Runner’s Itch


I laced up my shoes, ready for the day’s run. I started with a brisk walk, and when I picked up the pace and my body warmed up, my thighs and legs started to itch.

Crazy, intense itching. I managed for a couple more yards but it became so extreme that I had to stop and scratch. My run was truncated.

Now you’re thinking, “It happens to me too!” Then you ask, “Why do I itch when I run?”

During exercise, especially after a long layover, your capillaries and arteries expand, to increase blood flow to your muscles. Histamine which is released to protect against fatigue, works to expand blood vessels in your body but, unfortunately, sends the itchy message to your brain as well. So you itch like crazy, especially if you’re out of practice like me.

Although uncomfortable, intense itching is not a reason to hang up your running shoes thinking “I’m allergic to exercise.” As you continue your regimen the itching will lessen. If you can work through the discomfort, the itching should get better as you build up stamina.

So, runners itch ain’t got nothing on me. I can’t stop now. I’ll keep working out to stay fit!

Now, over to you.

Will you keep working out, despite your runner’s itch?

Okay, let me spike the conversation:

That thing you want to learn, that vision in your heart, that project you want to execute, that craft you want to pick up after a long layover… You’ve started at it, but it seems like you have a kind of “runner’s itch” from being out of practice or simply from starting. You know you can’t stop now. You have to keep going. Runner’s itch will wear, but the exhilaration of purpose fulfilled is everlasting.

You recently became a Christian – you can’t stop now. Keep going where you’re headed. Jesus has promised to be with you and empower you all the way.

I won’t stop. I’ll keep going. How about you?