One of the questions I see asked the most about running is "Should it hurt?". On the face of it, it seems like a really simple question, right? Should it hurt? Yes or No. But does there’s actually a lot more to it then simply Yes or No.
I'm Jesse Funk and today's episode of Runner's High, I am gonna give you a somewhat more complicated little more involved but definitive answer to "Should running hurt?"
The biggest thing we have to figure out when you're asking, "Should running hurt?" is what do you actually mean by "hurt"?
Now, without getting too philosophical about it, there are different kinds of pain. So we have to figure out what that pain is that you are describing to figure it out is it a-okay thing, is it a bad thing what should we do about it. That's why when you're describing pain to a physician they might ask things like "Is it dull? Is it achy? Is it throbbing? Is it sharp pain"? to different ways to describe pain and they kind of describe the underlying issue so we have to disambiguate first, figure out what are you talking about when you say "It hurts"?
Recently, when someone asked this question on the running sub-reddit if you don't hang out on reddit questions there. I saw somebody make a suggestion about really good test to figure it out what were you talking about when you're talking about pain if you're not used to describing those kinds of pain.
So, if you're gonna track you run 200 meters that's halfway when you track if you're not familiar you run that 200 meters as hard as you can.
Now, we're getting towards end that 200 meters, how do you feel? Are you like "Oh my god! I can't breathe I'm gonna pass out!" or is there some other kind of pain sharp pain, your ankle, your knee, or your side or is there any other kind of pain going on that's making you want to stop?
Any of that kind of sharp, which is referred to as acute pain in your ankle, your knee, your back, any that kind of stuff if that what's bothering you when you're running then that's probably an indication you have some kind of injury and maybe an overuse injury it maybe you know acute that depends on what happened to you. So, if that's the case then the answer is "No".
It should not hurt while you're running. If you stay to the end of this video, I will link to a playlist of all my kind of videos that talk about running injuries and how to deal with those. If you don't want to stay at the end just subscribe right there then go check out the channel that playlist would be on the channel home page.
Now, don't get me wrong you don't wanna feel that absolutely all of the time if you're doing that then it’s probably an indication that you're going out too hard you’re just not doing the correct phase for your long run. So I'm gonna make a suggestion here and just bare with me and make this suggestion from time to time in appropriate cases.
I've been doing this for a long time and even I do this when needed and that is if you feel like that the whole ways you're going for three miles and you just hurt the whole way then that maybe the time to step back and do some kind of walk-run strategy.
If you can complete the three miles with running, that means you've got some fitness underneath you, right? You don't have any problems actually completing the problem is you feel good doing it. So, you could back up break it up and then something like run for a mile, walk for a minute, run for a mile, walk for a minute and run a last-mile. That minute break gives your cardiovascular system the opportunity to catch up, slow down, oxygenate everything all those kind of things to get you back in shape and ready to go for another interval.
Now, you may think there's kind of a negative stereotype with this "I don't wanna walk". Well I was that way for a long time and really you know when you're coaching say, high school kids that you have trouble walking the kids stay motivated keep going then you do want to keep them going as long as you can, but that's the mental thing you already know you don't have an issue going out to whole distance.
So, when you step back and do that walk-run strategy then you are actually working on giving your body the ability to adapt over time so that you can get to that three miles more comfortably.
Once you've got to the point that you can do that one, one, one, one strategy that just I described comfortably then start shortening that rest period that a one minute down to 30 seconds then 15 and then you can go the whole ways. You should notice overtime because when we apply our resistance by going out and running that you get stronger that's kind of how we as humans grow.
We grow against resistance whenever you lift the weight, whenever you go run, whenever you do things you don't normally do a little beyond your own capacity then your body adapts to be able to deal with that capacity in the future. That's the whole kind of crux of building muscles and getting stronger.
Now, the other thing that you merely check again in my three-mile example is, "Are you going out too hard? Are you running too hard"? I know, I, myself even had this from you know, trouble from time to time. You just you want it to go out hard it's sometimes that's you know more fun to do that.
But it can actually be a hindrance because we were run out for our long runs the whole point is to kinda build our cardiovascular ability to build that endurance not to necessarily fatigue our muscles by going fast so you may actually be hindering yourself by going too fast.
Now, I've done an entirely different video on that on figuring out "How fast you should be going"? So, if you wanna see that video then you should click on the videos should be coming up here soon on the screen, and if you stuck around you will see that injury playlist that should be on the other side of me. I'll see you next time on the next episode of Runner's High.