Running can result in injuries. While this can feel like a bummer, I just see it as part of the game. If you can understand the nature of your injuries, you may be able to minimize them. Try not to see running injuries as the end of your running career–most injuries can be overcome to some degree.
Blisters– I have struggled with blisters for so long. I really had to use some mental toughness once I decided I just have baby feet that blister easily. I read all of the suggestions on using lubrication to prevent blisters. Trust me, it was like a slip and slide in my socks. I remember the look on my husband’s face when I wrapped duct tape all the way around my feet (I was willing to try every suggestion). Here were my culprits:
- Running Shoes — I initially wore Asics Kayanos because my friend who initiated me in marathoning used them. She proclaimed them to be the best. I have since switched to Asics Nimbus. I do not have blisters anymore. Important note: my other friend tried to switch from Kayano to Nimbus, and the Nimbus gave her blisters while the Kayano did not. Fit the shoe to your foot.
- Wet or Dry — While most of the sites I saw recommended lubricating to prevent blisters, this does not work for me. Finally I came across information on keeping the feet very dry. Using a foot powder based in cornstarch (I like Mexsana) will absorb moisture throughout the run. This was the key to keeping me blister free.
- Callous — While not beautiful, callouses are your friend for blister prevention. Once you get a nice callous, do not get a pedicure or otherwise try to remove it. Just thank the callous gods and be on your way.
Knee Pain– There are all sorts of reasons for knee pain. There are all kinds of places in and around the knee that can give you pain. It is probably the most common running injury. Regardless of location or cause, there is one miracle treatment I use to eliminate knee pain. It can take a few days, and full benefit is reported to be at two weeks and beyond.
- Glucosamine Chondroitin – You will find this in the supplement section of any grocery or drug store. It is a little expensive, but it is a miracle worker. I like to buy it in combination with MSM and HA (and anything else they want to throw in there). This is commonly seen as Osteo Bi-Flex and Joint Juice. Once you feel better (and remember it can take days to weeks for it to improve), continue taking it or you will experience the pain again. It is actually repairing and lubricating the connective tissue — so this takes time and needs to be consistent.
Side Stitches– This comes from a lack of oxygen to the tissues. The best way to improve this is to attempt to get some good breathing going. Once you have taken some good, deep breaths, you should find this feeling will pass. You will be less likely to experience side stitches once you have trained for a bit — this typically comes up after down time.
Chest Pain– Okay, so this is the scary one for everybody. Of course, if you think you are having a heart attack, you should immediately seek help. However, research shows it is typically not a heart attack. (Obviously this blog should not be considered a source for medical advice, and you should speak with your physician if you have any health concerns) I finally realized my chest pain was coming from gas in my esophagus. With all of the increased breathing, air is swallowed and can result in uncomfortable pressure in the chest. Reflux can also be an issue that brings these discomforts.
This is not an exhaustive list of all the running injuries you may experience, but these are common ones. I have been fortunate enough to experience all of the above, but I have used the techniques listed to overcome them. Do realize running can inherently feel uncomfortable at times. Many of these aches will pass during the run as the endorphins start flowing. It can take time to determine which running pains warrant stopping. Remember that it is better to be safe than sorry.