knee on a rock. Did not hurt too much but when I looked down two hundred metres later my heart skipped a few beats. Suddenly there was this big bump on my knee the size of a large chickenegg.

For a moment I thought my kneecap had turned sideways!

Turned out to be only fluid. Some icing over the next two days reduced the bump to more normal proportions. The whole knee was black, blue and different shades of purple, but there was no structural damage.

Just gave it a rest until the swelling was completely gone and then I was back on the roads and trails again!

I may have to do the same run again next year. I feel like the course has beaten me, so I may feel the need to take revenge. Something about stupid male pride.... :)

Then not long after that we decided to move house. That really had quite a big influence on my running. Basically had very little time. Too busy packing and unpacking boxes and taking care of all the organisation around moving.

We moved to this beautiful country property. A mudbrick house on 11 acres, in a gumtree forest. It's beautiful. The wildlife, just in our backyard, is colorful, wide and diverse. Kangaroos, rosellas, blue wrens, kingfishers, kookaburras, etc. Absolutely beautiful.

However, one downside: the nearest street lights are 10km away. At night, when I usually run, it's pitch black.

So, I have had to make some adjustments in order to get my runs in. I do some shorter lunchtime runs during work hours and in the weekend I try to get up early enough so that I can do my run before the rest of the family is fully functional and starts demanding my time!


Today I'd like to talk to you about the survey I ask you to fill in when you subscribe to this newsletter. It was also on the website earlier in the year and got filled in by quite a few visitors during that time.

To everybody who responded, thank you very much.

You don't know how helpful it is.

There were a few recurring themes that I had expected but also some things I hadn't.

The two big ones were injury prevention and motivation. Over half of respondents struggled with one of the two or both. 

Let's talk shortly to each of them now.

Injury Prevention

Apart from the above problem, caused by a fall and a knee problem two years back when I was lifting a heavy object I have been pretty much running injury free over the last five years, i.e. my running has not caused me any huge problems.

There are a few good reasons for that.

a) Listening to my body
I have become more flexible with my running programs. I don't have to do a specific workout on a specific day anymore. When I feel well I do the workout, when I don't feel well I may shorten the workout or not run at all.

b) Cross Training

Over the last years cross-training has become a more important part of my workout schedule. Bike, swim, weights, bodyweight exercises, you name it. My schedule is way more varied than it used to be.


c) Increasing Mileage Safely
I always increase my mileage safely using the guidelines of the following page:


d) Follow my injury prevention rules
On the running injuries page on the website I have listed a few injury prevention rules:


Now, this is not an absolute safeguard. But I hope this gives you a bit of help when trying to prevent injuries.

On to the next issue: motivation.

Why is it that some people can stick to their running programs and some can't?

Why is it that some people are better at chasing goals, regardless of whether their goal has to do with running, finance, career or something completely different?

It is an interesting question and given the big "self-help" sections in bookstores, it's an issue for almost everyone in many areas of their life.

I am not going to play the Tony Robbins here, although I do agree with some of the stuff he writes about.

Your motivation needs to come from within. You need to create the urgent need to go out for that run. I can't tell you what that need is, you have to define that for yourself. It can be something like your long-term health, who you want to be twenty or thirty years from now.

You can try to create leverage this way. A good example of this is the ALPO diet (an anecdote borrowed from Tony Robbins).

Two women, friends, have decided to battle their weight loss problem head on. They clean up their diet, start exercising etc. The problem is that they kept on falling off the wagon. The new regime would go well for a few days or a week until it all becomes too hard.

Their solution?

They decide to make a solemn pledge that the first person to deviate from their diet and exercise routine needs to eat a can of ALPO dog food.

The thought of that was enough for the two of them to stick to the regime, you can imagine why.

So, what is your ALPO diet? What is your big penalty you'll face when you don't go out for a run? What is your big reward when you do go out for a run?

Create a compelling enough reason and you will step out of that door. It would be too painful not to.

What are your thoughts on this? Too airy-fairy or does it work?

What helps you get out of the door?

I will leave you with those thoughts.

By the way, in it for the weight loss? Then check out this page:


I will talk to you again soon. In the next two, three weeks I am implementing some changes on the website. Especially the marathon running section is undergoing a review. It is getting a complete revamp.

I am also working on a free ebook on marathon running. When it is available I will let you know and give you the download link. Should be good. It is packed with good info to help you success in your next marathon.

Talk to you soon.
In the meantime, come visit my site often and happy running!


Best Running Tips




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