Pardon the pun, but beginning running always has a few hurdles to overcome. I think that figuring out how to breathe is one of the biggest, but here are a few others that might trip you up:
1. Not the bee’s knees – Ever notice how much you love and cherish your knees when they hurt? That’s what happens when you start running – they hurt.
The problem is that I’ve still had a lot of knee pain, although I’ve noticed that it’s diminished a lot over the past year. I think when you’re doing something new with your body, things start to hurt, like how much your thighs hate you when you do lunges.
This is what I recommend if you’re experiencing knee pain: keep running, but go slower. Try to avoid going downhill – although going uphill works my knees nicely.
2. Stomach issues – I’m sure you’re familiar with the phenomenon of “runner’s poop.” Oh, you’re not? Here’s a whole TREASURE TROVE OF ARTICLES ABOUT IT.
I usually get the urge to poop in the beginning of a run, usually after I’ve gone about a mile or so. When I’ve done longer distances, it comes and goes and that makes it more difficult. I usually keep running and see how I feel.
Sometimes the urge to poop goes away. Sometimes it doesn’t. If the urge gets bad, well – pray like crazy you’re out in the wilderness and not in a city. But if you’re in a city, hey, I’ve used Taco Bell on multiple occasions.
3. Cramps – Sometimes things just hurt for no explainable reason.
The worst part about training for my second marathon was all of the stomach pain I’d had. I’d been dealing with a lot of stress at the time (y’know, the stuff that I’d rather not explain but hope that you understand because we, as humans, are collectively stressed out) and my stomach was the victim of my turmoil. Running was rarely enjoyable, but I had promised my sister I’d run with her. And so I kept running, but it wasn’t easy.
Cramps, even more than shortness of breath, are what makes running so awful. I’m still figuring out how to deal with cramps. Usually it comes from telling myself, “Just run to that telephone pole and you can stop,” and when I’ve passed the pole, I tell myself, “Keep running until you hit the streetlight, then you’re good,” and I keep going.
But there are other times where the pain is just so awful that I have to stop. That’s okay. I’ve experienced some pretty terrible runs, but I’ve also had some incredible runs. The good ones are what keeps me going.
What are problems you deal with when running? I’d love to hear what you think.