Great North Run participants: don’t mistake an injury for stiffness

So, GNR runner, how are your legs feeling now? The Great North Run is a challenge for even accomplished runners – especially in such warm conditions, as experienced on Sunday. It is one of the hillier half marathons so provides a real strength and endurance workout for the legs.

It can therefore be difficult in the aftermath of an event such as the GNR to tell whether you are injured, or simply fatigued.

Delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) usually takes place between 12 and 72 hours after significant athletic activity, and is worse if you’re not used to such strenuous exercise. The extent of the symptoms, and the length of time for which they last, can vary wildly.

Hopefully the stiffness and muscle fatigue should have passed by now (Thursday) and you should, in theory, feel able to run again. And going for another gentle run as soon as possible is a great idea – it does a great to help the recovery process even more.

However, if you are still feeling some negative effects, tightness of the muscles, or specific pain, then you could have picked up or exacerbated an injury whilst running.

It’s vital to get this seen to by a professional as soon as possible – especially if you are hoping to return to running at any point soon.

Even if it feels like a minor niggle or just muscular tightness, you should avoid the temptation to try to ‘run it off’. Doing so can very quickly introduce compensatory patterns in your running: ie other parts of your body adapt in a potentially harmful way in order to cope with the existing injury.

Far better to eradicate the injury quickly and make sure you can return to running smoothly and effectively.

Newcastle Sports Injury Clinic is one of the UK’s leading musculoskeletal injury treatment centres. We built our reputation on our work with elite athletes across a range of sports, and we offer the same top-level treatments and attention to people of all backgrounds, ages and lifestyles. From Olympians to the totally non-sporting, we can help you.

Contact us on 0191 233 0500 or email [email protected] with any questions or to book an appointment.