How do you know when you should legitimately call it quits from a hard fall/nagging injury vs. sucking it up and continuing the race?
I feel like this is a tough call, especially as endurance athletes with the mentality to push through everything. There are a few things I would consider though:
- Is it extremely acute? I hope it goes without saying, but if there’s a fracture, profuse bleeding, etc. you should probably stop.
- Is it getting progressively worse a you run? If it hurts when you run, but seems to remain constant, you are probably ok to continue. If it keeps getting worse you may be doing further damage, in which case you should stop.
- Is it changing your gate? We all can get a little stiff and wonky over the course of a race, but an injury is going to make you significantly change your gate, which can lead to problems elsewhere. The more your thrown off, the more you should lean towards stopping.
- Where are you in the race? Obviously, limping or walking in the last 3 miles makes a lot more sense than limping in the last 53.
- What is your purpose in running the race? I had one race where I was injured, but I had multiple reasons for why I just wanted to finish the race. I made the decision to continue knowing I was making it worse and that I’d have to take time off after the race to heal, but knowing for that particular race it was worth it for me.