Hip Problems

My first post.  I started training the middle of January and originally it was just a few km on the treadmill and some core training.  This has now progressed to 5k on the treadmill, 10k on the bike and 3k on the arm bike (3 times per week) to try to replicate the deamds of a chairty event I am participating in at the end of May.  All is well when I run at the gym and to now I have now done three 6 mile runs outdoor (road).  My first run was 1hr 24 secs, second was 56min 16 secs and third was 53 mins 53 secs.  I feel fine when I am running but about an hour after I finish I have painful hips on either side which lasts for around two days.  This prevents me doing any further running in this time.  I do not get this from running on the treadmill although I appreciate that I am only running for around 25 mins and this 'surface' is more forgiving than the road.  I bought my running shoes from an excellent shop where they recorded my run on a treadmill before making a recommendation and the shoes themselves appear very comfortable and supportive.  I was measured as a neutral runner.

I have never had problems with my hips throughout playing football for over 30 years.  Is it usual to have these issues when starting road running?  If not is there something that I can do to prevent this or alleviate the pain after the run?

Any advice from experienced runners would be very much appreciated. 


  • are you heel striking when you land, eg is the first part of your foot to come into contact with the ground your heel? how is your running technique - is your pelvis stable or shifting with your strides?

    where is the pain exactly, is it high up, on the hip joint, or slightly lower on the outside of the upper thigh?

  • I actually think that I am doing this.  When I chose my running shoes I asked about my technique and was told that it looked ok.  The PT at the gym who is advising me confirmed this as I thought that it may be technique when I first had the pain.  I try to keep my pelvis stable though when I see experienced runners either at the gym or outdoors, I feel that they appear to run much more efficiently than I do.  I do not feel any pain in my hip whilst running though my groin is pretty tight by the time I finish.

     The pain is high up on the thigh level with the hip joint on each side.  It is extremely sore for a couple of days then eases to allow me to exercise again.

     There is a running club that meets where I train and was thinking about joining them to get some advice.  Would this be something that you would recommend?

    Thank you for your response.

  • Well, joining a club will definitely let you meet loads of like-minded running people who will probably be able to give you heaps of advice. Whether or not any of it will actually be correct of course is another matter! Most people will only be able to tell you what problems they've experienced and how they sorted it out, so unless their problems are the same as yours, it's best taken as anecdotal chit-chat and not professional advice! 

    As of course is what I'm going to say now, but anyway...

    You say you run 5K on the treadmill without pain and only suffer after running outdoors, but you also say that your outdoor runs are 6 miles, i.e. pretty much double the distance you've been doing on the treadmill. if I were you, I'd try running 10K on the treadmill and 5K outdoors a couple of times. (Not at the same time of course!) Just to figure out whether it's the surface or just the increased distance that's the actual cause. Might be that you're just feeling normal aches and pains caused by increasing your distance. 

    I think I'd also take my shoes back to the shop where I bought them, or to another specialist running shop, and ask that they check the soles for any signs of unusual wear on the treads. This might provide a clue as to where the pain is coming from. They might be comfy, but just not supporting your feet in the right way, and any half decent running shoe fitter will be able to tell if that's the case by looking at the wear pattern on the soles of the shoes. 

  • yes could be a good move to join a running club - or see if there is a parkrun near you?

    a second opinion might prove useful too. 

    As the pain eases after a couple of days, it sounds as though it could be muscular, one of the muscles on the outside of the thigh is being overworked? (just a possibility)
    My guess (and its just a guess you understand) is that if you are heel striking (if that is what you meant when you say that is what you are doing?) then you may be over striding / over extending leg and so over using the relevent thigh muscles? 

    please understand this is just a possibility as i am no expert! image 

  • I am running tomorrow night and will run half of my usual 6 mile distance to see if I have the same problem.  I can also increase the distance on the treadmill as a test exercise though to be honest I find it dull at even 5km!!  I currently use the treadmill for speed and although the distance is only half of the outdoor run, the intensity of the run is significantly higher.

    I will go back to the shop with the shoes though to see what they can gleam from the treads.

    Again, apprecaite your advice

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