Running column: Mark Armstrong explains why part of being a runner is about managing your injury problems

It feels a while since Mark Armstrong was able to get out running after a toe injury. Picture: Aliso

It feels a while since Mark Armstrong was able to get out running after a toe injury. Picture: Alison Armstrong - Credit: Archant

It is very rare for me to complete a run without feeling any kind of discomfort during or after.

After leading a fairly injury prone existence as a junior footballer during my slightly younger days I'm very aware of any kind of niggle, particularly in my legs.

It's something that I've had to make my peace with since taking up running consistently.

There are runners who go out every day, bash out the miles, and never seem to have the slightest complaint.

These people are rare though and, unfortunately, I can't count myself among them.


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I have to work pretty hard to keep my body in the condition it needs to be in as I prepare to run another marathon later this year.

I've mentioned before the problems I've had with my knees but conditioning exercises for my glutes and quads, along with the correct trainers, have helped a lot.

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But there's always something that's a bit tight or aches just a little bit more than is comfortable.

MORE: How do you rethink your running goals?The morning after a long run I always wake up and as I amble down the stairs on the tea run I'm thinking 'right, what hurts?'

But as Neil mentions in his column it is about judging when to plough on and when to ease off.

This is where amateur runners and top athletes are similar.

Whether it be an Olympic gold medallist like Mo Farah or Nina Atkinson at Reepham Runners, they will have injuries they still have to manage.

If you are feeling a problem then easing off is often the most sensible thing to do but it is also probably the most difficult, particularly if there's an event coming up.

Since starting to run I just want to do it more and more and if there's an event on the horizon then I'm eager to ramp up the training to try and give the best performance I can.

MORE: It wasn't pretty but Mark Armstrong can call himself a marathonerBut you do have to exercise a level of restraint. Sometimes, no matter how much you want to do that run, it isn't worth it.

That's why this week during my runs (yes, I did run this week) I've really appreciated it.

You never know what your body is going to throw up during your training.

That's why it's important to value when your body's doing exactly what you want it to.

But perhaps more importantly, what you did to get your body in that position in the first place.

MORE: Why do we put ourselves through this running lark?

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