I'm fairly new to the board. A little bit about myself: I haven't run in several years (and even when I did, I never got past a 4 or 5 mile average run. However, recently I started running again. I managed to go from about 3/4 of a mile to 3.25 miles inside of a month, though my time is horrendous! About 12.5 minute miles or so. Still, I don't really care about time, just distance at this point. Eventually (and I know this is a long, long term goal), I'd like to do a half-marathon. Some day. Perhaps. Maybe.......
Anyway, during this most current period of running (and during past periods of running, too) I've been taking aspirin, ibuprofen, or excedrin, either right before a run or immediately after. On exceptionally hot days, I was doing it as a pre-emptive strike against terrible headaches brought on by the heat. I've also taken a few ibuprofen or excedrin before a run, too, simply because it helps me through my workout, i.e. increased endurance and fewer aches along the way. I never take anything both before and after a workout....either one or the other, but not at both times.
Does anyone else do this? Is this wrong in any way? Are there potential health risks involved? If so, that would defeat the whole purpose of my running (health & fitness).
What do you think? Should I stop and only take them when absolutely needed?
Any advice, suggestions, and opinions are welcome.
I have heard of people taking aspirin, ibuprofen, etc., but not regularly and at much longer distances, say over 15 miles. How is your hydration? If you're getting post-run headaches, it could be because you're not hydrating well enough. Your muscle and body aches could also be explained by this. Make sure thatt you are hydrating all day, every day. The easiest way to monitor it is by urine color - it should be light yellow, like lemonade.
I think I'm staying hydrated. I drink quite a bit of water throughout the day, and some just before I go for a run. I seemed to be getting the heat enduced headaches when the temperature was in the 90s or 100s and the humidity level was about the same. But I can tell a vast difference in my performance level (I'm using the term loosely here!) when I take an excedrin or two before running, or perhaps have a small cup of coffee and an aspirin. The aches and pains throughout my run are lessened and my distance is better. I'm only running every other day, so I don't think I'm pushing my body too fast....or am I? When I run in the late evening, and the temp is in the high 70s or low 80s and the humidity level has dropped, my performance is much better. I'm just not sure if I should increase the number of days I run each week (now it's every other day) or should I back off and give myself two full days of rest between some of my runs?
Well, caffiene is known to enhance performance, though I didn't think it would be that obvious. I'm surprised that the difference is that noticeable. Some of your aches could go away as your body adapts to the level of exercise you're doing. I don't see any reason to run less often, and increasing the frequency is up to you but it might be better to give yourself more time to adapt. This might take longer if you are older (50 as opposed to 25), overweight, etc. You haven't been running very long so some of that is still to be expected. The rather extreme heat and the headaches that follow would be more of a concern to me. Personally I would rather not be taking NSAIDs (aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen) on that regular a basis. Try keeping careful track of your hydration status for a couple weeks (pale yellow urine color), to see if that makes a difference. You may want to carry some water with you on any day over 85.
I too am in the same boat as you with pain relievers...I started running again back in June this year and have had to take pain relievers everyday. I started out running 2 miles everyday, and have now gotten to alternating 3 + 4 miles everyother day 6 days a week. I take naproxen sodium tablets twice a day. At bedtime so I can sleep without as much pain, and again when i wake up, so I can get my run in. My husband is an over the road truck driver, and is only home 3-4 days out of every month...This past weekend he was home and had to laugh at me whenever I walked...he said I looked like I was waddling like a duck!!! I tried to explain to him that my muscles still aren't use to the daily routine of running 3 + 4 miles, so I am assuming it may take some time for me to get back to walking normal again!!! Just as I am hoping that I will soon be able to stop taking pain relievers just so I can run in the morning and sleep at night!! Best of luck to you with your running, and hopefully you too will soon be able to stop the pain relievers!!:D
Just a warning guys....I work in gastroenterology and you are inviting some GI bleeding your way with all of this medication taking. I may be the minority in saying this but you may want to really re-evaluate your training, etc. if you are having to be rely opain relievers. Stay hydrated, stretch, ice, look at what type of shoe you are wearing, etc. There is nothing that says you have to run every single day. In fact, I'd go so far to say you are running too often if you have pain every day.
teri dacto- Thanks for the input< I have been decreasing the amount I take, I do not like taking anything at all really, I am working on stopping completely with the naproxen within the next week or two. I do a great deal of stretching before and after running< but I probably should invest in a new pair of shoes, and start using ice afterwards. Maybe also drink a little more water in the mornings before my runs too. Thanks again!!
There is an interesting article in the October Consumer Reports, page 13, titled (I think) Are you making your headaches worse? by taking too much medication. It's worth checking out.
NSAIDs also have repercussions for hydration when you get into longer runs (half-marathon, marathon). Though I know most of you don't run that far, it's something to keep in mind.
I will comment on the pain relievers and caffien. I'd also welcome others' comments on pain relievers, especially about the below warning... are they just trying to protect themselves? Is this warning only applicable to higher than normal use? I don't know, but until I do it remains a big concern to me. Essentially, taking of NSAIDS (Non-steroidal anti-inflamitory drugs) and those include Naproxin, Ibuprofin, aspirin, and Excedrin (because as I recall it has aspirin) is risky. Acetaminophen seems to be safe. Here's a quote from one marathon's content:
Recent medical research has shown that non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) like Advil, Motrin, Aleve, ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen, etc. may be harmful to runners' kidney function if taken within 24 hours of running; only acetaminophen (Tylenol®) has been shown to be safe. These NSAIDs are thought to increase the possibility of hyponatremia while running long distances due to their decreasing blood flow to the kidneys and interfering with a hormone that helps the body retain salt. Therefore it is recommended that on race day (specifically beginning midnight before you run) you do not use anything but acetaminophen (Tylenol®) if needed until 6 hours after you have finished the race, are able to drink without any nausea or vomiting, have urinated once, and feel physically and mentally back to normal. Then, an NSAID would be of benefit in preventing post-event muscle soreness.
See http://www.cmmarathon.com/race_info/medical.html for more.
If anyone else knows more, please comment.
Concerning caffien, I've also noticed a big difference in my performance... it's like I had more recovery than I actually did. My perceived effort is lower. I suppose that could be a bad thing if I overexerted my heart, but I don't perceive the effect to be to that high of a level... just very noticable and beneficial.
Interesting article and good to know. I take motrin regularly for headaches unrelated to running but I am sure it could have an impact as well. Another interesting tidbit r/t recent research...an article came out several months ago showing an increased risk of bleeding if you take NSAID's and antidepressants....only reason I am mentioning this is because as a nurse I do medication reconciliations with patients and it's alarming how many people are on antidepressants.
According to the research, NSAIDs reduce the kidneys' ability to clear fluids from your body, thus increasing water retention, possibly upsetting electrlyte balance and thereby increasing the risk of hypnoatremia (water intoxication). It is considered most applicable over longer distances - half-marathon, marathon and above. It is mostly a danger if you drink only water, take nothing else and over-hydrate. One of the most obvious signs is heavy swelling of the hands and feet.
Caffeine has been researched and demonstrated to aid performance. Very high levels of caffeine constitute a banned substance, but it's OK at lower levels. You would pretty much have to take caffeine pills to get to the unacceptable levels. A couple cups of coffee won't do it.
I really appreciate all the comments and information this thrread has generated. I've learned quite a bit here (as well as on other threads on this board). I, too, am planning on getting off any form of pain killer either pre-run or post -run (though I'll probably continue to have a little coffee now and then). For some reason, I felt great while running my 3.2m today - no aspirin, ibuprofen, or excedrin necessary! Maybe it was better rest over the past day or two. I guess there are good days and bad days. And, of course, I know my body is still probably wondering why in the world I'm putting it through this. But they way I feel after having had a good run...well, let's just say it makes it all worthwhile! Half-marathon here I come.......
P.S. Just out of curiosity, why are there two running boards on Active.Com? This one and the one under Cool Running are virtually identical.
The Cool Running forum was closed by the Cool Running web site and transfered to Active.Com. Most of the people who posted there were very unhappy with the transition and have since moved on to several other web sites. If you check out the Cool Running forum you'll notice that not much has been posted in the last 6 - 8 months.
No they are not just trying to protect themselves and this can happen with small quantities of NSAID's!
About 4 years ago, I was taking Naproxyn on the days that I played golf, Fri. Sat. & Sun. I only took 2 tablets before I played because it loosened up my back and I could swing better! I did this for about 3 months during the summer. Where I live it gets very hot and very humid in the summer and even though I constantly was drinking water and gatorade, I suppose I still got somewhat dehydrated. Long story short, I came home from the golf course one day and realized that I had not voided all day. I chalked it up to the humidity and sweating so much. I finally decided to go try to use the bathroom and when I did my my urine was nothing but blood. I was so shocked and scared. I went through 3 long years of CT Scans, Cystograms, Urinalysis trying to come up with the cause of the bleeding. Finally a diagnosis was made that it was from the Naproxyn. It has changed the blood flow to my kidneys and caused damage to the vessels. I had intermittent bleeding on and off for over 2 years even though I no longer took NSAIDS. Finally my blood vessels repaired themselves and the bleeding stopped. I did not take NSAID's for several years. I am a runner now, and occassionally I will take ibuprofen for stiffness or a muscle pain, but on 2 at a low dose and NEVER before or immediatley after running and only when I am well hydrated.
Please be careful with these OTC meds. They can kill you.
FM! 3/4/2012 New Orlean RnR - 5:49:55! PR!
10K PR 1:11:22 ( 11:49 mm)
5K PR 30:20 !
Ran 4 HM's in 2011
HM 11/13/2011 PR!!! (2:35:53) Pensacola, FL
HM 12/3/2011 (2;39:27) Ran for fun and training St. Judes, Memphis, Tn
HM 01/07/2011 (2:48:23) First Light HM - Mobile, AL (My very first HM)
HM 02/14/2011 (2:40:23) Mercedes Benz - Birmingham, AL
1-5-13 Ms. Blues HM 2:44:57
1-13-13 Gulf HM 2:40:xx
2-24-13 Disney Princess Half Marathon
3/20/2013 Azalea TR 10K
4-7-2013 Pensacola Beach Half Marathon