How to Cure 3 Top Running Aches


Augustus ButeraFrom Health magazine

Running can be a pain if youre battling nagging injuries. Dont get sidelined: keep your training on track with these simple moves (but if the pain persists, call your doctor).

Where it hurts: The outside of your knee or hip
Either having weak hip abductor muscles or increasing your mileage too quickly can lead to pain in your iliotibial band, the tissue that runs down the side of your leg from butt to knee.

What to do: If youve recently amped up your mileage, decrease your total weekly distance by 30 to 40% for two weeks. For hip strength, do 12 to 15 side leg lifts. Still hurting? Roll the side of your affected hip up and down on a foam roller (available at sporting-goods stores).

Where it hurts: The sides of your rib cage
Sharp, stabbing side stitches make it difficult to breathe—and run. The culprits: running too soon after eating and/or taking shallow breaths at irregular intervals.

What to do: Feel a stitch? Slow down and take deep breaths, exhaling as the foot opposite the stitch hits the ground. Also, wait three hours after eating to run.

Where it hurts: the bottom of your foot
Plantar fasciitis—sharp heel pain or numbness caused by irritation of the tissue that runs the length of your sole—can result from drastic increases in mileage or lack of flexibility in the muscles in your calves, hamstrings, and hips.

What to do: If the pain wanes post-warm-up, cut your mileage by 25% and alternate runs with a low-impact activity like cycling or swimming. If it persists or affects your gait, take a week or two off. Massages, like rolling a tennis ball under each foot (from heel to toes), can help nix tightness and increase flexibility.