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Running Basics: How to Deal with Running Pain

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At some point or the other, all runners will find themselves in pain while running. This may be due to an injury or sprain that has occurred while running, or simply because of too much exertion. When you push your body out of its comfort zone, the body experiences running pain. It is absolutely normal to experience this pain in the middle of a race, or after an intense work out. Pain management techniques that target this kind of pain are an interplay of mental and physical components.It is possible to effectively manage this pain and complete your race. There are some very effective techniques that elite runners use in order to deal with pain while running.

Dealing with Running Pain in the Middle of a Race

If you experience mild pain in the middle of an important race, you are not alone. Many professional runners also go through the same experience. We have compiled a list of simple things you can do in the middle of your run. These will surely help you to know how to keep running when your legs hurt.

1. Keep Your Strengths in Mind

The first thing to do if you experience running pain is to constantly tell yourself about your strengths. Remember your toughest races and how you completed them. Think about all those moments in your life that made you proud of yourself. This mental boost is one of the pain management techniques and is very important for your body to push past the pain and think of the goal ahead.

running in pain
Stay strong and just run (source)

2. Divert Your Mind

Want to know how to keep running in pain? Well, music is the healer for runners in pain. Music is a wonderful way to distract your mind from negativity. If you encounter running pain in the middle of an important race, you should try to relax your mind by humming your favorite song.

Staying positive during this time is as important as continuing with your race. Tell yourself a motivational quote that has had a big influence on you. Think of your favorite athlete and remember the instances when they overcame a big injury. These simple moral boosts are important for your mind that ultimately guides your body on how to keep running.

Another great way of continuing running when your feel running pain is to remind yourself why you started running and how much joy does running give you. The basic point is to take your mind off of the pain and focus on running.

You must tell yourself, 'No matter how hard it is, or how hard it gets, I'm going to make it.'- Les Brown

3. Imagine the Reward 

A proven pain management technique is to think of the reward that awaits you on the other side of the finishing line. This reward could be in the form of a medal, or simply a bottle of cool water. Some races end in picturesque landscapes and offer a visual treat to everyone who completes it. Visualizing that you have finished the race will release hormones that will help you in combating the pain and make running easier. Conditioning your brain to think about the outcomes of the race is an effective way to manage running pain.

Your mental frame-work is your most effective defense if you want to know how to ignore pain. With these simple conditioning tips, it is possible to train your brain and find inspiration to run.

running in pain
Think of the reward (source)

Managing Running Pain in Your Daily Routine

The above-mentioned tips will be useful for you even in your daily practice routines. However, there are some time-tested methods that you should incorporate into your running routine. These simple habits help you to deal with pain while running.

  • Set Achievable Goals

While all runners might want to run an ultramarathon, only the few who have been trained for it are able to complete it. Similarly, your body needs to get ready for bigger and more challenging races gradually. If you push your body too hard, then you are at more risk of developing running pain. The aim should be to set reasonable goals for yourself and gradually move ahead each time. This is the right way to push yourself to the limit.

  • Study your Practice Routine

To keeping running pain at bay, many professional trainers advise runners to take a good look at their running routines. Runners are then asked to try different running routines, like changing their running timings or changing their terrain. Sometimes, these subtle changes in your routine may help with the pain.

Timing your practice runs to see the time interval after which your body starts paining is also beneficial. Timing your runs is also a great way to plan your run in a way that you save energy for the last part of the run. Mapping your route is yet another way by which you can plan your running style in different laps. This planning will also motivate you to keep running.

  • Practice Meditation

It has been well established that meditation is a great way to manage and endure pain. If you include meditation in your daily routine, you will have a greater chance of successfully managing running pain.

deep breathing
Take the holistic route

When Not to Ignore Pain while Running

If at any point in time in your race or in your practice run, you observe the following, it is time to stop running.

Chest pain, sudden fatigue, and sweating are definite signs that you need to see the doctor.

  • A previous injury that hurts.
  • Sharp pain that worsens as you run.
  • Abdominal pain, vomiting, and cramps.
  • Limping.
  • Dehydration and high body temperature

Running is a great way to uplift your mood and stay fit. A runner should be very careful about the nutritional status of the body and have a balanced diet. The runner should know how to deal with pain while running and shouldn’t let the pain overcome the spirit of the run. It is possible for any runner to experience running pain during practice runs or in the middle of the big race. With disciplined and planned practice sessions and some mental conditioning, it is possible to manage this pain successfully.

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