iSportsAnalysis are serialising “Running Sussed”, a book by ex international runner Julia Chi Taylor. In today’s chapter Julia will be talking about “How to handle injury”. Thank you Julia Chi for sharing your wisdom and insights.

It is a book to open people to the ‘how to run” aspect – or “how to become a runner“ and yes, definitely those who haven’t run much and are interested to follow a path of least resistance

But – it also has a philosophical aspect that means that people who have run for years can get something from it – some deeper insight or connection to themselves through the art of running.


Julia has been running all of her life, it has informed how she has chosen to live from a very young age and has been the bedrock of her ‘practice’ both physical and spiritual – in fact it has become her spiritual practice through the mirror of seeing herself reflected back in her running endeavours.

Julia achieved her first international vest at the age of 19 and went on to run at international level for the next 13 years.

Her most notable achievements were winning the Dublin City Marathon, being placed 7th woman in the London Marathon (3rd British) in a time of 2.36.31 and competing in the Commonwealth Games Marathon in 1986.

Chapter 18: How to handle injury

Acceptance is key, once you fully acknowledge that you are hurt and need to stop running – or reduce (there are injuries that can be ‘run through) then a new plan can emerge.

Get a diagnosis and advice from a sports therapist you trust

Get more than one opinion if you feel the need

As you become experienced you will know which injuries you can get better whilst still on the run…

I saw 40 different therapists over a few years when coming back from Chronic injury after the end of my international career

It is your body, you must take responsibility

Always remember that the body’s natural state is healthy and balanced

Do all the rehab exercise suggested – most of recovery is up to you.

Seek out other runners and ask them about their return from injury.

X train in the gym if possible

Aqua jogging in a pool can help with recovery and with maintaining fitness.

Visualize yourself running fast free and injury free, skull practice helps maintain fitness and speeds recovery

Always believe that you will recover

Get up one more time than you fall!

Get to know your body and work on the imbalances and areas where there is weakness

Take the time necessary to rehab fully

There is no rush

Planning for eventualities

What are the essentials?

A phone in case of any emergency

Loo paper! 🙂

Shotbloks – or gels for energy replacement on the run, my favorite is ‘shotbloks’ by cliff as they feed energy slowly into the system (3 Bloks is the same as one gel)

Keys to the car or home

A light rain jacket can be squeezed into camelback pocket too which is good

Some money in case of needing a taxi!

Nb! I run with nothing but loo paper, shotbloks, water and front door key – but this is definitely a case of do as I say not as I do!

What to do if injured far from home – e.g. go over on ankle

Phone a friend! Or 999

Coping with previous injury when you get started

Now you are actually a runner, you will need discipline to keep involved; Bernard Baruch says that ‘In the last analysis the only freedom is to discipline ourselves’

Running is a challenging sport, it asks you lift your whole body, no sitting down or freewheeling, even downhill you have to run and keep aligned and balanced.

You will need to ‘just do it’ on the days that you don’t feel like it.

You will get far more joy from a consistent training programme than a stop start one; even if the consistency is only twice a week of running – a rhythm, will build and your body will like that rhythm.

To enjoy the benefits you will need to practice, practice practice.

Everything can be achieved through practice.

Motivation comes from different places for different people; reflect on what it is that motivates you.

For some it is the intrinsic feeling of wellbeing, for others it is the lean firm body they feel and see emerging; for some it allows for more eating and drinking without fear of weight gain. Some are motivated by racing performance, others by spending time with friends, the social aspect. Some people on the other hand crave the time alone – the time to think and be. For others it is the knowledge that they will feel good actually running as well as experience the benefits straight afterwards and beyond…

Write down all the reasons you want to run and have them nearby to reflect on and review when it’s dark and wet outside and it feels too hard to get outside, this will remind you why you run and serve to get you out of the front door.

I am a lifelong runner, and it is still hard on occasions to get out of the door, once the first mile is completed the resistance usually eases..!

Easy running is of the essence, LSD as it was referred to in the 70’s Long Slow Distance.

The mistake most people make is to run too fast too soon. The key is to build an aerobic base, a strong heart and lungs, and this comes through lots of easy running.

Of course it is essential that this is built up very gradually, so that the body accommodates and benefits from the training rather than simply getting tired.

Only 10% of running, maybe up to 20% needs to be fast and out of the lowest aerobic zone, which is about 60 – 80% of your maximum HR.

The only sure way to establish max HR is to run to max, but this is not to be recommended when unfit, so the old rule of thumb of 220 – your age will sustain very well for the time being.

A HR monitor is a good purchase; a Garmin if the purse will stretch as then it is possible to see the pace you are running on a certain HR which will show you your improvement actual.

Essentially you are aiming to build the system so that it can run faster with the same output. You are training the system not striving for more pace

The pace will emerge from consistent miles with some of them run into the next level – over 80% of max and even over 85% – 87%.

Joe Beer a renowned coach explains the 3 zones very comprehensively;

The low level training is the best for health, and really is the only zone needed if it is just health and fitness that you require

The higher HR levels are about improving performance…

Learning to pace yourself in running, will give you the skills to do the same in your life and of course also in a race, which is everything intensified…

If you can stay still within the motion of running and racing them you will become a master and also live like a master too – present and mindful in each moment…

Improvement will essentially come through keeping doing it – the biggest way to improve is to keep running, week after week, with appropriate rest and recovery and gradual stretching of distances (lifestyle allowing)

It will be embracing the strength and flexibility training needed alongside – and applying speed work in an organized and progressive way.

Running races will give a measure of where you are at and indicate where you would like to improve

You can keep improving at running even when slowing down as I have

You can keep aligning and ironing out imbalances, you can stay more in the step, you can be more present, you can love it more, you can develop a stronger mind and a healthier attitude, you can inspire others.


About the Author: Julia Chi Taylor

About the Author: Julia Chi Taylor


Julia is an ex international distance runner.
In the late 70’s all through the 80’s and into the early 90’s she competed regularly for England and GB at distances from 5k to Marathon. Some of her best performances include winning the 1985 Dublin Marathon and finishing 7th woman (3rd British woman) in the 1986 London Marathon in a time of 2.36.31 where she was selected to run in the Commonwealth Games.

She still competes now as a master over 55, regularly winning her age group in races around the world. She’s was also part of the winning team for the national master X country championships in March this year, 2016. Julia has coached and mentored others to achieve their dreams in sport and life for the past forty years!

Read about her barefoot adventures:
Watch Julia chart her barefoot journey all over the world: Soles Journey – YouTube Channel

Julia’s Books:
Girlfriend For A Year
Running To Learn
Running Sussed

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