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?