- Runner’s Knee – twinge felt on either side of the knee
- Achilles Tendinitis – tendon tightens and gets irritated
- Hamstring Issues – muscle on the back of the thigh gets too tight to run easily
- Plantar Fasciitis – small tears and inflammation in foot tendons and ligaments
- Shin Splints – aches down the shin and may become more serious
- Illiotibial (IT) Band Syndrome – outside of thigh connecting hip to the knee and shin
- Stress Fracture – shins, feet, or heels can receive these most often, and gradually
Well, luckily most of these are not serious injuries and do not have a need for surgical treatment or other long-term treatment. Quite often, most of these can actually be prevented with the proper training and other parts of your workout, typically with stretches that can keep muscles and tendons more flexible.
Because these injuries are more an issue of strains than actual fracture or permanent injury, there is much to consider in all of your joints and other places where you may face the most stress while running. If you tend to feel the most pressure in your shins or hamstrings when you run, then certain stretches BEFORE you run may be the best way to help prevent these troubles.
The Achilles tendon can also face a great deal of strain when running, especially considering the fact that it connects the calf muscles to the back of the foot. While it could be directly related to the tendon, there is also the possibility that additional calf stretches could help prepare for your workouts and races to help prevent injuries in the long run.
There are definitely times to see a physician when you feel pains in any of these areas, but it may not be as soon as you initially think. With over half of runners potentially afflicted by runner’s knee, 20% by tendinitis, and many others by the rest of these, it is important to remember that from the first time you feel pain in these areas is likely just stress and not a full-blown injury.
Most importantly, try to work out or stretch out the pain, and don’t necessarily run through the pain. Make sure that you get everything repaired before you try to increase your workouts and the strain you place on your potential injury. All of this leads to the point of speaking to a doctor if you have a question at all about these areas and the safety to continue running and especially the safety to continue racing.