The Symptoms of a Running Headache
It feels like the blood is rushing to your head and the pressure is building big!
At times it's uncomfortable, slowing you down to a stop!
This is hard when you're a new runner, training for a race or trying to run a personal best.
Running Headaches are more of a nuisance than anything!
This can happen anytime during your run, but most commonly happens at the tail end. When you are racing for the finish this is the time when you really want to give it your all! Running with your head throbbing is hard especially when you want a person best or to just enjoy!
A running headache can last until well after a run and not subside until after you are fully rested. These headaches are really called exertion headaches and happen when you overexert yourself. Overexerting will have you tense, causing your neck and shoulder muscles to tighten and restrict blood flow in the surrounding areas.
Find ways to prevent a headache from coming and learn ways to calm it down.
The common change that happens when you run for a long time or run faster is tension building up in your neck, shoulders, and back area.
When you start to feel tired your posture starts to fail and tension builds. Your shoulders go up, your back slouches, and you start to bend at the waist. All this weight is bearing down in the wrong places causing a lot of tension leading to a running headache!
The tension in the shoulders, neck and upper back area can cause a tension headache and have you slowing down or even stopped in your tracks.
What to do to prevent and get rid of a running headache:
- Keep your shoulders relaxed during your run and be mindful when you feel tired, when your shoulders start to creep up to your ears bring them down.
- Understand, when running is more challenging it's natural for the body to tense up especially when running hills, increasing speed, or ending a long exhausting run.
- Relax your neck by looking not just in front of you but at the scenery beside you in both directions.
- Run tall like a string was pulling upwards at your crown and think relaxed when the running becomes intense.
- Open up your shoulders and visualize your shoulder blades, in your upper back, coming together.
- Give your arms a little shake or roll your shoulders back in one or two circle motions and then in a forward circle motion.
- Draw circles in the air with your nose, one way and then reverse. This will loosen up tension in the neck, skull, and shoulder.
- Breathe. Don't forget to breathe as normal as you are able. Breath using your stomach not your upper chest and shoulders. Breathe in by pulling your stomach out and breathe a long breath out by letting your stomach relax.
- Smile. Try smiling, you'd be amazed at how positive your run will feel and even how your posture all of a sudden corrects itself.
- Stop if you have to and walk the rest of the way. Have a drink of water, sometimes dehydration can cause running headaches. Think about relaxing all your muscles and enjoy the walk back.
- Ice pack on your head if it's because of the heat or to cool down.
- Ibuprofen or tylenol.
If your headache does not subside after a few hours, visit your doctor for more information.
Have you experienced headaches while running? Leave a comment in the section below and let me know what you do for the cure.