Aches and pains

What to expect and how to avoid them…

Even if you’re relatively fit, you will probably experience aching muscles when you begin to run. People usually get sore muscles because:

  • they are not used to exercising
  • they’ve over exercised
  • they’re used to a different type of exercise

Soreness starts because of tiny tears in the muscle fibres. The body’s defence mechanism kicks in, white cells come to the rescue and fluid moves to spaces it normally doesn’t occupy, causing swelling. The swelling nudges the nerve endings, causing soreness and partially immobilising them. This swelling and soreness often peaks 48 hours after exercise which is one reason why your muscles hurt more the second day after exercise!

Blisters are caused through rubbing against the skin, causing fluid to form beneath the skin. The more friction continues, the more fluid forms causing pressure and pain. Eventually the blister may burst exposing raw skin and more pain!

New runners usually get blisters because their feet are not ‘toughened’ or because their running shoes are new and therefore haven’t been broken in. Here are some tips for taking care of blisters:

Ensure feet are dry so they don’t move around the shoe.

Wear insoles in shoes for a smoother fit and use acrylic or polyester socks rather than cotton or wool.

Take time and care when choosing shoes. Shoes that are too tight may cramp your feet and too loose can cause your feet to slide.