5 Strategies for Managing Pain in Distance Running
You put on your favorite socks, lace up your trainers, hit the road and fall into your rhythm. Your thoughts melt away with each stride. It’s your personal self-administered therapy. Soon a familiar sensation begins to develop: pain.
Managing pain is a part of every runner’s life. Whether it's a familiar friend or a nearly insurmountable adversary standing in the way of their fitness goals, every runner develops strategies for managing pain.
Recognize that pain is a part of the process.
Forgive the pun, but you can’t run away from pain. The harder you try, the more it's clear that pain is faster than you are. It’s a bit of a bully; when you don’t give pain agency over your mind, it loses a lot of its power.
Keep your body hydrated.
Remember to stay hydrated as you run, especially for long distances. Supplemented drinks like ASEA water are good for keeping your cells elastic and can help to stave off any pain that your body may develop because of dehydration. You may also choose to drink something with electrolites like Gatorade or Powerade in order to replenish what was lost while sweating during a run.
Manage pain with Kratom and other treatments.
Although inflammation can be painful, recent studies suggest that running can actually reduce inflammation. If pain caused by inflammation is holding you back, a supplement like kratom (particularly red vein kratom), can be used to manage the pain and keep you training successfully. If you want something more conventional, you can always take over-the-counter pain relievers as well. Remember that pain happens for a reason. Not all pain is bad. Pain can be an important signal that you’re doing something wrong. If you feel pain because of poor running form or microfractures, don't ignore your body.
Keep your body relaxed.
Pain and tension are closely related. Running long distances is about minimal effort. Regularly scan your body for tension and focus on staying relaxed. Staying relaxed, alone, can significantly reduce discomfort.
Learn to breathe.
Breathing is fundamental. When inhaling, fill your lungs completely. Push the air into your diaphragm and fill your lungs from the bottom to the top. When you exhale, reverse the process expelling as much air as possible. Not only will this stop you from getting prematurely tired, but it can also help prevent cramping around your lower abdomen. Timing exhalations to begin with every third step can significantly reduce pain.
Most people stretch before a run, but stretching after a run can be one of the best ways reduce your pain after a long workout. Dynamic stretching is an excellent warm-up, but static stretching can help to reduce soreness in the muscles afterward.
Wherever you are as a runner, pain can be an important teacher. The lessons it has to teach you about your body are important, but the lessons it can teach you about your mind and your ability to persevere can be life-changing.