The Difference Between Good And Bad Pain

Sometimes pain is a part of running, but how do you know if you need to see a doctor?


NCAA runner turned high school coach Hillary Kigar has an answer for all things training!

Q: How can you tell the difference between good and bad pain?

The only real “good pain” comes from muscular soreness after a difficult training session or when your lungs are burning because you are working hard and out of breath. This “good pain” can come when you increase the intensity or volume of your training. It’s a natural part of the getting-into-shape process. You can think of this as growing pain, and it should go away after a few days with some stretching and continued activity.

Bad pain is linked to injury. If you have any discomfort that is sharp, localized (aka one specific spot in your knee) or lingering, stop running for a few days. If that doesn’t work, head to a doctor.

Have a question for Coach Kigar? Email or tweet @womensrunning with the hashtag #AsktheCoach.