Why Does Running Hurt

Running has always been a part of my life. It’s a challenging and invigorating activity that allows me to push my limits and stay in shape. However, I have often found myself wondering why running can sometimes be painful. In this article, I will explore the various reasons why running can hurt and share my personal experiences and insights.

The Impact on Joints and Muscles

One of the primary reasons why running can cause discomfort is the impact it has on our joints and muscles. When we run, our feet repeatedly strike the ground, sending shockwaves up our legs and into our knees and hips. This impact can lead to inflammation and pain, especially if we overdo it or don’t have proper form.

Personally, I have experienced this firsthand. After increasing my mileage too quickly, I started to feel aching pain in my knees. It was a wake-up call to the importance of gradually increasing the intensity of my runs and listening to my body’s signals.

Poor Running Technique

Another factor that can contribute to running-related pain is poor technique. Running with improper form can place unnecessary stress on certain parts of the body, leading to discomfort and potential injury.

For example, overstriding – where your foot lands too far in front of your body – can cause excessive impact and strain on your joints. On the other hand, running with a slouched posture can lead to tension in your neck and shoulders.

When I first started running, my form was far from perfect. I would often overstride and feel aching pain in my shins and knees as a result. It wasn’t until I sought advice from a running coach and made adjustments to my form that I started to experience fewer aches and pains.

Inadequate Warm-up and Recovery

Proper warm-up and recovery are essential for preventing running-related pain. Failing to warm up adequately before a run can leave your muscles tight and prone to injury. Similarly, neglecting to prioritize rest and recovery can lead to overuse injuries and chronic pain.

I have learned this lesson the hard way. On days when I skipped my warm-up routine, I would often feel stiffness and pain in my muscles during and after the run. It reminded me of the importance of spending a few minutes engaging in dynamic stretches and gradually increasing my pace before hitting the pavement.

Wearing the Wrong Shoes

The shoes we wear while running play a crucial role in our comfort and performance. Wearing shoes that don’t provide adequate support or cushioning can lead to foot pain, shin splints, and other discomforts.

Once, I made the mistake of wearing an old pair of running shoes that had lost their cushioning. After just a few runs, I started experiencing sharp pain in my heels and arches. It was a painful reminder that investing in a good pair of running shoes is essential to prevent unnecessary discomfort.


While running can be a source of joy and fulfillment, it is not without its challenges. Understanding why running can hurt is crucial for both beginners and experienced runners alike. By being mindful of our technique, prioritizing proper warm-up and recovery, and wearing suitable shoes, we can minimize the risk of running-related pain and injury.

So, lace up your shoes, hit the road, and remember to listen to your body. Running may have its moments of discomfort, but by taking the necessary precautions and learning from our experiences, we can continue to enjoy the incredible benefits that running brings.