Be Smart About Pain

IMG_1740So I’m sitting here writing this in pain. Why am I in pain? I’m injured. Why am I injured? I’m stupid. But let me explain a bit. I’m in a bit of physical pain because my right calf popped (tore?) during a run the other day. That happened because I fell during a trail race (as I wrote about earlier on my blog) and only took one day off from running before getting back to my marathon training. I banged up my left side pretty badly, so my gait was off, and I quickly started to develop shin, calf and Achilles pain in both legs. But I’m a tough guy who is training for my first marathon which I’m running for charity, so I pushed through it. Things got better, but my left calf kept bugging me.  Soldier on, man!  Right?  Wrong. More like stupid.

Read the entire piece at, where it was originally posted.

[tweet_box inject=”#enlightenyourbody” design=”default”]you are #intelligent. you are #capable.[/tweet_box]

So I let my body rest for a week. I did acupuncture and basically no activity. I iced it. I used compression on it.  I walked carefully and climbed stairs even more carefully. I kept on being vegan and enjoyed the recovery benefits of the lifestyle. I saw the acupuncturist on day 6, and said he found no sign of injury anymore, but advised me to ease back into things as there was tightness. So I did a short, slow run after much stretching and SMR action, and reworked my running plan to ease back slowly. I ran every run slower than I had run the same distance, and planned to do a shorter LSD (or “long slow distance”) run at the end of the week if I felt up to it. I ended up feeling good, kept my pace in check, and ran the original distance I was supposed to run.  And I’m doing well.


I listened to my body.


About bryan falchuk

bryan falchuk is the founder of, a certified personal trainer, behavior change specialist and the best-selling author of "Do a Day". bryan coaches people on their whole health - the physical, mental and emotional combination of wellness that we need to thrive and change our lives.


    Im a nonrunner but a BODY LISTENER.
    and the older I get the more important it is—and the less Im injured because I DO slow and listen!

  2. Ahhh, it’s so hard to listen to our own bodies! I’ve been in this place more often than I’d like to admit – just tough it out right? I currently have a flare up in my Achilles and I’m trying really really really hard to rest and slow down because getting in a run today won’t matter if I hurt myself and am out for months.

    • So very true, Christine! And we’ve all been there often, and probably will be again. That is life – no improvement is a straight line, after all. Good luck with the Achille’s – I’ve been there a few times (I think being a toe-striker makes it more common, at least for me). Something to consider is eccentric calf lowering. Basically, doing calf raises, but going up really fast and lowering very slowly. If the pain is on one side only, then rise up on the good side and lower on the bad side (so you do up 1 leg, and down 1 leg on the other leg).

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