4 Common Running Injuries

As much as I do not like to run long distances (I have more fast twitch muscle fibres), I love running together with my clients. Some have specific goals to run 10 kms while others , 42.195 kms – marathons. Writing a quick blog to share – regular and intense running can result to injuries that would become hazardous if not handled quickly.

The first and most common of all would be:

Muscle Strains

This is especially true for beginner runners and would affect their hamstring muscles, which runs down the back of the thigh or calf muscles. It would hurt when you straighten your knee and running would be slower as the sharp pain will prevent you from continuing at your normal pace.

What Should You Do

First and foremost, stop running.  Apply ice (wrapped in a towel) on the painful area for about 10-20 minutes at least 3-4 times daily. Keep the leg elevated or supported by a pillow to reduce the swelling.  The pain will subsidy, depends on the severity of the strain but until then, take a lot of rest and start running short distances to test out before running long distances.

Shin Pain

Shin pain generally occurs on the front leg, below the knee area. It is also referred as shin splints. It is a dull pain that most runners are unaware of until a sudden sharp pain exists.

What Should You Do

Apply ice on the affected area and head to your General Physician (GP) or physiotherapist if the swelling and pain does not stop for more than a week. Dr David O’Brian, a podiatrist said, “If shin splints hit you at the beginning of a season, a certain amount of running through it will help the body adapt,” But if it’s a persistent problem, you shouldn’t run through it.”

Achilles Pain

Regular and intense training would cause a wear and tear on the Achilles tendon, a thick rubbery chord that can be found at the back of your ankle. The pain can be dull when you are running but if you kept on running, the pain will be sharp and painful.

What Should You Do

Apart from applying ice on the area, try massaging with your fingers. Apart from normal Achilles pain, there is also partial and dull Achilles rupture. If the problem still persists after a few weeks, head to your GP for an x-ray scan as there may be a torn on the tendon.

Knee Pain

Knee pain, or knee runner, is one of the more common running injuries. If you develop an ache on your kneecap that worsens with exercise, or a pain that would only ease of when you rest after a run, it is best to discontinue running.

What Should You Do

I suggest you to perform straight-leg exercise to stretch your knee muscles.  Applying ice is another trick you can do.

 RICE method

When face any injury, I would use the RICE method before continuing my running.


When I start feeling the pain, I would slow down and access my injury.  For example, my client wanted to continue even though he was experiencing knee pain. Continuing the run will force more blood to the area of injury and therefore cause more damage in the long run. Therefore it was better when he slowed down to a walk and drank water.


Ice reduces the pain and the swelling on the injury. However, one should not apply ice directly to the pain. I usually cover it with a towel or in polythene. Furthermore, do not apply the ice on the area for more than 20 minutes. After which, it can be done hourly. Ice is widely used as it heals tissues, act as a cooling effect for capillary contraction and prevent further bleeding.


It acts as a counter-pressure for bleeding capillaries. The pressure should be less than your blood pressure so as not to completely stop the blood from flowing to the rest of the body.


As blood pressure reduces with height, it is best to elevate the injured area above the head as there would be less force on the damage blood vessel to cause bleeding.

Running looks easy (for some) but the injuries are not. As they say, your body is a temple, so take good care of it 🙂 If you would like to start doing some fitness, join our Get Fit! Fitness Bootcamp  or try our one-on-one training.


Sharm, MSc

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