Common Beginner Runner Problems and How to Solve Them

Common beginner runner problems can be an instant frustration when you’re trying to get into the sport for the first time and feel like you’re hitting roadblocks everywhere you go. Even when it feels like you’re doing everything right, there are still challenges that you can experience along the way. Knowing how to overcome them is the key to getting the most out of your runs.

Overcoming Common Beginner Runner Problems

Getting into the habit of going for a run on a regular basis is a great way to ease stress, get in shape, and control weight.  That said common beginner running problems can make it feel challenging to build that positive habit. It can drain that initial motivation away very fast.  Therefore, before you let your drive fizzle, learn some great tricks for overcoming those struggles fast.

Use These Tips to Beat Common Beginner Runner Problems

The following are some of the most common beginner runner problems and how you can beat them before they hurt your motivation.

1 – Blisters

The dreaded blister…it’s one of the most common beginner runner problems. As tiny as they may be, they can cause substantial pain and can take you off your feet.  These are caused by excessive friction. Your best avenue when you have them already is to take a couple of days to let them heal. If you absolutely must keep running, it’s critical to do what you can to both reduce the friction and prevent infection.  Reducing the friction depends on where the blister is and how big it is. This may include using a gauze dressing or bandage with zinc oxide tape on top, using blister pads, or even drowning the area in petroleum jelly (or even unscented/unflavored body lubricant!) to reduce the friction. Be absolutely sure you’re using the right socks and shoes and that they both fit well. Socks and shoes are equally important.

2 – Stitches in Your Side

These common beginner runner problems are no joke. They feel fine at first, but then build until it can be painful to stand up straight or even to take a full breath.  While it may feel like it’s happening in your side, it’s typically your stomach that causes the issue. Eat well before running, but not within 2 hours of heading out the door.  Make sure you use proper breathing techniques and work on strengthening your core during strength training days. Stay hydrated.

3 – Muscle Soreness

It’s a common beginner runner problem to feel great while you’re out, but then suffer muscle soreness in your legs, backside, or even back for several days after your run. This is caused by the new strain you’re placing on your muscles and can be worsened by improper technique. The best thing to do to prevent muscle soreness from being too painful is to start slowly and increase your run’s intensity over time as you build your strength and learn the right techniques. Don’t rush to get to your best. Take your time.

4 – Shin Splints

Also known as medial tibial stress syndrome, this pain often occurs after activities like running, which pull the foot up or stretch it down, causing the inside shin surface on the inner or outer part of the bone to hurt. Though it feels like the bone itself is hurting, it’s actually a muscle attaching to the back of the shin bone, which is attached to your ankle, letting your foot move to propel you forward as you move. Shin splints are considered to be an overuse injury, so it’s best to use ice and compression and give it time to heal before you start running again. Preventing this common beginner running problem can include getting shoes with great cushioning and working hard to strengthen calves and ankles with heel raising exercises.