Runners tend to be extremely determined and disciplined. These attributes serve them well most, but not all, of the time. When a slight ache or pain appears the tendency is to weather the storm and push through it. Cutting back on the distance or intensity of a run isn’t inherent in most runner’s chemistry. Afterall, we’re motivated to overcome obstacles and meet the next challenge with determination.
A well-timed and much-needed rest day is as important to achieving your running goals as a great workout. Runners tend to learn lessons the hard way rather than listening to the advice of a coach, physician or an insightful and objective friend. Losing running time to an injury that could easily have been avoided is the best elixir for enlightenment. The first course of action tends to be ingesting 800 mg. (or more) of a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory which I am not a fan of at all.
RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation) should be part of every runner’s vocabulary and protocol for treating aches and pains. There are also a host of homeopathic options (e.g., Bosweillia, Turmeric, Bromelain, Ginger and Quercetin & Rutin) that are far less damaging to your liver.
Aches and pains are a constant companion for most runners, particularly those training for a marathon, and the line between normal pain and a potential long-term injury can be extremely blurry. The best advice is to err on the side of caution. It’s far better (physically and mentally) to take a day or two of active or complete rest than to be forced to take a much longer time off due to an injury that easily could have been prevented!