We spend a fair amount of time here at The RUNiverse talking about injuries. I wish we didn’t have to, but injuries
are simply a part of running for most of us. But does our training have to screech to a halt every time we feel a bit of pain, or can we safely run through some of it? Running Times ran a really great article recently on listening to your body and when to push through pain.
Their main advice is something I’ve heard before and think is a really good rule of thumb: if you’re sore, you are probably safe to keep going. If you’re in pain, you should probably take that seriously. They break this down into more specific advice. Here are some of my favorites that I feel apply to the majority of runners:
- Give it a try for 20 minutes – If you’re not sure, go out for 20 minutes and see how you feel at that point. Running Times says that 20 minutes is long enough to work out some of the beginning-of-the-run kinks without being long enough to make an injury worse. I’m not totally sure about this one. I know I’ve made an injury worse in far less than 20 minutes before. I feel like this advice should come with some sort of clause telling you to go ahead and call it a day if you feel things getting worse.
- Don’t fool around with joint, tendon, or nerve pain – Muscle soreness is one thing, but if you’re dealing with joint, tendon, or nerve issues they probably won’t go away on their own and you certainly don’t want to make things worse than they already are.
- Tend to asymmetrical pain – If you’re only hurting on one side, use caution. You’re probably setting yourself up for injury if you continue.
- If your muscles hurt for more than a couple days, treat them – Muscle pain is to be expected at times, but if it keeps hanging around, take your training down a notch.
- Learn from experience – Nobody knows your body like you. After a while, you’ll get a feel for what kind of aches you’ve been able to run through before and which ones you need to take seriously. Of course, if it’s a new pain, refer to the other pieces of advice.
At this point in my running life, I err on the side of caution when it comes to injuries. If it’s general muscle pain, I’ll keep going, but if it’s anything more than that, I take it easy until it feels better. I’m not training for anything, so it just seems crazy to me to risk an injury when there is no need to.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jessie started running in 2006 in an attempt to establish healthy habits before the middle age metabolism shutdown kicked in. In 2009, she shocked everybody who had ever met her by completing a marathon. She lives in Montana with her husband and young daughter.
Article lifted from: http://theruniverse.com/2012/09/when-to-push-through-the-pain/
Photo lifted from: http://www.mocowbellmarathon.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Runners-Knee.jpg