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MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,430
7/19/13 12:11 A

Nothing unusual in that - i think once we have made the commitment to get healthy, we all want to fix things as fast as possible.

But unfortunately, your leg muscles and tendons actually recover and get stronger when you rest them, which is why the recommendation is for running jsut 3 times per week.

However, it is fine to do lower impact cardio on non-running days, such as walking, cycling, swimming, etc. Just avoid higher impact activities.


GMEISSNE1 Posts: 122
7/18/13 11:40 P

Thanks to everyone for their advice!

I don't know if I can handle just 3 days a week! I do know I need to cut back! I am dealing with a little anger at myself for letting myself get this out of shape! I want to be back in shape like, yesterday, so I know I am/was pushing it too far. I will be (begrudgingly) switching to Couch to 5k this coming week...sigh...

As far as the shoes, I have a good pair of lightweight running shoes, but when I ran in them it hurt like CRAZY! My feet fell like they were going to fall off. I have been running in my cross trainers, just until I hit the 10lb mark, then my present to myself is a trip to the running specialty store to get proper shoes!

I only stretch after a workout, and I added some yoga in the mix too, just to increase flexibility/balance so that I prevent injury in the future.

RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (4,367)
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
Posts: 1,379
7/17/13 3:57 P

That's excellent. Yeah, my sister the physical therapist and athletic trainer will talk your ear off about the problems with stability shoes, but you wouldn't know it by most of the people who are trying to sell you the things. I've heard that specialty running stores tend to be much, much better at getting you what you actually need and won't hurt you, but don't know of any such stores by me.

7/17/13 12:36 P

emoticon for mentioning that about the shoes, RENATARUNS!!!!! I went to get fitted for running shoes because of shin splints, and they kept trying to get me to buy stability shoes, but when I tried them out in and outside the store, they seemed to aggravate my shins even more than when I tried the non-stability shoes. I ended up leaving the store. I know have a pair of lightweight running shoes I bought at Kohl's, and I love them. I've been working on trying to correct my pronation, since that's why they wanted me to buy stability shoes. I haven't run too many times in my new shoes, because I was trying to give my shins time to recover. I had just finished week 1 of my C25K program when I stopped because of the shin issue. I did the first workout of week 2 yesterday; my shins gave me no problems and don't hurt today, which is a great sign!

RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (4,367)
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
Posts: 1,379
7/17/13 11:22 A

Man, I understand all of that so well, including not wanting to fall off the wagon. I'm exactly the same way. I really urge you to cut back on the running substantially, though. Calf tightness is a precursor to all kinds of woes, including the kind (shin splints, yay!) that might keep you from running entirely for months on end. Been there, done that, don't want the damn T-shirt.

If you google "shin splints" and exercises/ "shin splints" and stretches, you'll find all kinds of good stuff for strengthening and loosening all the important muscles in your feet and lower legs that get weak from non-use and which are so important to support extensive amounts of running. In the meantime (besides the strengthening), cross-training with other types of cardio works wonders to keep you from losing much if any of your cardiovascular fitness, so you'll still be good to kick it into a higher gear when your body is ready after a few months.

Also, though I've yet to see anything authoritative on this, I have noticed myself that my shin problems are much less likely to kick up if I've been walking on an uneven surface than if I am walking somewhere where each footfall is the same as the last, such as a track or a treadmill or a smooth road or sidewalk. Hiking, in other words, or even walking on a dirt or gravel road or a field. Plus, doing that does wonders for strengthening all those little foot and ankle muscles in and of itself. So maybe it'd help if you did a lot of your running on those types of surfaces.

Finally, you may want to check your running shoes. Those with relatively higher heel platforms or extra built in stability are often not the best for people with calf/shin issues. But you'd probably want to talk to a running shoe professional about that, if you can find one.

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,430
7/17/13 11:19 A

3.5 miles after 2.5 weeks? No wonder you are feeling some soreness.

The most challenging thing about starting running is not the cardio fitness, but rather the time it takes for your leg muscles and tendons to adapt to the impact and stresses of running.

The best way into running is through a Couch to 5K program. These programs work through progressively increasing intervals of running and walking over 6-8 weeks, to give enough time for your legs to adapt to the impact. It is also recommended that rookie runners (those with less than 6 months running experience under their belt) run no more than 3 times per week.

Once you are running 3 miles/5K comfortably, you can increase things from there - most experts recommend adding no more than 10% to your distance each week.

The point about stretching is that recent research has come out strongly against stretching COLD muscles - stretching in the morning or during the day conflicts with this just as much as stretching before working out.


WADINGMOOSE Posts: 1,048
7/17/13 9:32 A

I agree with Jen. Most beginning running programs have you running 3x a week, every other day - I run Mon/Wed/Fri, cross train on at least one other day (elliptical or bike) and try to fit strength training in on Tues/Wed.

You could try a foam roller to help your calves now, but you might want to consider replacing one of your runs with something lower impact.

SPARK_COACH_JEN Posts: 65,297
7/16/13 2:48 P

When you say you've been running for 2.5 weeks, how long had it been since you'd run regularly before that? If you're just getting back into it, I'd say you're doing too much and that could be the reason for the calf tightness. Even if you've been a runner in the past, it's not a good idea to just jump back in with longer miles like you've been doing. It's important to start from the beginning and slowly progress again to give your muscles time to adjust.

Coach Jen

GMEISSNE1 Posts: 122
7/16/13 2:15 P

Sorry for the super long post, but I am trying to get out all the info.

I have been running for about 2.5 weeks now.

I am doing some training for a 5k, but I want to be able to comfortably run 5 miles. I don't worry too much about pace, but after warm-up, I try to stay above 3.5, and max out at 5.5 doing intervals as I feel comfortable, on a 1% incline. I run 1.75 miles on day one and day five, 3.5 on day two and four, and 5 miles on day 6. Day 3 is cross training (usually cycling 4-5 miles) and day 7 is rest. Everything has been going really well, and I feel it is easier and easier to run, and my short intervals are getting shorter weekly.

However, on the morning of my rest day, my calves felt SUPER tight. I walked around a bit and it felt better, but I found myself rubbing them and stretching them all day long. I assumed I had just had a good workout the day before, since it was my five mile day, and let it go.

Then yesterday, which is my day one 1.75, I still felt tight all day. I managed to do my run, but it was more like a slow walk. I didn't get past 3.5, and was on 2.5 for most of it.

Today, they feel looser than they had before, but still a little tight. I don't want to risk an injury, but I also tend to fall off the wagon and REALLY don't want to lose momentum.

Is it safe for me to do my 3.5 mile run today if I listen to my body and do what I feel comfortable with?

Is there anything I can do to prevent this in the future? I know you shouldn't stretch before working out, and I do afterwards, but what about in the morning or throughout the day?

I was a runner in high school, but the info has changed so much since then.

Any pointers from seasoned runners?

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