How to deal with pre-Mini aches and pains
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The 39th running of the Mini Marathon is May 2 and if you’re feeling aches and pains leading up to the race, how do you know when the pain is great enough to quit?
“How you know if it’s something you should be worried about is if [the pain] persists – if it’s during the day when you’re not running,” says Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist Kelly Drew.
Drew says most running injuries are overuse injuries that start small and become bigger problems if they aren’t properly treated.
Seasoned runner and president of the Carmel Runners Club, Jeanette DeBruhl learned the hard way to listen her body as higher mileage started to wear down her bones.
“Most recently I had a stress fracture in my left femur and I’ve also had two stress reactions in my left femur and a stress fracture in my left tibia,” DeBruhl said.
DeBruhl admits she didn’t learn her lesson on how to prevent injuries until a second injury that incited her to begin cross-training with other types of exercises like swimming and biking.
“I think one of the hard things as a runner is that you kind of train yourself to deal with discomfort and pain, but when you’re injured, you have to be much more conscious and realize when it’s a real injury and not just discomfort from running a long distance,” DeBruhl said.How to treat aches and pains before a race
There are several things you can do to prepare your body and nurse developing injuries in the two weeks leading up to the Mini Marathon. Drew’s first tip is to look at your shoes.
“Foot pain, knee pain, hip pain can all be attributed to bad shoes bad support,” says Drew.How long does a running shoe last? Click here to find out.
If you were properly fitted for your worn-out running shoe, Drew suggests getting the same make and model again for the final two weeks of training would be sufficient. If you’re getting an entirely new shoe, Drew suggests getting properly fitted at a local running shop then running in the shoes for at least two weeks before the race. If the new shoes don’t work, Drew suggests going back to your old pair for race day.
The second tip Drew offers is to ice the affected area(s) often.
“I would suggest icing about 15-20 minutes every few hours during the day especially after your run to reduce inflammation,” Drew said.
The third tip for being race-ready is to start your taper early. Typical half-marathon training plans begin to taper the amount of daily running one week out from the race. Drew suggests starting the taper two weeks out from race-day as a way to let your body rest if you’re feeling a consistent ache or pain.
“Cut your training by 20-25 percent every week now leading up to the Mini and hopefully that reduction in training, icing, elevating, getting the proper nutrition, lots of rest, all those things will help your body heal and hopefully those injuries will start to feel better,” says Drew.
If these preventative measures don’t help before the race, runners will need to adjust their expectations, slowing down their mile times, settling for a run-walk combination on race day, or cancelling their participation in the race altogether.
“When you realize that the pain is more than just an easy thing that you can something you can ice and elevate – you’re really going to have to stop running, that’s when it’s really emotional and difficult,” says DeBruhl.