Soreness vs Pain - Progress vs Injury

This has been an outstanding weekend of running for me.  I ratcheted up my long run to 1 hour, 15 minutes yesterday, running roughly 10.5 miles at a decent clip.  This is my longest run since committing to run the Santa Barbara Marathon a month ago.  And this morning I ran another 45 minutes, feeling solid and good.  These overcast skies we've been seeing make for some great training!

Today my legs felt sore but in a "good" way.  Whenever I push myself on a run, I usually feel some soreness the next day or two, sometimes longer.  I'm usually able to continue the training through the soreness.  I actually think some light training or perhaps some cross training...walking, hiking, cycling, etc. is good when you have some muscle soreness to keep the blood flowing and move towards recuperation.

After I do an "all out" 5K, 10K, marathon or other race, I often feel really sore for up to 3, 5 or even 7 days after the race.  Icing the sore spots or perhaps jumping into the pool and moving around seem to help.

Let's not confuse "good" soreness resulting from a solid training run or performance to pain associated with an injury.  Running through a sharp "pain" can be more challenging and self defeating than running through muscle soreness.

I trained pretty hard for the Tucson Marathon 5 years ago.  The course is known for its 2,220 net drop in elevation.  I trained quite a bit on the pavement for that race and for whatever reason had recurring shin splint pain.  Running on shin splints can feel like running with a knife pointing at your shins.  For me, running downhill adds fuel to the pain.

Due to sheer will, stupidity and to some degree lazyness (not at training, but at taking care of my body after my training), I continued to attempt to run with the shin splints while not resting enough and not consistently icing them. So without having completely remedied my shin splint issue, went to Tucson.  After a decent start (love that downhill), by mile 16 the shin splints came back with a vengeance and ultimately I dropped out of the race.

So if you are feeling sore, that can be a good thing.  Recover and you'll be fine for your next run.  If you are feeling sharp pains somewhere, STOP and do something about it!