Laura Byrne may be a sports PR but she is also a complete running novice….until now. We at Women’s Running have asked Laura to not only start running but to bravely blog about the highs and lows for all the world to see. adidas will support Laura’s goal to morph into a runner by the Reigate Half Marathon in September. This is Laura’s third blog post…
I’ve been running for a good few weeks now, and so thought it would be worth addressing the topic of pain! Obviously I’d love to say that it’s all been really easy so far, but from early on I noticed that my body reacts very differently to running than it does to my normal gym routine.
As a new runner, when your body is responding with aches and pains that you’ve not experienced before, it’s really hard to know when to stop vs. when to push through. It’s also really annoying when you mentally feel like you can keep going, but your body is stopping you from doing so.
I’m still working it out, but the best tip I’ve had is that being tired is very different to being in pain. Don’t stop running just because you feel a bit fatigued (try dropping your pace first). Do stop running if you’re body feels pain that doesn’t stop after a few minutes.
Overcoming the first barrier
During my first runs, I kept noticing a pain in my left hip. After one particularly bad session I even had a slight limp – very dramatic for someone who has only managed a few kilometres! I tried powering through, until I mentioned it to one of my friends who suggested it might be related to my ITB (Iliotibial band) – the band that runs down the outside of your thigh. She said I shouldn’t keep running hoping it would get better, but that I should make sure I stretch before and after each run, including with a foam roller. Using the roller is pretty intense at first, but after a few weeks of using it my hip is pain-free. First barrier overcome!
Forcing myself to remain motivated
Aside from physical barriers to running, there’s also the issue of psychological obstacles to deal with. The main ones so far have been forcing myself to remain motivated after a particularly hard run – sometimes even short distances are just really tough for no apparent reason and I feel like I’ve taken a huge step back. As well as this, finding the time to fit in longer runs around work, friends and holidays has been pretty difficult over the past few weeks.
But, it’s not all bad. Despite the struggles, I am actually enjoying myself. I’m getting out two to three times a week and am slowly increasing my distances, adding manageable amounts each time. My flatmate is also running with me which is so much better than doing it alone – she’s the one who drags me out when all I want to do is collapse after a long day at work!
Laura can be found tweeting @LauraEByrne
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