As I’ve started to train for my upcoming races, I’m constantly reminding myself “no pain no gain.” At what point is the pain too much though?
For about a week and a half now, I’ve been toughing it out with what I thought was just some simple calf and inner ankle pain from overexerting my body. Since starting to run about six weeks ago, I’ve been pushing my body, particularly my lower body, in ways previously unknown. Yes, dancing for the number of years that I did also took its toll on my body, but now my body is being forced to adjust to new exercise methods, which has also brought with it new a whole new host of pains to accustom myself to.
Today, I discovered that my right calf was feeling better, and that the pain had isolated itself to my right inner ankle. I fianlly decided to do some research online, and have discovered a number of different explanations for why my calf and ankle have been bothering me. I’m not a doctor, but based on what I’ve read and what my symptoms are, my pain seems to be consistent with worn out running shoes and overexertion of my lower body. Good thing Preston and I both replaced our running shoes over the weekend (he too has been experiencing right calf pain). We’ve also scaled back our running and walking this week in order to ensure that we’re in the best condition possible for this weekend’s Jaguar 5K.
One of the suggestions that I read today was to ensure that you’re balancing your running with sufficient weight training in order to promote strength and stability. This further promotes my initial thoughts for my own training plan, in that I’m seeking to balance my running with other cardio activities as well as weight training. Is it possible that I’m putting too much focus into my running and not enough into weight training? Absolutely. Although I’m excited about this new hobby, I also need to ensure that I’m not over doing it. Going forward as I adjust my workouts based on today’s research it’ll be ever more important that I listen to my body and balance the “no pain no gain” mindset with ensuring that I am training in a safe and healthy manner. Although some pain is good, too much could lead to serious injury.
As dancer Martha Graham once said, “The body never lies.” Everybody’s threshold for pain is different, and everybody’s ability to manage their pain is different. Only you know your body best, and its critical that all athletes listen to their bodies, regardless of their fitness level.