How to keep running when injured, by running specialist physio

How to run with an injury by Jason Beaumont, specialist sport physiotherapist in Leeds for Regen Physio.


The most common question we get asked in our running clinic is “how do keep running while injured?”

As specialist physiotherapists our team are expected to provide a magic solution to this age-old question… and there is one!

But before I explain how to do it the key is to understand WHY we are in this predicament in the first place.



Most running related pain and discomfort has nothing to do with trip or falls.

It is often the result of poor load management, i.e., you are doing more than your body can cope with at this time.

running pain

Runners are typically stoic and happy to push through pain, having ignored the niggles, tightness, and cramps long ago.

The warm-up effect also means it’s easy to ignore a developing tendonitis. (Learn about tendonitis here.)



To run pain free we must create a body that is resilient to the task.

Despite being the best in the world at one time Mo Farah and Usain Bolt could not swap training plans without getting injured as they have developed their physiology to their specific tasks: Stamina and endurance vs explosive power and maximal effort.

Blanket rest won’t help your body adapt to the challenge of becoming more resilient and it’s highly likely your problem will come back when you go back to training.



The secret to running pain free is load management.

If you aren’t allowing your body to heal faster than you are damaging it you will NEVER fully recover! 💀

To break the cycle find balance!

Run at a level of effort your body can tolerate (1-3 out of 10 pain where 10 is agony) and this includes the next day!

You need to adjust:
How fast.
How far.
How often.


Find your tolerance level and build from there staying under 3/10 pain.


  • A marathon runner may find that slow 10kms 3 x a week at 3/10 max pain is their current threshold.
  • As the pain eases they can change only one element:
    • Keep the pace the same and add milage to each run
    • Keep pace and distance the same and build up a 4th run that week
    • Keep milage the same and increase pace


How to run with pain



Recovery strategies for runners.

Adding planned recovery “rest days” to allow your body to heal is essential… avoid back-to-back running days if possible.

“No pain no gain” refers to training intensity and DOMs… it doesn’t belong here!

You’ll only get worse if you keep pushing through pain!

Listen to your body and maximise the following recovery strategies:

Recovery strategies



“How to run when injured?”

  • Break the cycle (why is this happening?)
  • Find balance (Where is my current threshold?)
  • Build resilience (how can I build tolerance?)
  • Maximise recovery (what can I do to get back faster?)


If your therapist says to rest without specific justification, you need a new one!

Join our free running facebook advice and support group here!

If you need help with pain when running please use our FREE VIDEO CALL link on our website or call to speak to the team.

03330 155 375   |   |

Related Posts