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Frustrated new runner (moved from Beginner Running)

posted over 2 years ago | Report

What is frustrating to me is this: I want to run four or more times per week, but when I do, my lower legs and ankles hurt so bad during the 'extra' run and the next day, that I can't keep to my workout schedule. I tried varying the distances so I wouldn't be trying to do 2.75-3mi runs in a row, but so far, no luck. Also, I have not yet been able to run continuously for more than eight minutes max at any one time. Lately I've been interspersing 60 to 90 second walk breaks in between periods of running to see if that helps, but although my pace improved, I haven't seen much improvement in my ability to run continuously.

So how do I make that happen? How do I get to a point where I can run an entire route without stopping? And how do I get to a point where I can run almost daily without suffering?

I wish I could say I love running, but really I love more what it does for me. I really want to get better at this so I am hoping some of you can help me out...

Thanks,
Christine B.

17 posts

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  • first up - where do your legs hurt afterwards and is it sore or HURT like it impedes your ability to run at all. HURT is bad and is your body telling you something is wrong.

    look at the couch to 5k plans for ideas but you slowly build up distance (building your endurance) I think the walk breaks are a good idea too and slowly reduce the duration of them from 90 sec to 60 to 45 to 30 to 15 to 0. another thing I think you may want to look at it is slowing down. if you can't hold a conversation at the pace you are running you're going too fast. try it. it may take some getting used to at first but run at that pace for a while and you build up your endurance then you can work on the speed

    you got this!

    posted over 2 years ago

  • Initially, I used to have pain along the outside of my shins, mid-leg down to my ankle, and across the front of my ankle, such that I had to stop and walk (and walking was difficult, as those are the muscles for lifting your foot). The pain would not persist after my run because I would (and still do) ice immediately afterward. That whole scenario has diminished significantly in the last two months or so.

    I do think possibly I am going too fast. I run alone, and I find checking my own pace is difficult. Mostly I pay too much attention to my watch, I think.

    posted over 2 years ago

  • how old are your running shoes? they only have a shelf life of around 400 miles then they don't hold up as well.
    http://www.madetorun.com/running-resources/questions-about-running/why-do-my-shins-hurt-when-i-run/

    if you can find a cheap Heart rate monitor watch it may help you determine if you are going too hard or not (but the conversation test or be able to sing out loud is also a good rough guide)

    posted over 2 years ago

  • First it seems like you have shin splints. These can be very very annoying and hard to fully get rid of them. I've been dealing with mine for over 6 months now. You may need to take time off for them to completely heal (like a few weeks). But you say the pain has gone down, so that is good. However I wouldn't try to increase mileage or intensity until you can get rid of the pain completely. You also should be stretching your calves often, icing, doing shin strentching exercises, and massaging the area (get a deep tissue massage or invest in a foam roller or "the stick" to self massage the calves)

    Also like Joe was mentioning, how old are the shoes? Have you been fitted for running shoes, to make sure you are wearing what is best for you, if not go get it done right away.

    I would suggest cross training. If it hurts to add miles, don't do it. Do things like do spin classes, bike or swim, so you can build up endurance, but not have the stress of such impact on the legs. Also it's a fun way to mix things up and to stay motivated.

    Finally, here is a good coach to 5K program that might help you. http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_3/181.shtml

    posted over 2 years ago

  • Patience is key...the others may be right that you need new shoes too but you need to give your body time to adjust to a new lifestyle. You have the rest of your life to run so just take it easy and you will get to the mileage that you want. Also...some other form of leg exercise is probably a really good idea. I would figure out what exercises I can do to target the areas that are hurting. I used to get hurt whenever I tried to start up a running routine until I realized that I just had to take things slow and build up to bigger and better things. You will get there too. Have fun.

    posted over 2 years ago

  • I definitely third the suggestion to try Couch to 5K. It's interval training for beginners, so you switch up running and walking at pre-set times, three days a week. I started it seven weeks ago and had trouble running for one minute at a time--now I'm logging 25-minute runs every other day. (SLOW runs, but 25-minute runs nonetheless!) Safely building your endurance is key, and C25K is the best program I've ever seen for beginners to do just that.

    Failing that, the best tip I learned from C25K training is to run as slowly as you possibly can at first. You might feel silly, but you'll learn just how far you can go (which is always farther than you thought).

    posted over 2 years ago

  • Maybe you're running too fast. To begin with your running pace should be only slightly faster than your walking pace, so maybe you need to slow down.

    After running for 8 minutes are you gasping for breath? Try focusing on your breath while you run. Your breath should be controlled & rhythmic. (sometimes I count my breaths when I run - I tend to take two breaths out and two breaths in in a very rhythmic fashion - almost like controlled breathing when you are in labor). You should never be gasping for breath and if you are, then you're probably running too fast. The rule of thumb is that you should be able to carry on a conversation with someone while you are running.

    Do you know any experienced runners who could run along with you to help you with your pace and with your breath?

    posted over 2 years ago | edited over 2 years ago

  • As for pain in the legs and ankles, what surface are you running on? Is it concrete or asphalt or other. Maybe try to find a track or level even bridle trail in a park. I know I feel pain more frequently when I run on harder surfaces or run on hilly routes. So maybe a flat, soft, level track or fine gravel trail somewhere would help with pain.

    posted over 2 years ago

  • in reply to what Christine B. said:Initially, I used to have pain along the outside of my shins, mid-leg down to my ankle, and across the front of my ankle, such that I had to stop and walk (and walking was difficult, as those are the muscles for lifting your foot). The pain would ... read more

    Leave the watch at home! You'll be surprised at how liberating that is. Think about enjoying your runs....remember when you were a kid and running was mindless fun? Or go watch some kids that are running around and see how joyful they are....I'm trying to get more into that frame of mind these days.

    You could listen to music that has a beat that you can use to pace yourself. There are playlists already created that are designed for this. There are a few active threads in the forum where this topic is being discussed and you can probably find some links to playlists and suggestions in those threads.

    Truly, unless you are doing speed work or running in a race you don't need to be watching your time, especially right now when you're just building up your endurance.

    posted over 2 years ago | edited over 2 years ago

  • I used the couch to 5k program a year ago and it worked wonderfully. I had attempted to start running several times before I found couch to 5k and always did too much too soon and ended up hurt and hating running. I think the program helps with both your wind, and increase bone/muscle strength to avoid getting hurt. If I were you I would use the program and start at the beginning even though it is a couple of steps back for you, this will give your body time to adjust and heal as you progress. Different developers have made apps out of the program for your phone, and several are free.

    posted over 2 years ago

  • Christine,

    Interval training is your best friend at the moment. It's the quickest way to get you fit. I'd highly recommend the Couch to 5k program. If you find you're having a tough time, just repeat a week. It'll take time but soon you'll find yourself running non stop... careful though, it's addicting :)

    good luck!
    Mike

    posted over 2 years ago

  • WOOHOO!! I think I may have solved the problem! (and it's not my shoes, they have 85 miles on them)

    All the tips and help were really terrific, and one thing kept coming up --possibly I was running too fast. I think I have been going out too fast in an effort to get the hilly neighborhood run over with. I just finished a flat-ish trail run of at least 2miles, probably 2.75, and I ran it all in 38 minutes without stopping (except for 2 15-second walks where I had to turn around on the trail). I went really really slow. I hated going that slow, but when I looked at my watch and I realized I had been going for 24 minutes, I was shocked. SHOCKED!!

    I felt good when I was done, and I think I am going to do a trail run at least once a week. Monday I will see if I can control myself (my pace) on my usual hilly routes in my neighborhood and see how I do. :)

    Thanks everyone for your help!

    Christine

    posted over 2 years ago

  • My thought on your ankles hurting is maybe your shoes??

    posted over 2 years ago

  • in reply to what Christine B. said:WOOHOO!! I think I may have solved the problem! (and it's not my shoes, they have 85 miles on them) All the tips and help were really terrific, and one thing kept coming up --possibly I was running too fast. I think I have been going out too... read more

    Congratulations! That's great news! Thanks for letting us know your progress.

    You will get faster as you continue pushing forward with your training. Once you've built up your endurance and are able to run consistently throughout your session then you can intersperse intervals, where you run fast for 30, 60 90 seconds (or from one mailbox to another) then switch to a slow recovery jog) or you can incorporate speed work into your training schedule.

    posted over 2 years ago

  • and no shin pain?

    posted over 2 years ago

  • I just wanted to say: that is GREAT! I'm so happy that you figured it out Christine! The speed will come over time.

    posted over 2 years ago

  • I just wanted to say: that is GREAT! I'm so happy that you figured it out Christine! The speed will come over time.

    posted over 2 years ago

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