Is running actually for people who are masochistic?

Whether you're a beginner or an elite runner, you have probably already experienced pain during a training session. When you run, it’s quite normal to feel muscle soreness and tendinous pain. While they are among the most common symptoms, they are also considered among the mildest.




If it hurts that’s because it works


It is important to know that it’s perfectly normal to feel pain when you run. Truth be told, we’re talking about mild pain that doesn’t last here. Excessive mechanical stress is actually a response from tissues (muscles, tendons, joints and bones) that send a signal (pain), which informs you that you have done more than usual.


As surprising as it may seem, running is one of the few sports where symptoms actually dictate progress.



Pain is a guide


These symptoms are signals that should guide your progression. However, you need to know how to distinguish the good signals from the bad; good pain from bad pain.


Muscle pain that usually appears between 24 and 72 hours after effort and disappears is commonly referred to as muscle soreness. Although it is actually quite trivial, it indicates that you have done significantly more than usual.


Tendinous pain is also rather common, but you should pay close attention to it. Pain that persists from one training to another or that you feel in the morning, or even daily, should be taken seriously.


As for bone and joint pain, this is a clear sign that you have increased your training load. A few days of strict rest will do the trick.



Symptoms vary based on a number of factors


It is now well established that runners feel more or less pain depending on these 5 factors: fatigue, stress, anxiety, beliefs and fears. Indeed, for a given pain stimulus, perceived pain varies in intensity. Now you must ask yourself:

  • Are you getting enough sleep?
  • Are you experiencing stress at the professional or personal level?
  • Do you feel anxious?
  • Are your beliefs adequate when it comes to your symptoms? In other words, do you have a reliable understanding of the pain you feel?


The corollary is as follows: If you are going through a period where you are not getting enough sleep or are feeling stressed, go easy on your body. Decrease the training load and intensity, at least provisionally.


Be that as it may, if you are experiencing painful symptoms in your daily life, that persist from one training to another, or if they are getting worse over time, you should see a physician. Click on this link to find healthcare professionals near you who have been trained by The Running Clinic.

Flavio Bonnet