Is this a question you’ve ever asked yourself? Most runners in their time will probably have asked themselves this very question… SHOULD I RUN or SHOULD I REST?
How do you decide if you should run or not or even see a medical professional? The answer is not that simple unfortunately, as we are all different but it follows on from our previous blog [How to get your Running Back on Track - READ HERE]
So in this blog I want to discuss the various questions to ask yourself the next time the issue of Running or Resting comes up. Ask yourself these 7 questions:
Am I in pain?
Not all pains are serious, that doesn't mean I am giving you permission to run through all pains (which could make things worse!) Ache pains tend not to be too serious compared to a sharp/stabbing pain which is not what you should be feeling. The same goes for pains the disappear after few minutes of running and don’t return, whereas pains that stay and are unremitting may indicate something more serious.
Does pain stop me from moving normally?
What is the Phrase - Don’t Run Before You Can Walk! Theres no point doing sport if day-today life is a real struggle.
Am I listening to my body?
Pain may not come on straight away after a run so you should be vigilant during after and then unto 48hrs post all strenuous exercise. (Tendons are notorious for hurting days after a run!) Listen to how your body responds to exercise, it will show/tell you if its struggling via pain, swelling, soreness, redness etc.
How much have I done in the last Month / Week?
Are you keeping track of your running millage per week and per month? If not you should as there are calculations we can do now to track risk of injury (from research work from Dr Tim Gabbett). Its very easy to spot if your under or over doing it when you keep a log of your fitness activities & or millage.
Whats coming up on the horizon?
Have you got a whole host of events you’ve entered this summer and want to be fresh/fit for them all. Its not always worth pushing too hard too soon, as chances are you’ll fall at the first hurdle. The best approach would be ask - if there something better I could do with my time (and thats not always running - it could be Gym, Sports Massage, Pilates, Meditation, Yoga, swim or cycle? etc.)
Would Rest be more beneficial
Actually a lot of our body’s adaptations and strengthening following exercise occurs when we rest/sleep. Runners seem to dread the word ‘REST’ but it is an essential part of what we do and how we work as humans! A carefully selected rest day in a programme can make all the difference (particularly after a big run). Don’t be afraid to schedule in a couple of days.
Am I over-training?
This is the most common reason for injuries we see in the Physio & Sports Injury Clinic in Rhos on Sea. There’s loads of signs you’re pushing things too hard with running. Here are just a few: heavy legs, body fatigue, muscle aches and pains, no desire to run, reduced running performance (slower speeds than normal), low mood or irritability, poor sleep, susceptibility to illness (weak immune system / catching colds too easily) etc.