I’ve been running for several years now and have encountered a variety of different problems. Heck, I’ve had most of these issues and challenges myself.
It’s these small, but common issues that can cause someone to not enjoy running! Many easy but straightforward fixes will help you get into the sport.
So what are some of the most common issues runners face?
1) What shoe is best?
We’ve written about this time and time again, but the best shoe is the one that is most comfortable for you. Minimalist? Maximum cushion? Stable or Neutral? All that matters is that you are comfortable and healthy.
If you don’t know where to begin, go to a local running specialty shoe store. They will help guide and fit you in the best shoe for you.
Many specialty stores allow you to try a shoe for a certain amount of time to make sure it is the best for you!
2) How do you stay blister- and chafe-free?
We actually just wrote an article about that here. Make sure to wear appropriate socks and moisture-wicking clothing. If everything fits well and is moisture wicking, you should be good to go!
3) How do you stay motivated?
For me, I found meeting friends and running a variety of routes was motivating. It kept running more exciting and fun, and I didn’t feel as if I was stuck in the same dull routine. New music and podcasts are also helpful!
4) How do you get rid of pre-race nerves?
We’ve all been there! There nerves before you race, will I do well? Will I not? Just remember that all of your hard work is done.
You have already put in the work, and the race itself is your victory lap. Throughout the years, I’ve learned the more I race, the less nervous I am.
5) How do you fuel during a race?
We could write a million articles about fueling, but the best way is to experiment before the race. You won’t know if that a particular flavor, amount of caffeine or whatever works until you actually try it out.
Never try anything new race day and use your training to experiment. One of the things that will ruin a race is an upset stomach from trying something new.
6) How do you avoid an upset stomach?
Make sure to eat foods you are familiar with. This is all a personal preference, and many people need different foods. Maybe you eat pasta before a race, perhaps you don’t.
For many, eating anything substantial before a race makes you sick. It’s important to figure out what works for you personally and go from there!
7) How do you avoid side stitches?
A common occurrence with new runners, myself included, are side stitches! To prevent side stitches while running exhale as your foot hits the ground. This releases tension.
Slowing your breathing during a run can also help. One thing that has personally helped me throughout the years is staying more hydrated!
8) How do you know if you’re injured or “just sore”?
Give it the two-day rule. Give yourself two complete days of rest. Don’t do extra cross training and don’t even attempt a “short jog.”
If things still hurt after two days, go seek medical advice from a doctor. Injuries won’t get better by running through them, a lesson many runners have learned and continue to learn the hard way.
9) Does running get any easier?
Every runner deals with struggles. What is “hard” for one runner, might feel easy for another. Speed is all relative and what is “fast” for some is a recovery run for others.
Each runner goes through ebbs and flows of being motivated and not. Even elite runners have days that they don’t want to get out and run.
So tell us: what are some running issues and struggles you have dealt with since starting to run?