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The 4 Tell-Tale Signs that an Injury Will Stop You from Running

Running places stresses on the body. Normally, if given adequate rest and time to recover those stresses cause a normal adaptation to running and improve your ability to run. Meaning, you can run further and faster. Which is great!

However, there are a large number of runners who are trying to run through injuries, rehabbing from injuries or have just stopped running to avoid the pain.

But how do you differentiate from normal running pain that you can run through and come out stronger on the other side and the pain that leads to a longstanding injury that may require attention?

There are 4 Tell-Tale Signs that Can Clue You In to an impending Running Injury before its too late.

Slowed Running Speed

Slowed running speed (or if you notice that run is taking longer for the same distance) SCREAMS that something is wrong…not just fatigue.

You may not feel the pain yet, but slowed running speed tells you that your form has changed and you have been running inefficiently. Inefficient running only begins due to a problem (think about a high performing racecar that slows down and has to make a pitstop).

“Lead Legs”

“Lead Legs” can be an indication that you are pushing too hard. All runners have had the feeling of pounding on the pavement and the feeling that the ground is just harder that day—that’s “lead legs”. If those “lead legs” last a day—its normal fatigue, but if it’s a chronic feeling, look out for an injury.

Sleepless Nights

An early sign of an upcoming injury is being abnormally tired, more specifically, having restless nights and unsatisfying nights of sleep. This is your body telling you that you need to get more rest.

This fatigue can cause poor running form and poor posture with strength training workouts. Both of which leads to running injuries.

A Slight Ache and Pain That Won’t Go Away

Slight aches and pains that do not decrease with rest and are re-aggravated with the nest run are a huge indicator of upcoming injury. Most runners try to run through this, but it is not a good idea.

Listen to your body and give it the rest it needs, and don’t be one of those people who think it will just go away. When you have any of these tell-tale signs, seek help from a doctor, therapist or running specialist.

Most running injuries occur due to chronic overuse and impact. These types of injuries occur most commonly in the feet, ankles, shins, knees, hip and even backs. They range from stress fractures to simple tendonitis.

Some RED FLAGS that the running injury may be worse than initially thought may include some of the following:

  • Persistent pain despite rest, ice and anti-inflammatory medications
  • Point pain right on a bone
  • Swelling at the site of pain
  • Pain at rest or with just walking

If you have any of these symptoms, it may be time to stop running and be seen by a doctor. These issues can be a sign of a more permanent and longer healing injury.

However, most running injuries are related to the 4 Tell-Tale Signs that allow you to keep running, but are slowly getting worse.

If any of the 4 Tell-Tale signs appear, you may benefit from a professional running analysis that includes strength and range of motion assessment and a running pattern analysis. By changing your running pattern and addressing the imbalances in the muscles.