it's how you feel the day after. Or so Adam has been trying to drum into my head over the last couple of months. What he means is that, even though I might feel fine during a run (or whatever form of exercise I am doing), how I feel the next day is even more important. If there is pain, I've overdone it and need to back off a bit. This is where being able to distinguish discomfort from pain comes in handy.
Take yesterday as an example. I upped my run/walk ratio to 8min run/2min walk and my total time running from 27 to 32 minutes. I would have stopped if it had felt too difficult but it wasn't, although my legs were quite tired by the end. The back of my knee and my calf felt fine, but a niggle in my achilles made an appearance half-way through. Bastard. It was minor discomfort, so I stopped to stretch and then walked a minute or so, which seemed to do the trick. No more niggling during the run. However, by that evening, my achilles was a teensy tiny bit tender to the touch which I'm sure had nothing to do with the amount of poking and prodding that I was doing to try to figure out if it was sore.
This morning, however, it's back to normal. My knee and calf are still okay too. Any muscle soreness that I have is the kind of soreness that you get after not using those muscles for a while. Not discomfort. Certainly not pain. Merely a bit of aching that will be gone by tomorrow, when I get to do it all over again.