When to Run or Not to Run

Run

  1. If there is no pain walking or going up or down stairs.
  2. If the pain or stiffness is only present at the start of the run.
  3. If the pain does not worsen as you you keep running day after day.
  4. If you are able to modify the causative factor so that factors 1 – 3 above apply.
  5. If stretching or ice before your run keeps it under control.
  6. If the benefits of running exceed the negative effects and you are not creating chronic problems which will affect your activities of daily living.

Don’t run:

  1. If there is substantial bruising or swelling.
  2. If the pain is intense and gradually worsening as you run.
  3. If the pain after the race is disabling.
  4. If you have an upper respiratory problem which is concentrated in your chest.
  5. If you have to drastically alter your running form in order to run.

If the pain starts at the start of the run but disappears:

  1. Continue to run, but spend more time stretching in your warm-up and/or automassage.
  2. Start with a slower paced run.
  3. You can warm-up by walking, cycling or other aerobic activities.
  4. Consider running later in the day if you are a morning runner.

If the pain starts way into your run:

  1. You can continue as long as the pain does not continue to worsen.
  2. If the pain is intense when it starts, stop and stretch or walk and try to resume running.
  3. Try to stop running before the normal onset of your pain if you know it won’t go away until you stop. (i.e) ITBFS
  4. Do part of your workout running and cross train for the rest.
  5. Try different shoes or terrain or modify your shoes with padding or arch supports.

If the pain starts after the run:

  1. Cut your work out distance in half until the problem is brought under control.
  2. Make sure you stretch and ice after your run, even before the pain or stiffness starts.

Starting back after an injury or long day off:

  1. Start with at least 50% of your usual training volume.
  2. Increase your volume by 10% per week if all goes well.
  3. Take rest days and do some cross training.
  4. Don’t race until you are ready.

Resting after a race:

  1. Do not run hard or long for one day for each mile that you have raced. (i.e.) 6 days for a l0K race.

N.B. These general guidelines are meant to help you plan safe and effective workouts. Consult your coach or health practitioner for more detailed advice.