Newbie in need of some advice


 I'm new to running and I'm having some teething problems that I'm hoping I can get some advice with.

Some background info: I'm 25, 6ft (and a half inch!) and currently weighing in at ~135kg.  

For my size, I would say that I'm actually reasonably fit - I've been working on my weight via the Gym (and healthy eating!) over the last 4 or so months, and typically go for a 1.5 - 2 hour workout every other day (both cardio and weights). Overall im very happy with the progress I'm making fat-loss wise.

Ive recently decided that I want to "get back into running". The last time I "ran" was really back in primary school where I did a fair amount of cross country (and to an extent competed). 

I started jog/walking at the gym (treadmill, obviously) - and completed a 5km Jog/walk in about 40 mins on my second run.

I also experimented running 5km in 200m stints, broken up with a quick set of weights after each 200m (and getting back on the same treadmill before it reset the stats).

On Saturday I ran outside for the first time, and managed 5.6km of run/walking (no idea on time, but it wasn't quick). 

I'm having no major problems while running, I'm pushing and getting very out of breath, and as expected my legs get heavy and ache towards the end of my planned route. 

The issue I'm having is the severe pain I'm getting in the days following. Now, I expect some aches, and from pushing weights I know (and quite like) muscle aches after a hard gym session - but this is different. I'm getting a lot of sharp pain in around the muscles towards my ankles, shooting up my calves - to about half way up my lower leg. Its Wednesday now, and its very painful to simply walk - I've done no running since Saturday.

I've done some reading regarding running shoes, and realise I definately need to get some proper shoes sorted ASAP (I'm not going out again until I have!) - But I'm very confused. Unfortunately I cannot easily make it to anywhere that can analyse my gait properly - and was hoping to make an informed purchase online... From the information Ive read on this, and other websites I'm left entirely unsure of my actual needs. 

My feet are flat as pancakes, which would suggest I'm overpronated and need motion control/stability shoes, however the wear pattern on both my current and previous pair of trainers (Both Running "Style" Adidas trainers) suggests that I underpronate. I'm not really sure if my shoes are pushing my feet out that way, or if I'm overcompensating for the overpronation or what, but it leaves me a little unsure of what to buy.

I would need to take time off work to get to a running shop to get checked out - and that isnt really an option at the moment image  Is there a "safe" option?

The other thing that I'm aware of is that because of my weight this pain may continue with even with good shoes. I'm fortunate in the fact that my knees are good, and my leg are generally quite strong (180kg leg press, 60kg leg extension and leg curls at 3x10 are in my gym routine) - but is there anything else/specific I can do at the gym to help strengthen the muscles most at risk of injury for very heavy runners? I've tried to look around online,  but the information is sparse at best and what most consider "heavy" is below what im aiming to achieve long term!

Once im back on my feet again I'm planning on going back and looking at C25k - in the meantime im really restricted to non impact gym work until I can get suitable footware sorted image


I'd greatly appreciate any advice you can offer!


  • morning Will,

    i'm sure someone will be along soon with more knmowledge than me, but as far as the pain in your legs is concerned, are you having a good long stretch after your runs? it's really important and if you're pushing hard whilst running, even more so. a simple google search will show you how to do it properly.

    as for shoes, i don't know that there really is a way around it, other than getting to a sports shop that does gait analysis

  • Hi Will, running outside is different from running in the gym. Despite the fact that you work out and run on a treadmill, you are probably using muscles in a way you havent before!
    You have tried to run the same distance on your first run outside as you do in the gym and your body is finding it much harder work. I would say drop the distance slightly to start with for the first couple weeks and then build back up again.

    Make sure you are not overstriding as well as this can put more strain on the calf muscles and achilles.

    just because you are flat footed as well does not necessarily mean you overpronate (i know the two sometimes go together but they dont always have to)
    But it would do no harm to get a gait analysis done.

    Ice, gently stretch and massage the calf muscles and you may find that it eases in a few days.

  • Sofaboy:  I have been doing some stretching after running, but nothing overly scientific - ill be sure to check out some proper techniques.

    Max's Mum: I get the same pain after run/walking in the gym, but its worse this time after the outdoor run/walk (I guess as you say, its harder!) - ill give the ice and stetch/massaging a go this evening - the pain seems to be getting progressivly worse day on day rather than better)

    Thanks guys image 

  • Will, if the pain is getting worse not better then you should probably rest up for a few days to give the muscles and tendons a chance to recover. And when i say rest, its probably better to do nothing more than walk, no gym work, no stretching, no running.
    Then start again gently and build up slowly.
    definitely check out stretching techniques for reference though, BUT dont overdo the stretching as sometimes it can make it worse.
    Oh, and get your running technique/gait checked. image

  • i wouldn't worry about your pace for the moment. in fact i would focus on "time on your feet" and try to keep that as low impact as possble. if you live near a trail or a park run on that, rather than tarmac. at 20stone you risk joint injuries if you spend time pounding the pavement. I'm 11st and whenever i have the option i'll run on softer, more forgiving ground to save my knees and ankles. you're doing the right thing by buliding up slowly, just don't be too keen to break any records just yet. focus on regular, low impact exercise to bring your weight down and that alone will make the effort easier and the pace increase.

  • Take a break from training until the pain has gone.  See a doctor if it persists though - better to be safe than sorry!

    Running is great for losing weight but at 135kgs, you're going to be putting a lot of stress on you joints by pounding the pavements.  You mentioned that you had done some shorter runs on the treadmill without any issues so you might be better off using that for the time being.  The treadmill puts a lot less stress on your body - I use them for my 'rest day' runs.  Also consider using other CV-focused equipment such as cross trainers that don't put as much stress on your joints.

    The right shoes are important too and it shouldn't be too much of a hassle to get your gait analysis done - most places are open at the weekends.


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