Knowing the Difference Between Pain and Soreness

Quick Tip: Knowing the Difference Between Pain and Soreness

In last week’s quick tip post, I talked about the importance of listening to what your body is trying to tell you.

But what happens if you’re not exactly sure WHAT your body is trying to tell you?

No message from your body is more confusing, especially to new runners, than the difference between pain and soreness.

What is the Difference Between Pain and Soreness?

If only this were an easy question to answer.

Knowing the Difference Between Pain and Soreness

Knowing the Difference Between Pain and Soreness

Trying to define what constitutes pain and what constitutes soreness is like asking someone what constitutes pretty and what constitutes ugly.

In short, it’s going to be different for every individual.

That said, when you’re feeling discomfort before, during, or after a run, how would you describe it?

Sharp? Intense? On fire? Burning? Throbbing?

Achey? Stiff? Tight? Dull? Lingering? Heavy? Dead?

The first group of words are the type of adjectives more often used when describing pain, and the second set is much more likely to describe soreness.

Knowing the Difference Between Pain and Soreness is Important

Why does it matter?

You shouldn’t try to run through pain. Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is legitimately wrong, and if you keep running odds are you’re going to make the situation worse.

And you don’t want to do that.

If you’re dealing with pain during or after a run, take a few days off and reassess the situation. And if you need/want a second opinion, let’s talk and I’ll see what I can do to help.

But if you’re just dealing with soreness, you’re probably ok to push through (if you want) without worrying about doing any additional damage.

That said, you may want to dial back the intensity and/or shorten the distance of that day’s workout. The soreness is your body’s way of telling you that you it’s still recovering after a previous workout, so it is definitely prudent to not push too hard if you are pretty sore.

Still Confused?

Go ahead and press play below, and I’ll get into a few more things to consider when it comes to the difference between pain and soreness for runners.

How Do You Define the Difference Between Pain and Soreness for Yourself?

For Runners, Preventing Shin Splints is Actually Pretty Easy (with Video)

When it comes to any injury that runners must deal with, we need to remember that it’s always wiser to focus on prevention than to be forced to deal with treatment options after the fact.

And when it comes to preventing shin splints, you don’t have to do a lot to reap the benefits and stay injury free (at least in terms of shin splints) for many years of running.

If you have any questions about these exercises, or other aspects of dealing with shin splints, please drop me a note by visiting the contact page on my website.

And make sure you check out the other posts in this series, where I look at what causes shin splints, and what the best options are for treating shin splints if you have them.

How to Treat Shin Splints for Runners (with Video)

If you’ve ever had shin splints, you know that it’s a painful injury that can take FOREVER to completely go away.

In this week’s video, I’m continuing the shin splints series by talking about how to treat shin splints, especially for us runners.

Please be forewarned, you may not like what I have to say in the video, but if you want to kick your shin splints as fast as possible this is the best advice I can possibly give.

If you missed last week’s video, make sure you check it out because I talked about what causes shin splints and exactly what the injury is.

Exactly What Causes Shin Splints Anyway? (with Video)

Shin splints are a relatively common running injury, especially among new runners, and are also one of the easiest running injuries to prevent.

In today’s video, I’ll be spilling the beans on what causes shin splints and what is actually happening when you are dealing with shins that feel like they are on fire!

Do you have a case of the shin splints that won’t quit? Check out part two of this post/video series, where I talk about how to treat shin splints.

Treating Your Plantar Fasciitis For the Last Time (with Video)


As a running coach and a Certified Athletic Trainer, I have heard a lot of runners talk about a number of different ways of treating your plantar fasciitis.

Some of the most simple methods (massage and stretching) are great, and some just make me shake my head (Strassburg sock and trying to tear it).

After last week’s video aired talking about what your plantar fascia actually is, what it does, and how it ends up with the itis, it only  made sense to give you some insight into how to get rid of the symptoms and get back to running pain free ASAP.

What is Your Tried and True Method That You Use for Treating Your Plantar Fasciitis?