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Running Through Pain – A Runner’s Guide

Running is a sport that requires practitioners to exercise great will power. From a neophyte’s first run all the way to competitive marathoners runners have to fight against discomfort, pain and mental exhaustion. Running is a very direct sport which presents two very easy options, to run or to stop.

This article deals with answering that question of when to stop running and when to continue running. Because of the nature of the sport, runners often get confused on when to stop.

Before anything else it is worth mentioning that the human body will feel all sort of soreness when it is first exposed to a certain stimuli that it hasn’t before encountered. If you are used to running 1 mile and suddenly push yourself to 2 then you will most certainly feel sore days after the session.

With that being said runners must recognize the different levels of pain. This is the key to knowing when to run and when not to. We’ll discuss briefly the differences between them.

First is soreness. Soreness as mentioned above is your body’s way of telling you that it is recuperating from your previous exercise. Muscle tissue may have been actually broken down and are rebuilding themselves stronger. It is best not to continually run when you are sore. Getting a day’s break or two is important.

Soreness is different from milder pain because generally pain involves a localized area. Milder pain can be tolerated and even forgotten as you start to run. Sometimes we can easily forget milder pain when we are busy thinking about something else. This intensity means you can run. Take good care monitoring areas that might feel pain. This type of pain usually goes away by itself.

The next type would be moderate levels. The easiest way to know if it is at this level is when it persists. Unlike the previous milder pain, this does not go away after running. But it’s dull enough to be able to “will yourself” through. It is very important to remember that you can run through it as long as it is bearable (just enough to let you know it’s there, but not enough to make you cringe) and does not alter you running gait (i.e., make you limp).

The third level would be pain that you cannot bear. Only the strongest type of runners can run through this pain. And it is wise for them not to. Continuing to run on this pain threshold will damage any runner permanently. What is best is to rest and go to a doctor immediately. Try not to be tempted to take pain killers just so you could run. Doing so can drastically shorten your running career.

This article touches the subject of running through pain very lightly. It is the hope of the author that runners listen more to their bodies and not push beyond its ability to recover and heal itself. With that being said it is always wise to invest in the correct running shoes because this is one of the best ways to avoid running pain.

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Posted in Running Shoes Articles


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