Running hurt and getting better.

As a runner over the past 15 years I’ve stretched, strained and otherwise aggravated most of the joints and tendons in my body. As many sedentary* folks will gleefully inform runners, running can be incredibly hard on the body. Especially the knees.

Endurance running naturally involves pushing through pain, making pain your friend, wrapping pain up in a bow and calling it a lovely reminder you’re still alive. But sometimes we overdo it. And I did.

Two weeks ago, after a rough 18-miler, I stumbled out of the house to ramble around for a couple of hours. Why? Because my training plan said so. Should I stretch? Nah, I’ll warm up on the road. Two hours later I limped home with an achy IT band and a head full of regrets.

My dirty runner secret is that I hate to stretch. I almost always warm up by walking, jogging and working up to my full speed. Modern exercise science has justified my laziness but I have skimped on the recovery, especially foam rolling and icing tight spots. Recovering from this IT band issue has been a good reminder that I skip those spots at my own peril, or rather my joints’ peril.


*I think runners should come up with a code word for non-runners so we can talk about them in an obnoxious way without being obvious. I vote for “prey”. Thoughts?


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