So it seems the general consensus of my readers is that snakes are icky. Well, I couldn’t agree more. I must say, some of you have had some interesting encounters with animals on your runs, yikes!
Bobby has been convincing some coworkers to start being more healthy, and some have even started running! This makes me so happy! Not surprising, some of them have been coming to Bobby with aches and pains, asking what they should do about them. Bobby then in turn comes and asks me. Ha. I seem to attract a large crowd of beginner runners on my blog, which I LOVE (hi newbies!) so I thought it would be a good idea to share some common beginner aches and pains with you, so that you won’t feel alone, and will know when to push through and when to STOP! I am sure there are more, but this is the list I came up with:
Shin splints can strike a runner of any level, but an overwhelming majority of runners who get them are new runners. Experienced runners tend to get them from overtraining. This pesky pain is caused by several things such as improper or worn out shoes (go get fitted guys!) building up mileage too quickly, or lack of strength and flexibility. After you run, ice those babies down! Also you can take anti inflammatory meds. If you keep having problems, take a few days off and just cross train. Work on stretching and strengthening the muscles in your legs as well.
Ice, ice, baby!
Side cramps are commonly caused by eating too soon before a run, weak stomach muscles, working too hard too soon, and even a heart problem. So if it persists you may want to see your doctor. I have learned through trial and error that I ideally need to wait 45 minutes after a meal to run. To get rid of a side stitch, try slowing down. Also, exhale on the foot opposite the side of the stitch. (If your stitch is on the right, exhale on the left foot strike) My junior high track coach taught me that little trick! Also sometimes pressing in and up under my ribcage on the side where it hurts seems to help. (Not really sure if there is science behind that one but it helps me!)
Oh the joys of blisters! One of the most common causes of blisters is cotton socks (at least for me.) The excessive moisture and friction does not make your feet very happy. I run in then moisture wicking socks made by Asics. I haven’t had a blister in awhile since wearing them. Also, if you are not wearing the proper shoe for your foot it could rub you in all the wrong places. Try body glide, band aids, moleskin, etc. If you feel a place on your foot starting to get “hot.” If I get a water blister I tend to pop it with a CLEAN needle or safety pin. (But why would you have a dirty needle?hhmmm? ) If it has blood in it try to leave it alone. That’s just gross.
My consequence of wearing cotton socks. ow.
General aches and pains:
I love being sore. Well, it’s a love hate relationship. Kind of like the one I have with my foam roller. To me it means I worked hard, and pushed my body. A general slight muscle achiness is a good thing! (also a good excuse for your significant other to give you a massage!) Please be aware of the difference in a muscle ache from working hard and an injury pain! A pain that doesn’t go away in a couple of days is not just a sore muscle! Be sure you warm up and cool down well, and stretch really well after your run. If you have a foam roller, it will really help to use it on those aching muscles. It WILL get better! Running is always uncomfortable if you are pushing and getting better, but getting over those initial aches and pains can be daunting. Even so, don’t let it stop you! You are stronger than you think!
Always remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Don’t compare yourself with someone who has been running for years. Keep going and you will see progress! The couch to 5k is a great beginner program if you are just now going from a walk to a run. Be sure to not do too much too soon, or you could get sidelined with a serious injury. You don’t want the kind of injury that never really heals and keeps coming back. Not like I have ever experienced that….yeah….
*As always these are my opinions gleaned from my own experience with running and aches and pains. If you have a pain during or after running that won’t go away, go see your doctor!
QOTD: Do you have any tips for aches and pains for beginner runners? What did I leave out?
What an informative post for new runners! Thanks for sharing.
Great post and like the new header. Shin splints can also be caused by too strong of a heel strike. Hill work may bring them out. Or too great of a forefoot strike can strain the calf muscles. Not everyone is into the whole minimal running thing, but the idea of trying to land so your weight is evenly distributed is a good lesson. This is the first yr in 4 yrs I haven’t had shin or calf problems, first yr I can run more than 3x a week w/o issues at all and I swear it’s from shortening my stride and watching how I land on my feet.
Yes! I am a heel striker but luckily I haven’t had shin problems
Great tips! Your follow-up to this should be about proper training. SO many newbies do too much, too soon and end up getting injured. The only time I’ve been injured was when training for my first half. I was a runner for 3 years, but then I ignored the only increase by 10% rule- and increased by 15-20%. Boy, did I pay for it!
Stephanie @ Food and Fitness 4 Real says
Great tips! I am just excited to hear that your husband has make a positive impact on his co-workers. My advice for newbie runners is to Go Slow. Start by run/walking three days a week, then slowly build up to running for 30 minutes straight. If you feel like you are going die while you are trying to run, you are probably running too fast so slow down. I also agree with Jen about increasing your mileage, only add 10% a week to prevent injuries (go slow)!
I know I am so proud of him for being a good influence!
I need to get some non-cotton socks… either that or new shoes (bigger perhaps) because I always get blisters on my toes… ouchy!!
My running shoes are a half size bigger. Also I have to get shoes with a wider toe box or my toes bleed!
Great tips! I’m a newbie (4 months) and experienced shin splits due to expecting too much too soon. I slowed my pace and found I could run further and enjoyed it more. Agree with socks and shoes. Treat yourself in this area-you’ll thank yourself later! The only thing I would add is to have friend/family support! I use an online tracker that posts to FB and get comments from my friends..very encouraging!
I heart daily mile!
Jennifer (The Vintage Chain) says
Great tips! I still consider myself a beginner (started this journey in April) and have dealt with each thing you mentioned on the list. Nothing terrible, but learning as I go! 🙂
love this post lady. i keep getting this one pesky blister. i love my running socks but maybe just maybe i will try a different pair. i use my moleskin but have been sweating it right off. gross right? i am sorry i have not stopped by lately but the new site header or what not looks great!
Tracy @ Commit to Fit says
I just did a post about injuries too! Great minds 🙂 I too love the foam roller, I have been all over it this week!
Karen :0) says
Great tips!! :0) The one about exhaling on the opposite side of the side stitch really does work!
Heidi Nicole says
I highly recommend putting to wet wash clothes (or one hand towel…) into a ziploc back and then freezing it around a water bottle – you’ll end up with a shin-shaped ice pack! Much cheaper than the fancier ice packs and it stays frozen for a long time!
And in my experience I get side cramps from breathing wrong – like if I am powering up a hill and gasping for breath I’ll most likely have a side cramp by the time I get to the top. I’ve found that if I focus on breathing it helps get rid of them – or prevent one when I feel it coming on. If I get a side cramp I focus my breathing to coordinate with my foot steps – in, in, out, out – with each step!