4 Common Runner Problems
With any runner comes some common runner problems: from shin splints to side stitches, these issues can really disrupt our pace or motivation to run. However, there are easy fixes to many of those problems, so you can leave and out-run those nuisances.
1. Out-of-breath/Quick to tire: Many new beginners will experience this frustration, as it takes a while to move from little to no running to a daily schedule of working out. To combat this issue, take it slow: when you first start a new running routine, bring the pace down to a conversation level, where you can easily jog or run while talking to another person. Being able to go slower, but for longer, will help build endurance over time, making it easier to breathe at faster paces.
2. Side Stitches: A common problem for all runners at any level of ability is the side stitch, that aching pain that doesn’t seem to go away. While the jury’s still out on what causes side stitches (most believe it to be a spasm of a muscle in the diaphragm), most pros will tell you to:
a. Stop and take deep breaths, then stretch by touching your toes.
b. Push two fingers into the side where the pain is, and hold for up to 10 seconds.
Sometimes it goes away, other times you have to take a little longer to rest or press those fingers into the problem area. Some runners have also found that breathing out when stepping on the opposite foot to the side stitch helps alleviate discomfort while running. Overall, you should not be discouraged from the pain.
3. Shin splints, sore ankles: Another ache for new beginners or those running too much at once. When they first start, begin icing and resting your legs, to help reduce swelling and pain. If the splints are causing a lot of pain, it’s time to take a day or two off, stretch those calves frequently, or try aquajogging: aquajogging will keep you from pounding the pavement, while still giving you a great workout on those running muscles. As it gets better, you can go for runs, but wrap your ankle up first to keep it stable.
4. Maintaining Focus and Motivation: Another obstacle to running is running itself–when it comes to the pain, the heat, or any other difficulties, it can be hard to focus or keep up the motivation. The best way to tackle this obstacle is to mix it up and try new things: read about our running suggestions from our blog to get inspiration or new workout ideas, create fun mix tapes or listen to, and find running buddies or clubs to join and help you stick to a schedule.
All these problems are common among runners, but can be easily overcome with dedication and support. For more running help, stay tuned.