What to Do If You Can't Run


We work with a ton of runners here at the Rhode and if you work with a ton of runners you end up working with a few that get injured, it’s kind of par for the course. We know that one of the big questions they have is what do I do if I can’t run? Now you could listen to Eric and Ray chat about it on Our Run Club the podcast or you could keep reading. There are a ton of great activities to help you get your cardio fix. Bear in mind that your running injury may dictate which is possible for you.


Cycling has always been the go to move for most runners who get injured. It’s a tricky transition as you’ll find that you may not get the same cardiovascular benefits as running but you’ll take a ton of strain off your joints. It’s a give and take when it comes to cycling. In general look at it as a 1:3 ratio, for every one mile of running you’ll need to complete three miles of cycling to gain the same benefit. Want to do a three mile run, get on the bike for 12 miles. Overall Cycling is a great replacement for running, there are some drawbacks in terms of cardio and of course dealing with traffic can be tough, but cycling is a great workout.


Rowing is a total body workout that is underrated for sure. Most runners would rather hit the bike or swim in the pool rather than row on top of it. This is a sport that is growing in popularity and it’s easy to see why. Rowing is easily one of the best workouts as it works both your upper and lower body within the same motion. It’s also a tremendous builder of cardiovascular strength and because it’s super low impact it’s great for runners who have joint issue. In addition Rowing is a fantastic way to improve your range of motion and improve flexibility. Give it a try it’s awesome, even if you aren’t injured!


Now sometimes you’re hurt and the doctor says to chill out a bit. There is nothing wrong with doing nothing if it’s what the doctor orders. Use the time off to reset mentally from your training and when you get back at it you’ll be that much more motivated. We runners have a tough time shutting it down and recovering and sometimes an injury is the only thing that can stop us, so enjoy the time off.


Slow down a bit. Thats all. Take a stroll, enjoy the scenery or power-walk like a champ! Whatever floats your boat. Walking can be a great alternative for those runners who are injured, it’s a similar motion to the running motion and works a lot of the same muscle groups. While it may not be as vigorous it still affords you the opportunity to get outdoors enjoy some good weather and cover some distance. You can even bring your shi-tzu along for the walk if you’d like.


Swimming is another awesome workout that incorporates your entire body, your arms, your legs, your core and your heart! It’s a perfect alternative for those injured runners. In fact when I was injured I actually used to run in the pool, how fun does that sound!? I would have much rather been swimming laps for sure. Swimming keeps your heart rate up and protects those joints by removing any stress or impact. It also helps build muscle as the water provides more resistance.

Studies find that most highly successful individuals have one things either meditate or participate in a repetitive exercise for around 30 minutes on a regular basis. So if you can’t run and the doctor allows you should try to get out and do something if possible, these activities are great alternatives and will help build cardio, physical and mental strength!


Coach E