Saturday, April 28, 2012

Running Through Pain

There are mostly two kinds of people. Well, okay, there are three. There are the people who are afraid of discomfort and so won't try to work out or would try and then give up; there are the folks who set moderate targets and stay in the middle lane, just to make sure they are working out on a regular basis; and there are the folks who try to push their bodies hard every time. If you are Type 3, that's fantastic, but you see how that could turn out to be a problem.

Our bodies need some sort of balance. Pushing them hard makes us feel good in the end, but it could also hurt us. If you are a Type 3 person, you're probably ignoring pain as you run. And if you are a Type 2 (and maybe Type 1) person, the moment any sort of pain hits, you may decide to give up. So where's the balance?

Well, the big question you need to ask yourself is: what is the level of pain I am feeling? We like to talk of the runners' high, but we fail to mention that it takes a bit to get there. When you begin any run, you usually feel mild pain as your muscles are still a little tight and trying to get used to the motion. The mild pain is more like discomfort, and it should be nothing you can't easily keep your mind off. For me, it tends to either move around different spots of my body, or stay in the tightest areas. This kind of mild pain should usually be at the beginning of your run or when you start to increase your speed. It should slowly subside as you get into a groove.

The second type of pain is moderate. Moderate pain is pain that you can't really take your mind off, but you know you can finish through. It is mostly caused by runners trying to push themselves. It is not a bad thing, but it is your body's way of telling you that you are stressing it out a bit. We all know what kind of pain we feel on a regular basis, and so we should be able to tell when we are experiencing above normal pain. For me, I may start to feel this kind of pain towards the end of a run probably because I'm running a longer distance or a hillier terrain. When it is towards the end, you can decide whether to push through it or not.

The last type of pain is intense. It is usually difficult to focus on anything else with this type of pain, and it could even affect your running posture. Some Type 3 people push themselves through this pain because they don't want anything to interfere with their training. However, it is important to take a step back with intense pain and rest your muscles. It really is your body's way of saying "Okay, I'm done". If the pain persists beyond regular muscle soreness, you should probably ice your muscles and see a doctor.

What type of pain have you experienced during your runs?

Cheers Eights & Weights!

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