As a personal trainer and athletic trainer I work with a lot of athletes that
always want to push thru (including my own Dad) and I also work with
athletes that sometimes need to be pushed. So how do you know when to
suck it up and when to back off.

You’ve survived the bulk of your training with no major issues. Then one day you
feel an unfamiliar stiffness in your hip or knee. Suddenly, you’re questioning your
race plans. Can you still go for a personal record? Can you still race?
Don’t Panic! As you get closer to your race and and your weekly mileage
increases, that opens up a new door of possible problems, especially if you’ve
been pushing yourself harder than you’re used to. Pay attention because some
aches and pains shouldn’t be dismissed.
General Aches, Pains
Carry On
It’s typical to feel generally achy, sore, and tired, especially at the peak of
training. These symptoms will likely resolve themselves when you run less and
recover more during your taper. If you are doing the 5k, you don’t have much of
a taper, but if you need to decrease your mileage or intensity to let some general
ached and pain resolve that is ok. As long as you have kept up with your training
plan you will be fine for race day. Keeping up with regular adjustments can help
keep this general aches and pains at bay.

Back Off
If you can pinpoint pain to one specific body part, it’s
usually a sign of injury and you better come in to
see us. Before the injury gets too out of hand come
in as see one our physical therapists. If we treat this
injury early you might not need to miss any training
or change your race plans. Many times early
treatment with ultrasound or electric stimulation can
reduce the inflammation quickly. Those treatments
in addition to some hands on work and corrective
exercises can get you back in your running shoes.
Stiffness, soreness
Carry On
If this fades during a run once you warm up, it’s probably delayed-onset muscle
soreness from your last hard workout. Or you may have sat at your desk for too
Back Off
If this is ongoing or worsens as your run, you may have an injury. Be very
diligent about your stretching routine. We have many stretching videos on our
web site. Come into visit us. An adjustment may be just what you need.
Pain during a specific workout (intervals or hill repeats)
(no worries if you are reading this thinking, “what? intervals? hill repeats? I don’t know what those are”.
You don’t need to be doing these kind of workouts to complete the race.)

Carry On
Eliminate the workout that’s aggravating you. Continue your training with less
intensity. Getting in easy mileage is enough to get you to the finish line.

Back Off
If these workouts are essential to your race goal, and you won’t
be content running just to finish, skip this particular race.
Resolve your issue and get healthy before you resume intense
training. Corrective Exercise with our Certified Athletic Trainer
will help you resolve your issues and get you back on track.
(this is usually covered by your insurance)

“We can’t all be heroes because someone has to sit on the curb and clap as they
go by.” – Will Rogers