It is sometimes difficult to tell whether an ache or pain is something that will pass or something more serious. So how do you know if you should stop running or walking? If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should stop and seek medical assistance:
- Your pain increases during your run/walk
- You experience a sharp pain during your training session
- Your pain causes a change in your running form such as favoring one leg
- You have swelling
- You have pain at the site of an old injury
- You "hear" the sound of your pain, i.e., a grinding, crunching, or clicking
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, stop running or walking and talk to your coach or FIT Specialist about the pain you are experiencing. You might also need or want to seek advice from a healthcare provider to make sure you aren't doing serious damage before you continue running/walking on the injury.
Here are several things you can do to prevent an injury in the future.
- Warm up and Cool down. Cold and tight muscles are much more likely to be injured. Cooling down is just as important as warming up.
- Stretch (stretch warm muscles only). We recommend stretching after a workout, because your muscles are warmed up and less likely to be damaged by the stretching.
- Alternate your running days. Try not to do hard workouts two days in a row. This negates proper recovery by stressing the muscles that the body is trying to repair.
- Do not increase your mileage more than 10% per week. Too much, too soon, too fast leads to overuse injuries.
- Add cross training or resistance training to your weekly training. Proper resistance /cross training helps strengthen muscles and connective tissues.