Running is arguably one of the best sports/forms of exercise to get into – you can literally do it ANYWHERE, anytime you have free, for as long or as little as you like, and it costs next to nothing. Some people don’t even wear, and therefore have to buy trainers.
When you first start, there’s no denying that it’s hard! There’s a few common issues that tend to happen to most of us, and can prevent people from sticking at it! If you’ve tried and given up on running because of one of these, you may just read a solution….
Knee pain in running is so common! Now, I’m not a doctor or a physio, so please don’t assume that YOUR knee pain is this (you should always get it checked out), but it could well be because you have a tight IT band. Your iliotibial band is a tendinous and fascial band that starts at the hip-bone, attaches to your glute (bum) and the TFL (muscle that’s on the outside of your hip and moves your leg outward. This becomes tight when you run, which can lead to friction on the outside of the knee… most commonly known as “runners knee”. To avoid this I would encourage rolling/stretching the hip and glute area.
Lower back pain
Tight hips/weak glutes are generally the cause of lower back pain when running. This is simply because your lower back muscles are being overworked to compensate. Strength training and mobility work is your answer to this one… time to do some squats!
Avoiding stitches/tummy issues is a real trial-and-error thing! Unfortunately, like most things, there’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution. You need to spend time testing out different pre-run/mid-run nutrition and hydration strategies, including the times that you take it in. Don’t give in, you will get there with some experimenting!
Struggle to breathe
So many people struggle with breathing issues when they run, which can be super frustrating and prevent upping the distance. Most commonly, this is because the diaphragm is being under-used, and the chest muscles cannot take in as much air.
To master the ‘belly-breathing’, I would encourage you to slow down your pace with your breath, and not to get stressed about that.
Running takes a while to improve, it really doesn’t happen overnight. Don’t compare yourself to others and what they’re doing as it’s a sure way to feel down and un-motivated about your own miles. Take your time, enjoy it and build it up slowly!