How to Know if You're Ready for Pain-Free Running

Running has a way of revealing underlying issues you hadn't otherwise noticed. If you can pass these three tests, you're poised for pain-free running.

Running is hard.

It takes tremendous discipline to log those long miles, and if you've got the drive to do it, you want a body up to the task.

The three standards outlined in the video below are used by the physicals therapists at Pure Physio (Strongsville, Ohio) to gauge whether their clients are poised for pain-free running:

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Running is hard.

It takes tremendous discipline to log those long miles, and if you've got the drive to do it, you want a body up to the task.

The three standards outlined in the video below are used by the physicals therapists at Pure Physio (Strongsville, Ohio) to gauge whether their clients are poised for pain-free running:

"People who are looking to get into running or start training for their first 5K, or those people who are looking to return to running from an injury, we have three criteria that we want all of our runners to be able to do," says Dr. Matt Stevens. "Our runners should be able to do all three of these movements patterns within these parameters with zero to very minimal pain."

3-Minute Two-Footed Hop or Jump Rope

  • Accumulate three minutes of jumping rope or two-footed hopping in place.
  • You can take short (5-10 second) breaks if needed.
  • If pain or weakness makes achieving this difficult, it can signify an underlying issue.

20-Second Single-Leg Hop

  • Perform 20 seconds of single-leg hopping in place on one foot. Count the hops.
  • Repeat for the other foot.
  • If the number of repetitions you perform on each leg varies by greater than 10 percent (for example, if you accumulate 40 hops on your right foot but less than 36 on your left foot), or if you experience pain during this drill, it can signify an underlying issue.

20 Single-Leg Calf Raises

  • Perform 20 unbroken Single-Leg Calf Raises.
  • Repeat on the opposite leg.
  • If you experience pain while performing this drill or have significant trouble completing it, it can signify an underlying issue.

Photo Credit: Yuri Arcurs/iStock

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Topics: RUNNING | TRAIL RUNNING | INJURY