Running has so many merits–it’s great for your physical fitness, it’s super social, and can be used as an outlet for your competitive side. But there are a few running side effects that can go unspoken. These side effects aren’t totally pleasant, but we’re letting you know that they’re also entirely normal. 

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Nail Fungus 

Toeail fungus is a common side effect of running. Medically known as onychomycosis, this is a fungal infection of the nail. Common symptoms include discoloured toenails, crumbling nails and nail brittleness. Physical trauma, like the infamous runner’s black toenail, for example, may also act as an entry point for fungus. According to nailfungus.ca, one in five Canadians have had a toenail fungus infection.

RELATED: How a silly little blister can turn into a full-blown injury

Blisters

No matter how much you try to keep your feet in the proper shoes, a blister is bound to creep up on you from time to time. If you feel a blister forming during a run and you can sense your form changing because of it, consider stopping. If you’re on the fence about calling a run, always err on the side of caution. Lauren Roberts is a Toronto-based physiotherapist who says, “From a rehab perspective, if the patient continues running, the therapist often has to go back and unwind all of the complications that were caused by this silly blister.”

Rashes

Sweat rash is a common consequence for those who perspire a lot. The rash is caused when sweat is trapped and the area becomes warmer or more moist than normal. It appears in a red and scaly pattern in areas with poor ventilation. You can use ointments and topical creams to treat the rash. 

Chafing

Chafing is at its worst during hot summer races. As your mileage increases, sadly, so can chafing potential. Chafing is the result of friction from clothes rubbing against skin, or skin rubbing against itself. Unfortunately, when it comes to chafing, it can get worse before it gets better. It takes a few runs to know where and how badly you tend to chafe. Be sure to generously apply Vaseline or Body Glide before you head out the door if you have a chafing issue.

Salt-stained faces

Ever workout out really hard in the summer months or in a warm gym? There’s a post-run phenomenon called salt-face which describes the white layer of salt over someone’s skin after really getting after it. This one at least has a very easy fix, wash your face and it’ll be all gone. 

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