The TC marathon is a right around the corner. You have been training for this moment for months. You went on your long run and now you have a pain that wasn’t there for there for the entirety of training. Now what? Do I drop out? Do I continue on my current path and run through the pain? Do I see someone for this pain? It’s a great question and something that runners will experience at some point of their running career. If you feel that this pain is bad enough to affect your performance or lead to a more significant injury, my recommendation is to get it checked out. I am saying this as someone that has been there as a runner and not just as a physical therapist. Healthcare professionals that see runners know the dilemma that you are in, and we might be able to help. This may be your first time encountering this, but we deal with this all the time.

Seek help from a trained medical professional

  • If the pain is concerning enough we might be able to help. Our physicians and physical therapists will be able to guide you through this process and recommend a plan. We may also recommend changes in your running mechanics/plan to help take stress of the injured area.

Keep up the Cardio but decrease the impact

  • Try other forms of Cardio that don’t hurt: Aqua Jogging, biking, Elliptical etc..
  • This will help limit the loss of cardiovascular fitness you have gained up to this point
  • Don’t worry about running at this point. Your prior training will carry you. It is better to run undertrained than injured
  • Studies show that Aqua jogging is a great alternative to running for a period of time.
    • Aqua Jog for the same amount of time that you would be running during your training schedule

Run:walk strategy

  • Alternating between running and walking during your race might be able to get you through the race by decreasing the overall stress on the body.
  • It is easy to modify during the race. You may be walking more than running at the beginning but that can be modified during the end of the race as your body allows.

Make sure you enjoy the race and the experience!

About Eric Paur, PT

Eric Paur is a physical therapist and part of the running team at TRIA Orthopaedic Center in Bloomington, MN. He has treated all types of runners from beginners to professional runners. If you run in front of him during a race or on the trail, he will be analyzing your every move because he is addicted to biomechanics.


  • Reilly, T.; Dowzer, C. N.; Cable, N., The physiology of deep-water running. Journal of Sports Sciences 2003, 21 (12), 959-972.
  •  Marathon, Half-Marathon, Running — A Year Round Plan, Walking — The Complete Book and Galloway’s Book on Running, 2nd Ed