Most of the runners I meet in my Houston podiatry practice do it as a hobby or for exercise; some are in training as competitive marathoners or triathletes; rarely will I come across an ultra-marathoner (someone who runs races with distances as long as 100 miles.)
For each of the types of runners I’ve just described, I feel comfortable sharing my suggestions for injury prevention, helping them work through their running pain and even offering supportive devices like custom orthotics to help them run more comfortably and efficiently.
Then there’s this guy: Kilian Jornet. At one point, he considered himself an ultra-marathoner, but now, he’s taken on a new role—sky runner. Basically, he runs up and down mountains as fast as he can, trying to smash world records for ascent and descents.
He’s already run up the Matterhorn in France, and Mount McKinley in Alaska. Next, he plans to run up and down Mt. Everest. In a day. With no oxygen.
I’m all for hard-core athletics, but I’m tempted to ask: why? Even if you can do this, should you? Listen to what he has to say about feeling pain when he runs: “I think you get used to the pain when you run…you can make the difference between what pain is normal because of the distance and what pain is because you're getting an injury. “
Call me old fashioned, but I don’t think you should run so far, so fast or so hard that feeling pain becomes normal or routine. If your body is hurting that much, it’s trying to tell you that you are pushing it too hard, or you need to change up your form, your shoes, your training process…something.
Running doesn’t have to hurt (unless you decide to run up mountains) and I can help make sure it doesn’t. If you want to run more and still feel great, schedule an appointment with Dr. Andrew Schneider today!