Should I expect many injuries when I start running?

injuries when I start running

Starting to run can bring worries about potential injuries, a concern many beginner runners share. Did you know that up to 65 percent of regular runners face injuries yearly? Our guide aims to help you lace up with confidence, arming you with injury prevention tips and how to spot the difference between normal running discomfort and serious issues.

Keep those sneakers ready – here’s your roadmap to safer running!

Key Takeaways

  • Up to 65% of regular runners get hurt each year, with beginner injuries like runner’s knee, shin splints, and plantar fasciitis being common.
  • To prevent running injuries wear good shoes, slowly increase your runs, include rest days, and know when soreness turns into pain.
  • If you feel sharp pain or discomfort that gets worse with exercise or doesn’t go away with rest, see a doctor right away.
  • Mixing other types of exercise with running can strengthen different muscles and lower the chance of getting hurt.
  • Skip raising how much you run and how fast at the same time; this brings on overuse injuries.

Common Running Injuries for Beginners

New runners may experience common injuries such as runner’s knee, shin splints, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, and stress fractures. Understanding these potential issues can help in preventing them before they become a problem.

Runner’s Knee

Runner’s knee hurts around your kneecap. It gets worse when you run, jump, or climb stairs. This problem often happens because of overuse. When you do too much, too fast, your knees can hurt.

Runner’s knee is very common in new runners.

To avoid runner’s knee, make sure to warm up before running and cool down after. Use good running shoes that support your feet right. Don’t increase how much you run by a lot all at once.

Keep it slow and steady to help keep your knees safe.

Shin Splints

Shin splints are a common running injury that causes pain along the shinbone. It’s most often caused by overuse, improper training techniques, or wearing worn-out shoes. Symptoms include tenderness, soreness, or pain along the inner part of the lower leg.

Shin splints can be prevented by using proper footwear and gradually increasing running intensity.

Preventing shin splints involves incorporating strength training exercises for the lower legs and feet. Additionally, it’s important to ensure adequate rest between workout sessions to allow for recovery.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a common running injury that causes pain in the bottom of your foot, usually near the heel. It occurs when the band of tissue connecting your heel bone to your toes becomes inflamed or irritated.

Runners often experience sharp, stabbing pain during their first steps in the morning. Factors like flat feet, high arches, tight Achilles tendon, and wearing unsupportive shoes can contribute to plantar fasciitis.

To prevent this injury, ensure you have proper footwear with good arch support and cushioning. Additionally, stretching your calves and plantar fascia before running can help reduce the risk of developing plantar fasciitis.

Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles tendonitis is a common injury among runners, characterized by pain and inflammation in the Achilles tendon. This vital tendon connects your calf muscles to your heel bone and is crucial for walking, running, and jumping.

It’s often caused by overuse or sudden increase in intensity or duration of physical activity. Symptoms include pain and stiffness along the back of the leg near the heel, especially in the morning or after exercise.

To prevent Achilles tendonitis, it’s essential to gradually increase running intensity, wear proper footwear with good support, stretch calves regularly, and ensure adequate rest between workouts.

Treatment strategies for Achilles tendonitis may involve rest, ice application to reduce swelling, gentle stretching exercises for flexibility improvement, strengthening exercises such as calf raises to prevent future occurrences.

Stress Fractures

Stress fractures are tiny cracks in bone from overuse or repetitive force. They often occur in the lower body, especially the legs and feet. If you experience persistent pain during physical activity and it doesn’t fade with rest, it’s crucial to get checked by a medical professional immediately.

Ignoring stress fractures can lead to severe complications and longer recovery times.

To prevent stress fractures, gradually increase your running mileage, wear shoes with good support, cross-train to balance muscle strength, maintain a calcium-rich diet for strong bones, and pay attention to any discomfort in your lower extremities.

Prevention Tips for Running Injuries

To prevent running injuries, it’s important to have a proper training plan and progression, avoid increasing speed and distance at the same time. Prioritize muscle recovery and rest, know the difference between soreness and pain, incorporate cross-training, invest in quality running shoes, stretch regularly, and take special care if you have arthritis.

Proper training plan and progression

Start with a gradual increase in mileage and frequency. Mix up your routine with cross-training to strengthen different muscle groups. Remember to incorporate rest days into your schedule and listen to your body for signs of overtraining.

Follow a balanced diet and stay hydrated, as nutrition plays a crucial role in preventing injuries.

Quality running shoes are vital – ensure they provide the right support for your feet and legs. A warm-up before each run can loosen up muscles, while stretching afterwards helps prevent tightness.

Avoid increasing speed and distance at same time

Gradually increase your running speed and distance separately. Doing both at once increases the risk of overuse injuries. Listen to your body and make changes slowly, focusing on one aspect at a time.

This approach can help prevent common beginners’ injuries such as runner’s knee, shin splints, and stress fractures. Remember that patience is key in building endurance and preventing running-related pain.

Muscle recovery and rest

Rest and muscle recovery are crucial for preventing running injuries. After a run, make sure to rest your muscles and allow them time to recover. Aim for at least one rest day each week to give your body a break.

Incorporate foam rolling or gentle stretching after your runs to help alleviate muscle tension and improve flexibility. Additionally, prioritize getting enough sleep as it plays a vital role in muscle recovery and overall injury prevention.

Knowing the difference between soreness and pain

Understanding the disparity between soreness and pain is crucial. Soreness is typically a manageable discomfort, while pain can signal a potential injury. It’s important to recognize that soreness may appear after exercise but should subside within a day or two, whereas persistent or sharp pain during or after running requires attention.

Listen to your body and differentiate between normal muscle fatigue and unusual discomfort, as pushing through pain can exacerbate injuries. If you experience localized tenderness, swelling, or sharp pains lasting beyond a few days, seek medical advice promptly to prevent further damage.

By distinguishing between soreness and pain, you can effectively address any potential issues early on. This understanding allows for timely intervention in case of injuries and facilitates safer running practices going forward.

Incorporating cross-training

Incorporating cross-training into your running routine can help prevent injuries by strengthening different muscle groups. Activities like swimming, cycling, or yoga can give your running muscles a break while still maintaining fitness.

This reduces the risk of overuse injuries and improves overall performance. Cross-training also enhances flexibility, balance, and coordination – key factors in injury prevention – as well as helps to alleviate the impact on joints experienced during running.

Mixing up your exercise routine reduces the risk of repetitive strain injuries common in running. It’s also an excellent way to stay active if you need to take a break from running due to an injury.

Importance of quality running shoes

Quality running shoes are crucial for preventing common injuries like runner’s knee, shin splints, and plantar fasciitis. The right shoes provide cushioning and support to reduce the impact on your joints while running, lowering the risk of lower extremity joint issues and muscle strain.

Research shows that wearing proper footwear can help diminish the likelihood of experiencing pain or injury during runs. Well-fitted running shoes also contribute to better race readiness and overall comfort while jogging.

Ensure you select footwear specifically designed for running to minimize leg pain and soreness, thus decreasing your chances of sustaining a running-related injury.


Stretching before and after running can help prevent injuries. It improves flexibility and loosens muscles, reducing the risk of strains and tears. Incorporating dynamic stretching like leg swings and arm circles into your warm-up routine can enhance muscle performance during your run.

Static stretches post-run aid in muscle recovery, lowering the chance of soreness and tightness. Remember to focus on major muscle groups, including hamstrings, calves, quadriceps, hip flexors, and glutes when stretching to maintain overall balance and mobility.

Regular stretching coupled with a well-rounded training plan is crucial for injury prevention among runners. According to studies from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), consistent stretching boosts muscular efficiency while reducing injury rates by 30%.

Care for those with arthritis

Runners with arthritis should prioritize low-impact activities like swimming or cycling to reduce stress on the joints. Focus on maintaining a healthy weight, as excess pounds can put additional strain on arthritic areas.

Make sure to wear supportive shoes and consider using inserts for added cushioning during runs to minimize impact. Additionally, pay attention to any discomfort and adjust running intensity accordingly to avoid exacerbating joint pain.

It’s crucial for those with arthritis to consult a medical professional before starting a running regimen and follow personalized advice for managing their condition while staying active.

How to Distinguish Between Normal Discomfort and Serious Injury

Knowing the signs of overtraining and understanding common aches and pains from running can help you distinguish between normal discomfort and serious injury. It’s important to know when to seek medical attention for any running-related pain or discomfort.

Signs of overtraining

Recognize signs of overtraining like persistent fatigue, decreased performance, increased irritability, and trouble sleeping. Look for elevated resting heart rate and prolonged muscle soreness as indicators.

It’s crucial to listen to your body and take adequate rest to avoid the risk of serious injury. Pay attention to these warning signals to maintain a healthy running routine.

Common aches and pains from running

Common aches and pains from running can include runner’s knee, shin splints, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, and stress fractures. Runner’s knee is the most prevalent issue for new runners.

It may feel like a dull ache or sharp pain around or behind the kneecap during or after running. Shin splints cause tenderness and sometimes swelling in the front of your lower leg due to overuse.

Plantar fasciitis leads to stabbing pain near the heel that is worst with initial steps in the morning. Achilles tendonitis results in pain at the back of your heel caused by overtraining or improper footwear.

Stress fractures are tiny cracks in bones resulting from repetitive force.

When to seek medical attention

If you experience severe or persistent pain while running, especially in your knees, shins, ankles, or feet, it’s crucial to seek medical attention promptly. Persistent swelling or discomfort that worsens during physical activity could indicate a more serious injury requiring professional evaluation and treatment.

It’s essential not to ignore signs of overtraining such as prolonged fatigue, decreased performance, or sudden changes in body weight. Additionally, if you notice any unusual changes in your gait or movement patterns due to pain or discomfort while running, consulting a healthcare professional can help prevent further complications.

Remember that timely intervention for running injuries is key to preventing long-term damage and ensuring a quicker return to your running routine. Seeking medical advice early on can also provide personalized guidance on rehabilitative exercises and preventive measures tailored specifically to your condition and needs.

OIP Treatment for Running Injuries

After sustaining a running injury, it’s important to seek orthopedic assistance for proper diagnosis and treatment. Non-surgical options may include physical therapy, bracing, or corticosteroid injections, while surgical intervention may be necessary for severe injuries.

Consult with top doctors for personalized rehabilitation and recovery plans to get back on your feet as soon as possible.

Available orthopedic assistance

Orthopedic assistance is crucial for treating running injuries. When experiencing persistent pain or discomfort, a visit to an orthopedic specialist is necessary to properly diagnose and treat the problem.

These professionals can provide targeted treatment plans tailored to specific running-related issues such as runner’s knee, shin splints, stress fractures, and plantar fasciitis. Seeking early orthopedic intervention can significantly aid in faster recovery and reduce the risk of long-term damage.

Rehabilitation options from orthopedic experts may include physical therapy, custom orthotics, bracing or taping techniques, corticosteroid injections for inflammation reduction, and when necessary – surgical solutions for severe cases that do not respond to conservative treatments.

Non-surgical treatment options

Non-surgical treatment options for running injuries include rest, icing, and elevation to reduce inflammation. Physical therapy can also help strengthen the affected muscles and improve flexibility, aiding in recovery.

Using supportive braces or orthotics can alleviate pressure on injured areas while continuing with modified exercise to maintain fitness levels is important during recovery. Incorporating low-impact activities like swimming or cycling can help stay active while allowing the body to heal.

Runners facing injuries should seek advice from a sports medicine specialist for personalized treatment plans focused on non-surgical interventions. These may include corticosteroid injections for localized pain relief or extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) which stimulates healing of soft tissue injuries including plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis.

Surgical options for severe injuries

Surgery may be necessary for severe running injuries like stress fractures or Achilles tendonitis. Surgical procedures such as bone grafting, fixation with screws or plates, and tendon repair can help in stabilizing and repairing the damaged tissues.

It’s important to consult with an orthopedic specialist to discuss the best surgical options for your specific injury. The recovery process after surgery will involve a detailed rehabilitation plan that focuses on rebuilding strength, flexibility, and gradually returning to running activities.

Remember, surgery is usually considered when other non-surgical options have not provided relief.

Rehabilitation and recovery plans

After a running injury, rehabilitation and recovery plans are crucial for getting back on track. Focus on rest to allow the body to heal, but gentle movement can promote circulation and aid in recovery.

Incorporating physical therapy exercises specifically tailored to the injury can also help rebuild strength and flexibility. Additionally, following a gradual return-to-running program under medical guidance is essential to prevent re-injury and ensure a safe comeback.

Proper nutrition plays an important role in healing from running injuries; consuming foods rich in anti-inflammatory properties can aid in reducing pain and swelling. Remember to stay hydrated to support tissue repair and optimize recovery.

Prevention advice from top doctors.

Top doctors recommend these strategies to prevent running injuries: Gradually increase your mileage and intensity to avoid overuse injuries. Ensure proper warm-up and stretching before each run, as well as adequate rest and recovery days to allow your muscles to repair.

Invest in quality running shoes that provide proper support and cushioning for your feet. Cross-train with other activities like swimming or cycling to reduce the impact on your joints and prevent muscle imbalances.

Listen to your body, distinguish between normal discomfort and serious pain, seeking medical attention when needed. Keep a keen eye on any signs of overtraining such as persistent fatigue or declining performance.


In conclusion, running injuries are common among new runners. It’s important to recognize the signs of overtraining and differentiate between normal discomfort and serious injury. By following prevention tips and seeking prompt medical attention when needed, runners can minimize the risk of injuries.

Remember, with proper training and care, you can enjoy a fulfilling running experience while minimizing the likelihood of painful setbacks.


Will I get injured a lot when I start running?

New runners might face some soreness or pain as their bodies adjust, but preventing leg pain with proper techniques can help avoid many injuries.

How can I stop my legs from hurting when I run?

To prevent leg pain while running, make sure to warm up before you start and cool down after, wear good shoes, and increase your distance slowly.

Is it okay for me to run every day as a beginner?

Running every other day is better for beginners because it gives your muscles time to rest and helps avoid injuries from overuse.

What should I do if my legs hurt during running?

If you experience leg pain during running, try slowing down or stopping to rest, and use ice or heat treatment strategies for any running injuries that occur.

Can sports injury tips help me not get hurt while running?

Yes! Following sports injury prevention advice like stretching properly, gradually increasing your activity level, and listening to your body can keep you safe while running.

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