(Closed) Runner bees, I need advice…new runner, possible injury, what to do?

posted 6 years ago in Fitness
Post # 3
Member
679 posts
Busy bee

First of all, good for you for making a conscious effort to change your lifestyle!

Second of all, it doesn’t sound like an injury, per se. It simply sounds like a muscle that isn’t used to being worked much is tight/stiff/sore. If you had torn or strained the muscle, you would be in a severe amount of pain, to the point where walking would be difficult.

You’ve got the right idea by stretching. Stretch before AND after, but especially after, because muscles are more receptive to stretching once they’ve been warmed up. 

Lastly, even though it might seem like you’re doing things gradually and building up slowly, you are doing a lot more than you’ve been used to in the recent past. Even jogging every other night is a big jump compared to not jogging at all. Your muscles are probably in a bit of shock, and if you want to continue to be able to build up your base, you might have to scale back a tiny bit until your body can handle it. 

For example, maybe you could walk/jog the route one day, the next time you go out, only walk it, and the third time, walk/jog it again. Keep doing that until it’s easy, then walk/jog three times per week. After that becomes easier, jog the whole route once per week and walk/jog the other two times. Gradually add distance. You get the idea.

It’s frustrating because once you start running and enjoying it you want more, more, more! But you do have to take into account the fact that your body needs to adjust, and even if you aren’t injured yet, you may be if you push it too hard too fast.

Just relax, take it slow, and enjoy! You’ll get there!

Post # 4
Member
3220 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

You shouldn’t be stretching before running.  What you should do is do a 5 minute warm-up before any stretching– if you’re overstretching at the beginning, you’re just overextending stiff muscles and that’s more likely to lead to injury.  If you want to stretch to relieve tension and gain flexibility, you should focus the stretch for after your workout– but again, don’t overstretch.  Stretching is really just to eliminate soreness and to slowly gain some flexibility.  

Rest is always the best option for running injuries.  Once you feel better, take it slow.  If one side of your body is bothering you, it could be a stride issue or a shoe issue.  You can go to a running store and have them check the tread on your running shoes– if they can’t tell based on your treads, you can run for them and they’ll be able to see if you’re pronating.  

If your stride is fixed and you still want to help yourself out, building muscle is a good way to ward off some injury.  I spent a lot of days with the calf machine and leg press during my running days!

Most importantly, if you haven’t already, get fitted for running shoes.  Do not use them for other exercise, just for running.  

Post # 5
Member
78 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

I agree with PP, but I would not suggest stretching cold muscles (they tear easiest when cold). I would suggest doing a light warm up, or if you’re just jogging lightly anyways, stop after a couple minutes and then do your first stretch.  Everything else PP said I think it right on. Your muscles just sound super sore from not being worked as hard. It should go away little by little, but if you don’t notice the pain easing within the next week I would then think that possibly the muscle is torn. Keep up the good effort!!! 🙂

ETA: @bookworm88: Yes! I agree with you too. You posted while I was typing mine.

Post # 6
Member
672 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

My Fiance has run multiple marathons and gave his opinion on your situation:

 

I would not recommend stretching BEFORE running. Based off many recent studies, stretching for “Heavier runners, as well as those who had recently suffered an injury, were more likely to harm themselves”  Based off your information (BMI over 30) you basically need to get your body used to physical activities again.  Don’t try and force yourself to jog, schedule one night a week where you jog very lightly and the other two nights (if you are working out 3 times a week) focus on walking.  Then after your run or walk, stretch very lightly, this will lessen your chances of injury because you will be stretching muscles that have been warmed up.

 

As you progress you can begin to add more jogging days and you can develop a stretching routine as your muscles strengthen.  Don’t focus on the stretching part nearly as much as you are.  I have done multiple marathons and am training for my second ultramarathon and I never stretch my muscles. 

 

The poster above said it best, “Just relax, take it slow, and enjoy! You’ll get there!.”  

 

Keep up the great work!!

 

Post # 8
Member
3220 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

I wear Nike Structure Triax or Mizuno Waveriders– both normally run $100 a pair, though I got the Nikes at the outlet for a steal! Google search is showing some Mizunos around $50. I’m a fan of lightweight shoes with just enough support so I place my feet correctly. (I’m an overpronator!) I’d definitely try on a few pairs so you can know what you like, then you could check online for the best deal. 

I would search if you have a running store nearby– I really don’t feel qualified to give too specific advice re: shoes as I only know which ones work well for me?  Every running store I’ve been to has always had great employees who are super nice to new runners– you can be honest and say you’re looking to try out running as a hobby and don’t want to spend a lot, they should be able to find you something that won’t break the bank and at least let you try on different shoes so you can see what you like!

Post # 9
Member
2103 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

@bookworm88:  I agree with everything you said. Get thee to a running store and get properly fitted for a pair of running shoes. They really do make a difference.

Also, it takes time to build up to any level of exercise and running is especially hard on the body. Take it slow, warm up and stretch properly, and listen to your body. 

Lastly, WAY TO GO! Kudos to you for taking the initiative and making a positive change. Running is very addicting and I hope it brings you fulfillment and joy.  : )

Post # 10
Member
679 posts
Busy bee

Based on the update you just gave, I have some more advice – GET NEW SHOES.

Nike Shox notoriously aren’t that great for running, and if they are a few years old, even if you’ve only been walking around in them, chances are they’re pretty worn in the tread and the support areas. 

A good shoe meant for running is really important in avoiding injury, especially when you’re just starting out. It obviously can provide more cushioning and support, but it can help your stride to correct itself, too.

There is no one pair that is right for every runner since we all have different feet and strides. I tried tons of different shoes and ran exclusively in Nikes for years until they stopped making the model that worked for me. I then had to go through a trial-and-error period to find another good shoe and ended up with the Asics Gel Cumulus, which I’ve been in for 3 years. They better not stop making that one! 

I’m not sure where you live but I bet you have a local running store. Google it. We have Fleet Feet around here, maybe you do too, or something similar. The staff there will evaluate you and get you into a shoe that will work, and if it doesn’t, they’ve got a great return/exchange policy, so you can keep looking to find the perfect fit. 

I think it’s great you’re sticking with it and already recognize how good it is for you physically and socially. That’s what I love about running! It makes you feel good, plus there is so much camaraderie. 

Good luck! 

Post # 11
Member
454 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

I’m no runner, but as someone who has strained her calf, I believe you would know for sure if you injured your calf.  It was so bruised that it looked like I had fallen or something rammed into me, but it was just from the muscle tearing and bleeding internally.  I was in a boot for a few weeks until I could place my heel down on the ground again, and then I had several weeks of physical therapy.  It sounds like your calf is just stiff from this new activity!

I agree with others’ suggestions of doing a warm-up before running and stretching afterward.  A great calf stretch I learned is to stand on a step on the ball of one foot (hold onto the railing or wall to steady yourself), and drop your heel down below the level of the step.  It does a great job of calming the calf muscle after activity.

Post # 12
Member
3580 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

Don’t forget about proper nutrition.  Make sure you’re popping multivitamins, make sure you’re eating lots of veggies as they’re naturally anti-infammatory, and make sure you’re drinking plenty of water.  And it takes tiiiiiiiiime.  Don’t burn yourself out by getting so excited that you injur yourself.  (don’t worry, this is very common, we all get excited about new things!)  Google ‘couch to 5k’ and follow it religiously, do not go over. 

 

🙂

Post # 13
Member
2863 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Have you ever thought of doing C25K ( Couch to 5k)? Going from not doing much to throwing yourself into jogging 3 times a week is a lot. A lot of friends have used that to go from doing nothing to being able to jog then run and really liked it. It gave them a guide of how much they should be doing so they don’t do too much at once and then give up due to injury/burn out. 

Post # 14
Member
5977 posts
Bee Keeper

@WillyNilly: I couldn’t agree more!

Make sure you’re staying hydrated as well. When you do go for your jogs, be sure to stretch afterwards. I find that this helps the most as well.

As far as new sneakers, if there’s a running store near you, have them analyze your foot. Like a PP said, there is no one running shoe that fits all. It all depends on how much arch support your need and what your impact is on the pavement. So getting to a running store will help get the best fit shoe for your foot!

Post # 16
Member
209 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

I am in physician assistant school and I am doing a sports medicine rotation right now. The doctor that is precepting me always recommends 400mg of ibuprofen BEFORE working out. Take with a little food and it will help with any type of muscle soreness, achy joints or swelling when you are working out. 

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