Hello and suggestions welcome?

Hello Runners,

I think I might be one too much to my own surprise!

I am 42 years old and was 16 stone in weight and eating a lot of junk. I am fatter than I have ever been and generally through life have eaten better and done more. Except for smoking which I stopped 6 years ago. I have had a rather bad year with stress that led to me being mildly depressed.

Self help fix required!

About a month ago I bought a pair of running shoes and downloaded a phone app (http://www.felttip.com/run10k/) and have been swimming (usually a mile) on alternate days with the 3 days a week running/walking schedule that this suggests.

I have also gone back to eating properly and am now half a stone lighter, losing weight and feeling good. I live in the middle of nowhere so runs involve birds/deer/countryside/highlands of Scotland as well as rain/snow/pitch dark/highlands of Scotland. I have thusfar mostly been running first thing in the morning and it makes me feel very up for the rest of the day. I believe I am hooked and I can't believe myself how much I have been looking forward to getting up at the crack of dawn and going out in the cold.

Currently at the stage of running/walking for an equal amount of time in the schedule.

I have some queries that some of you hopefully might be able to help with though.

I am finding my knees/hips hurt sometimes and my legs are almost permanently achy. Kind of dull achy and have often felt the same for a few days if I go on long hillwalking trips in the past. I am hoping this will generally go away as I get fitter for running and also as I lose weight and take pressure off my joints but I am concerned that I dont hurt myself. I realise each person is different but any general rules of thumb to help?

On top of the above I was away last weekend in the car - 2 ten hour car journeys in the space of a weekend and my legs feel terrible today to the point I took some ibuprofen this morning - sore, stiff, sore knees, twinges etc. I am hoping that a few lengths in the pool later will loosen me up again but it's freaked me out a wee bit and I wondered if anyone else had found similar symptoms after long drives? I am due to go for a run tomorrow morning and I want to go ahead - any reason not to?

Sorry - one last thing - I am seeing lots of conflicting advice about warm ups - do stretches before and after, don't do stretches just walk for a while before starting to run and stretch afterwards, do warm up routines then stretches etc. All of the above.....

What advice would people give me - particularly as the winter progresses and I will be going out ealry AM into sub zero temperatures. I am looking to have a routine I can replicate each time before leaving the house - the phone app gets me to walk for 5 mins beofr the program starts - is that sufficient?

Any other general handy hints or tips.

Thanks very much everyone - reading the threads on here is helping with my enthusiasm for the whole thing!



  • stutyrstutyr ✭✭✭

    Hi Huff N Puff, and welcome to the forums.

    Achy legs aren't unusual as your muscles are adapting to the new demands put upon them.  I wish I could say it'll disappear but I had a couple of achy days per week for a couple of years whilst training from nothing to marathon, and I'm going through it again as I build back up in my return from injury.  As long as its just a dull ache that doesn't interfere with movement you should be OK, but if you get any joint pain that persists after you run you might want to ease up.

    The car journey stiffness isn't something I've come across and maybe a warning sign.  Your legs should loosen up when you start to run tomorrow - if the aching doesn't subside (or even worse, increases) then I'd suggest you stop running and walk home, and rest until your legs feel better.  I wouldn't run if you've taken pain killers as it could mask some warning pains and lead to injury. 

    With regard to stretching the advice seems to be changing, and currently most advice is not to do any stretching prior to running when your muscles are cold, but stretching after a run (when muscles are warm) may be beneficial.  Your 5 min walk is a good warm up, and should be brisk enough to raise your heart rate and make your breathing a bit heavier than normal (but not so heavy that you can't talk!)

  • Thanks for replying Stutyr

  • Hi Huff'n'puff, 

    Sounds like you are indeed a runner ... and an addicted one at that image

    I don't think the achey legs are a worrying sign in themselves. My kid sister is a physio and suggests with dull pains you can continue running if it is up to 3 out of 10 (if you are rating your pain from 0 being none to 10 being the most painful imaginable) However, this is just advice given in general conversation not a professional consultation.

    I'd suggest it may be worth an extra rest day in the short term if it's bothering you but I think you'll probably adapt pretty quickly. I think stutyr might have been a bit unlucky too, aching for a couple of years sounds a bit extreme; I certainly didn't ache for more than a few weeks unless I increased the distance or speed too quickly. 

    It sounds like what you are doing is brilliant; I think your cross training stuff sounds really good to stay fit without risking injury. 

    I don't stretch before I run but I do try to do it afterwards, I always hated it so I've trained myself to see it as the reward for running.

    I agree that your legs should loosen up as you run but if not then walking home and having a rest day makes sense.  

    As for running when it's cold in themornings, you might find it useful to run with a Buff (or similar) over your mouth to warm the air as you breath in. http://www.buffwear.co.uk/index.php?route=common/home

    I find running ridiculously helpful for depression, well done for being proactive and seizing control image 

  • Thanks SOLB. I agree - I have been finding running (and swimming) make me feel considerably better both physically and mentally and mostly the achy legs are quite positive.

    I shall take both your advice and see how I get on in the morning...



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