Debunking The #1 Running Myth

Recently, more often than usual, I have been asked the same question about running and injuries that people associate and blame on running.

I have heard this “myth”, as I will call it here, literally hundreds of times ever since I began my running career at age 18.  And it is simply not true.  I thought this was a good time as any to help shed some light on what I believe is the truth (some of you may argue and I would gladly discuss this with you further).

MYTH:  Running is bad for you because it causes injuries, mostly to the knees, hips and feet.

TRUTH:  Running can help your body, which was predisposed for this specific injury you now have, discover the aches and pains.  Running does not cause the injury.  It can help you create balance and better health in your life. 

Just as with any symptom of pain that shows up, your pain in the knee, hip, foot or anywhere else in your body, stems from your basic habits in your life since birth.   Any unattended trauma to your body, an unhealthy ongoing eathing lifestyle, poor posture due to computer work, etc., etc. can all aid and transform your once perfect baby’s body into a doctor’s dream patient!

Case in point for myself.  After running consistently for two years, I found myself injured for over four years with a severe case of plantar fasciitis in both feet (a very rare occurrence, as most people – runners and non-runners – usually only have it in one foot).

Plantar fasciitis is a painful inflammatory condition of the foot caused by excessive wear to the plantar fascia that supports the arches of the foot or by biomechanical faults that cause abnormal pronation of the foot (note that it did not say caused by running).

What I found, after seeing several physical therapists, having cortisone shots in my feet, getting orthodics especially made for my feet, sleeping with boots on my feet, getting weekly or monthly massages, going to yoga class 2-3 times per week (and the list goes on), the running I did actually helped me discover the real cause of my aches and pains.

Due to life events and over the course of time of walking on pavement, wearing shoes that weren’t proper for me, experiencing different traumas to my body over my entire lifetime, not going to a chiropractor regularly and keeping my body in alignment, etc., etc., my body was very, very dysfunctional and way out of whack.  Hence, causing the plantar fasciitis.  It would have happened in this lifetime no matter what I did – running or not. 

Thank God for running, otherwise, I would have never discovered the importance of a fully aligned body and would not have developed a solid core (mid-section), as well as gone to see my chiropractor regularly.  Those have been the keys to my success of having a strong body and a healthy/balanced running career.

Oh yeah, and I have not been injured since 2004, after I found my personal trainer who salvaged what was left of my healthy body and got me back on the roads running, biking and swimming again so I could complete my first Ironman Triathlon in 2005.  I also got rid of my orthodics within that same year.

So, the next time someone tells you that “running is bad for you”.  Just simply smile and tell them that the opposite is true.  In fact, it is what will save your life and lead you to many long years of balance, healthy and a functional/symmetrical body!

The key is to never give up and never go it alone.  Allow a coach, a trainer, a chiropractor or a massage therapist help show you the way to health.  You may even have to go to multiple resources until you find the perfect one for you, just as I did.  And that’s okay.  The long-term benefits of running far outweigh the short-term time you may get to rest and cross train.  If you have the desire to run, keep persevering until you find the true cure/cause of your pain.  Then running will always be there for you, no matter what.

And, if there is anything I can do, let me know!

Yours in Transformational Success,

Lois Tiedemann Koffi


Here’s to your healthy running career!

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