Difference between "pain" and an injury reminding you it is still there

Hi all,

First post on here!

I have been running again for 18 months after giving up when I started Uni/drinking etc 15 years ago.  I ramped my training up to a 1h44min finish in the Great North Run in Sept 12 and was generally working very well towards a charity run in the London Marathon in April 13 as well as aiming for under 1h40 in two preparation half marathons. 

This has all come crashing down around me after a groin muscle problem. I have always suffered from slight stiffness in my upper thighs/groin muscles but this has disappeared with any other post-run stiffness. I also sometimes get twinges in my groin/down inner leg when doing speed work but backing off gets rid of it.  However, after 3 weeks holiday in November I pushed it is bit too hard on return and developed an ongoing muscle problem (pain, pulling and perpetual stiffness).

I have been to a Physio and have been assured it is only muscle inflammation and stiffness, not a tear or ligament issue. She advised slowly easing back into exercise, but I should not push through pain.

The definition of pain is my question.

The muscles in my groin generate a mild stiffness/pull whenever I put any strain on them but I wouldn't say it hurts, I am just aware of it.  I would certainly never go beyond what I would consider painful, however, what do people generally do when they can feel an injury pulling or being slightly weak/stiff? Should I be completely pull/stiffness etc free when building my pace/distance back up?

I am using Ibroprofen cream and heat pads on the area post exercise. I have also spoken to my PT about groin specific stretches and some more glute/hip/hammy stretch and strengthen exercises. I have built back up to 10k (around the 5min/km mark) but this generated a bit too much stiffness (again, I wouldn't really call it pain) so am taking 2 weeks off running to see what happens.

Any advice gratefully received.



  • Paul, first, sympathies; I know how it feels when an injury messes up all your plans!

    Sounds to me like you're being pretty sensible about it actually. Perhaps spend the two weeks doing stretches and (if they don't hurt) strengthening exercises, making sure you're not just addressing the injured muscles but also the opposing muscles (since it may be problems in those that led to the injury). There's a good site I found called Athletes Treating Athletes which you may find useful - goes through different stretches and self-massage and stuff. Good luck.

  • Debra,

    Many thanks for that link and your information. I have got a good stretch routine (specific to area plus general strength and core training) which I am doing every other day or so.

    A-T-A looks like a great find, thanks for that. I have been trying a foam roller for legs, hips etc but the "rollering" groin area is definitely one to do in private! Having tried it in the gym and getting some very odd looks!



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