Sunday, May 22, 2011

Tips For Pain-Free Running

Running can be painful if you're suffering from injuries, but you can still keep your training on track with some simple moves.
If the pain persists, it's probably time to see your doctor.

Where it hurts: the outside of your knee or hip

It's either that you're increasing your mileage too quickly or you have weak hip abductor muscles which lead you to pain in your iliotibial band, - a tissue that goes down the side of your leg from butt to knee.

Management: Decrease your total weekly distance by 30-40% for 2 weeks. For hip strength, do 12-15 side leg lifts. If it still hurts, roll the side of your affected hip up and down on a foam roller.

Where it hurts: the sides of your rib cage

If you feel sharp, stabbing side stitches, the culprit can be; - running too soon after eating and/or taking shallow breaths at irregular intervals.

Management: Slow down and take deep breaths, exhaling as the foot opposite the stitch hits the ground. Also, rest at least 3 hours after eating before you run.

Where it hurts: the bottom of your foot

That sharp heel pain or numbness caused by irritation of the tissue that runs the length of your sole can be plantar fasciitis. This can be a result from drastic mileage increase or lack of flexibility in the muscles of your calves, hamstrings and hips.

Management: If the pain wanes post-warm up, decrease your mileage by 25% and alternate your run with a low-impact activity like swimming or cycling. If it persists, take a week or two off.
You can nix tightness and increase flexibility by giving it a massage such as rolling a tennis ball under each foot (from heel to toes).