Long-distance running can be exhilarating and a massive boost to your fitness and mental strength. It is however a strenuous activity and can naturally take its toll on the body - with countless chances for potential injuries.

Thankfully there is an entire library online of ways to prevent and treat everything from athlete’s foot to knee pain. At The Fitness Store, we wanted to address some of the lesser known, but still performance-damaging aspects of running with our own list of solutions:

#1. Chafing

This can depend a lot on your body size and type. Some runners can go hours at a time with only minor discomfort, but others will feel the burn on their legs, thighs, and yes, even their nipples. Preventing this cheese-grater comparable pain is simple: ditch cotton running clothes, avoid baggy or ill-fitting shirts and sports bras and ensure you hydrate regularly to sweat more. In other cases, you may need to seek specialist running products such as body lubricant, or nipple-guards.

#2. Bloating

Some runners find that, after a long session, they feel ballooned up. This running problem is more common in women, but men can also suffer. The reasons are a lot less to do with what you eat, and more with your environment; the weather or body clock, with medication and sodium levels also having a part to play. The best prevention is drinking and consuming sports drinks high in electrolytes, and consuming high sodium snacks before you exercise.

#3. Blood Circulation

If you’ve ever returned from a run - on a not particularly chilly day - and found your hands and feet are cold, then this means your circulation isn't pumping effectively through your extremities. A common cause for this is peripheral arterial disease, which can be a precursor to heart attacks if not treated. Exercise is actually a great way to improve body circulation, but you should always see your doctor first to know if running will exacerbate the condition.

#4. Concentration

Many people cite running as a method of improving focus in their day to day lives. Others, however, have the opposite problem and feel they can’t keep their concentration whilst exercising. There has been a lot written on running attention. Simple solutions include thinking about breathing in a rhythmic fashion, positive self-talk and visualisation exercises. In general, don’t be discouraged if your mind wanders a lot when running - in a real race, you’ll find it hard to think about anything else.

#5. Fuelling

Early-stage runners can generally get a good workout without the need to eat anything beforehand. It’s once you start reaching half-marathon distances that pre-fuelling becomes important. There’s a pretty easy rule to follow: 150ml of fluids every 15 minutes. Every gram of carbohydrate contains about four calories, and this means you need to consume 240 calories per hour when running a significantly long race.