On Running Pain vs. Soreness….and Resting

Over the last 2 weeks I have talked to several runners who have been injured and have been suffering on and off for quite some time.  They all gave me the inspiration for today’s post.

Soreness vs Pain

I tell runners repeatedly that there is soreness and there is pain.  Whether a new runner or an experienced runner, you should be able to figure out the difference.  Soreness is a dull feeling that generally fades after the first 48 hours.  Pain is acute – you are wincing – it hurts.  If you are in pain, running is no longer fun or smooth – something is off.  You may be limping.  If not limping, your other leg may start hurting as you try to compensate for the leg that is in pain.  Either way, your body is telling you something – stop doing what is causing the pain.

What should I do?

The simple thing is to stop your current workout and see how you feel tomorrow.  If still in pain the next day, maybe you need a couple of days off.  Ice the area or roll it out with a foam roller, among other home remedies. If your pain lasts 5-7 days and nothing happens even with rest, please go to a professional.  If the pain is acute, get there faster.  Running on it will only make it worse.  Out goals are for the long haul, not the short-term.  Missing a race or 2 may be worth it now in order to have a good year later.

Common Injuries:

I have discussed many common running injuries in past posts.  Just click on the topic you want more info about:

  1. Plantar Fasciitis
  2. Ankle Sprains
  3. Stress Fractures
  4. Bunions
  5. Ganglion Cysts
  6. PTTD’s – Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction
  7. Achilles Tendinitis
  8. Shin Splints

In the end, if something is wrong and the pain is not going away with rest, please talk to a pro as they are there to help you get back on your feet.   Listen to your body and happy running.

Trials of Miles,

Coach Nick


Nickolas Joannidis
Nickolas Joannidis
I have been running for over 35 years, having done practically every possible racing event or distance from the 100 meters through the marathon. I competed in varsity high school cross country and track at Saddle Brook High School in the mid-1980's, varsity cross country and track at Division II Pace University and finished well over 200 road races since then, including 20 marathons with a lifetime best of 3:14:50. I was the president of the Hoffmann LaRoche corporate running team for 7 years, growing the team from 25 to over 90 during his tenure. I coached many of these runners to achieve their goals, whether they were beginners or advanced. In 2011 I was an assistant coach for the Fair Lawn Recreation track team, helping the 10 to 14 year old group. I am currently personally coaching dozens of runners, from beginner levels to advanced levels and getting them to be prepared to meet their goals.

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