Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Should I worry that there's less to worry about?

I'm wondering if I should be more concerned about the fact that I'm not sore after my runs. Does it mean I'm not pushing myself hard enough?

I know this is kind of silly. Worrying about lack of pain. But I won't get better (stronger, faster, what have you...) if I don't push myself out of my comfort zone. I'm referring specifically to muscle pain here, the "good" pain you get from a workout. Not joint pain. I have a little joint pain, but it fades quickly.

I really did think I was going to have a lot more trouble with the Couch to 5K. And while each new week presents a difficulty, it just doesn't hurt like I thought it would.  I'm being careful about knee and ankle pain especially, I don't want to have to fall back if it's not necessary. I thought I would be in a lot more pain. And I'm just not. It's part of the reason I feel I should be doing a different kind of exercise on my off days, because building myself up means a certain amount of breaking down first. Right? It's just the way it is.

Is the program just that awesome? Am I just in better shape than I thought? Or do I need to push harder?

This picture of Simon Pegg has nothing to do with running.
He's just adorable.
I've been looking it up, how much pain should be normal. In the links I'm finding, everyone is having pain and there's lots of talk of what's normal pain and what's injury pain. No one seems to be asking about having no pain. Am I just doing everything correctly? I'm confused!


  1. When I first started C25K, I was in a fair amount of pain the first week. Really sore after each run. Then after that, the pain and discomfort were less and less of a problem. But I would almost always hurt after 5Ks because I would push a lot harder trying to PR.

    1. Most excellent. I'm rooting for you and your first day!

  2. After running for 2 years, I almost never feel sore after a run. Even when doing speed, hills, soft trails, extra long distances. In fact, when I am sore the next day, I whine like a little girl to B3 about it :).

    Having muscle soreness when you start training a new activity is not bad. But not having muscle soreness when training for your activity is MUCH BETTER!

    So now, I do not use muscle soreness as my measure of improvement. I set a realistic new goal (usually to add 10% to the miles I run in the week) for each week and try to achieve it. For special runs (hills or speed), I try to set realistic improvement goals there too (for speed I increase by say 0.2 mph on a treadmill, for hills I add 1-2 repeats or increase the hill length).

    If I achieve the goals, GREAT. If I can't, then that remains my goal until I *can* achieve it. Not being on the tight timetable means I am a bit laid back on accomplishing running goals :D