Whether you’ve just started running or are a true veteran, you’ve probably become acquainted with the aches and pains that result from regularly pounding the pavement. While it would be great to run pain free, no matter how long the distance…we all know this isn’t reality. So, how can you tell the difference between what’s normal and what should be checked out by a doctor?
Muscle soreness after a run is completely normal. A good run will require your muscles to work hard, so they will need time to rebuild and recover. When you are first starting out, this might take a bit longer. As you become a more seasoned runner you will find your body heals itself more quickly and your soreness won’t last quite as long.
Depending on your level of flexibility, your muscles may feel a bit tight after running. While this is normal, it is incredibly important you implement an effective stretching routine to keep that tightness from leading to injury.
Minor joint pain
Minor aches in your ankles, knees and hips are okay after a run. However, you want to be very careful if you notice these becoming your norm. Also, if you feel achy during your run or experience stabbing joint pains, it’s time to take a break and talk to your doctor.
Tips to Avoiding Common Running Aches and Pains
If you are going to engage in running for the long-haul, then you’ve got to include some cross training into your routine. Strength training will help you build muscle and keep you from injury. It will also help you keep a fit, toned physique as running can eat into your muscle. Yoga is also a great option for cross training as it improves your balance and flexibility, both of which are important for preventing injury.
It is so important you give your body time to rest. When you take regular days off you allow your body to repair the damage done during a run. Be sure to schedule rest days into your training plan, and listen to your body when it tells you to take a break even if it isn’t a scheduled one.
You truly can’t skimp when it comes to running shoes. Be sure to get your shoes from a running store, and have them fitted to your feet. Replace your shoes every 400-500 miles, and lace them up well every time you step outside!
Learn to listen to what your body tells you both during your runs and after them. If you ever have an ache or pain that increases as time goes on, be sure to take a break from running and consult your doctor. Running injuries are no joke, and can sideline you for a while. So, be sure to check out anything that persists or gets worse. Otherwise push through, train smart, and enjoy your runner’s high!