Most people remember some notions of anatomy from a course taken during their school years. Maybe you didn't take any physiology or chemistry classes but they usually expected you to know something, anything in order to get a passing grade in physical education. Between volleyball games you'd study where the heart was actually positioned. With that basic knowledge you were able to pass the class. There was no real reason to study any further with all the professional experts at hand!
Now here we are decades later. You started happily running after years of being sedentary. In the first few weeks your muscles ached a bit (every single one of them!) but then everything levelled off and you were running smoothly. Then with an increase in mileage and intensity those critical body points started to worry you. Maybe it's nothing but it's always better to ask for an opinion before it becomes a problem. The lack of knowledge of one's body becomes evident when amateur athletes write me for advice. Some real examples:"I have an ache on my foot ... any idea what can I do to make it stop?""In the past I had knee pain (especially on the sides) that slowed my pace ...""Today I felt a tear ... or maybe it was a rip, right on my side ..." "When I walk or run I get this tremendous pain just above the ankle on the outside of my leg."When I answer back asking where on the foot, where on the knee and exactly at what point above the ankle, few people know how to use words. They snap a photo because they have no idea how to describe that part of their very own body.I don't expect you to go back to school and get a medical degree so you can keep running. But I believe it's important for us to speak a common language. For example, if your knee hurts you need to first determine if you are talking about the patella or meniscus without having to turn on a webcam and aim at a body part.Each sport has specific muscles and tendons that are used more than others. In running the quadricipts, hip flexors, knee, knee and knee are the first that come to mind. If you can at least identify them you'll be halfway to a recovery.
Or better yet, you might even avoid injuring yourself in the first place. If you are interested gaining some knowledge on your very own body here are two books that I have always found useful:
- Running Anatomy by Philip Striano http://amzn.to/2onUFVm
Along with the anatomy lessons it illustrates some exercises to add to your running routine. For amateur athletes there are never enough of those.
- The Anatomy Coloring Book by Wynn Kapit http://amzn.to/2GAwavR The classic book to learn anatomy using crayons. Great to keep in your home library as a reference.