6 Pain Prevention Tips to Keep You Running

bonnie pfiesterEarlier this year I developed tendonitis in my left ankle. It was so bad, I not only had to stop running, I couldn’t even walk. I went to Total Health Vero Beach for therapy, and slowly but surely it started improving. Well, after something like that gets you down, needless to say, you are a little scared to jump back in your running shoes.
with both feet.

In the last month I have a done a few short “test runs”. So far, so good, although I still had a little twinge in the ankle following the runs so I continue to be cautious – knowing that I could irritate it if I wasn’t careful and be right back where I started.

So you can understand how hard it was to hear that a bunch of peeps from our gym were going to run, what we Veroites call, “the loop” – a 5.6 mile run that goes over both our two bridges (our only real hills in our town) over the waterway to the beach. It’s a great run! It’s scenic, it’s fun, and I didn’t want to miss it! So, I decided I’d just do what I could, and if my ankle started acting up, I’d just turn around, slow down or walk if I needed to.

Team Max

Reebok DMX SkyTo my surprise, I had literally no pain. I was running in my Reebok DMX Sky running shoes which have a ton of cushion and support. I honestly think that helped a lot. I typically wear a minimalist “barely there” shoe that’s pretty flat but, since my injury, I’ve felt I needed more of a lift in my heel, as well as more cushion for a softer impact. So far, I’ve only tested my runs in this shoe and I’ve experienced no pain while running. (below i’ll talk about post-run injury prevention)

sunriseAs we reached our halfway mark, overlooking the pretty water, enjoying the view, I was not just on top of the bridge, but I was on top of the world! I had no pain, I felt great and, I was ready for the next half of the run.

(This was the view at the top of the bridge. The water was like glass – just pure beauty!)

So off we went! I was SO excited! I ran the whole 5.6 mile loop without stopping (except to take these pictures! ha!) WOOOO HOOOO!

Girls running

As finished up our last few steps and approached our cars, I looked at my running app to check my pace, distance and all that jazz, only to find my app quit tracking my run at 2.9 miles! Ughhhhh!! DARN IT!! Since my running app and Jawbone UP app syncs with my LoseIt app, I get super bummed when I miss out on a posting calorie burned or increased activity of any type. It almost gives you that feeling as if you didn’t do it unless you can see it, sync it and share it. lol

funny facebook fitness cartoon

It reminds me of this silly facebook cartoon I’ve seen floating around facebook. I know I’m not the only runner in the world that has these silly technical error moments. However, I’m so thankful for all the fitness toys, and social media, made available today because it holds us accountable, gives us clear goals and makes fitness more fun.

For those of you runners who have had this happen to you, I made this graphic for you! ha 🙂

running app funny

Post Workout Injury Prevention Tips

Sometimes we feel great DURING our workout, but pay for it LATER. Here are a few tips to prevent pain and problems that can slow a runner down.

6 Tips to Fight Injury

Running Injury1. Prevent inflammation. Take anti-inflammatories to prevent inflammation. Once inflammation sets in, it’s much harder to manage. Don’t wait until you have noticeable pain and swelling.

2. Manage swelling. If you feel you are the least bit swollen, ice the area religiously. If you can control the swelling, you can control the pain. The problem is, people HATE to ice. No one likes to be cold – and ice can be downright painful. I use these Hot Socks to keep me cozy. They really helped me endure the ice and make it a lot more comfortable.

3. Stretch. Now that it’s 2 days after my run, I can begin to feel my ankle tightening up due to tight calves and achilles. If I want to prevent issues, I need to keep those muscles and loosey-goosey. This is going to be key for me if I want to run on a regular basis again. Most injuries are due to tight or weak muscles. I am SUPER tight, so this is something I really have to work on. Here is a good video on how stretching can prevent (or help heel) common foot issues. These are the stretches I do that also help my ankle.

4. Listen to your body. Allow your body to recover before you beat it up again. Don’t rush things. It will be tempting to want to jump right back to your old routine, but going slow at first can prevent you from having to stop completely.

5. Don’t stop rehab. Most people quit rehabbing their injury when they quit hurting. The same way we shouldn’t wait until we have a bad injury to stretch or ice, we should continue the steps that helped us to heal as preventive measures too.

Athletic Shoes: The Sole Purpose6. Consider your footwear. If you started having problems suddenly, think of what changed. Was it new shoes? Is it old shoes, and time for new shoes? For me, I believe it was going from a shoe with a greater drop to a flatter shoe (which I loved, but I don’t think they loved me).  Most running shoes raise the heel 22-24mm off the ground while lifting the front of the shoe only 10-15mm off the ground. They call this ratio the “drop”. This tiny difference was enough to add more stretch in my Achilles, calves and surrounding ankle muscles/tendons with each repetitive step. This doesn’t mean I can’t go back to them, but not until I stretch more and get that area more flexible. Personally, I believe this also has a lot to do with wearing heels all these years – and then going to running practically flat-footed. So, this reinforces my need to stretch.

NOTE: Often times I say that running injuries can be due to shoe choice – but I don’t just mean poor shoes, I mean not the right shoes for YOU. Just because I love a shoe, doesn’t mean you will too. Reebok recommends rotating between 2-3 pair of shoes to avoid damage due to repetitive action. 

CLICK HERE to Learn More About Choosing the Right Show for You 

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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About Bonnie Pfiester

Fitness Columnist and Lifestyle Coach, Resident Trainer for Designer Whey, Fitness Advisor for FitStudio, powered by Sears, FitFluential Ambassador and Owner of Max Fitness Club, home of BCx Boot Camp in Vero Beach, Florida.

Posted on July 29, 2013, in Exercise & Training, Pain Prevention/Rehabilittion, PFIT TIPS and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. This is the greatest blog known to man. You and your husband are so helpful. I haven’t been able to run in over a year. Thanks for this! Hopefully, it works out for me as much as it did for you! 🙂

  2. Reblogged this on Sykose and commented:
    Ouch

  3. Thank you for the plantar fasciitis video!! I’ve been dealing with this for 2 months and I want it gone!! Hoping these stretches and icing will help. 🙂

  4. Reblogged this on LifeBuildingBlocks and commented:
    Great prevention tips!

  5. I continue to stretch areas that don’t hurt so they wont start hurting again. Ice & Ibuprofen are your friends!

  6. Christopher Chalas

    Hi Bonnie my wife and I started a running program a few weeks ago, but now my wife is having some real bad pain her shins. Can you please give me some suggestions on what she should do.

  7. This has really helped! My wife and I are noobies and just got into treadmill running. Thank you!

    Will.

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  9. I love my Reebok DMX Sky shoes, I have 4 pairs, but have developed right ankle pain after wearing them for about 6 months every day at my job where I’m on my feet on a hard flat surface for 8 hours. I’m beginning to wonder if they don’t provide enough stability which might be causing ankle strain. Have you heard of anything like this with the unique style of sole that the DMX Sky shoes have? The pain isn’t even in my “bad” ankle which has suffered several progressively worse sprains – the left ankle is fine. It’s just the right ankle. Any thoughts?

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