For the last few years, long-distance runner Ryan Hall has inspired hope that he might be the one to challenge the recent marathon dominance of African athletes. Hall is the first U.S. runner to break the one-hour barrier in the half-marathon, and two years ago he ran the fastest marathon ever by an American – 2:04:58 in the Boston Marathon, finishing fourth. Eager anticipation for his return to Boston in April turned to disappointment last week when Hall announced he'd have to miss the race due to a quad injury. He was in Los Angeles for the L.A. Marathon over the weekend with his shoe sponsor, Asics.
"For me, dealing with an injury is way harder mentally than physically," Hall told MensJournal.com after his announcement. Of course, every runner experiences injury. How you treat it – both mentally and physically – can be critical to getting back in the game. Following are some tips on recovering from a world-class runner who hasn't let himself get discouraged that he's become a bit of an expert on the subject.
Replace your shoes often.
"Keep your shoes fresh and trade them out before they need to be replaced," Hall advises. "In high school, I used to think it was a badge of honor to run the tread off the bottom of a pair of running shoes. Now I realize that's stupidity, and just asking for an injury. I usually go through a pair of shoes every month or sooner." Obviously, new shoes are especially important when you're recovering, when re-injuring yourself is even more likely.
Credit: Thomas B. Shea / Getty Images