34 year old that cont run

Hi,   For some reason I can not run. Its not for the lack of trying, I tried to start 4 years ago and have come across every problem since then, last night I failed (again) to do a 5k, a new issue of a pinching on the outside of my left foot below the ankle bone. The main issue I have is that as soon as my fitness is up I pick up an injury or niggle of some sort that stops me running for a week or more, then my fitness slumps back to the start again. Having sports asthma is not a help here.    When I started running I first noticed back problems on my lower left side, I started physio and after working with them for several months I went for cortisone injection almost a year after I started running, the doctor told me I had a total of 15 injections. I needed to have follow up physio for this back problem, this time rather than working on the pain we worked on building my core. Last summer I tore the ligaments on my right knee, the MRI said it was bad and possiable needed to have an opp. I had several sessions of physio and started to swim to recover from this.    In addition to the two major problems I have suffered with the following: Sprained ankles, Shin splints Score outer knee Tight under the knee cap  Pinching outer knee IT band Tight calf, groin & hamstring Clicky hip  Neck pain and of course breathing issues.   I have recorded most runs on apps so most of the data for the last 4 years is available for review. I try to run twice a week, plus I play astro 1 night and I try to get a cycle in too. I have done several fun runs such as hell and back, some 10k runs and two half marathons. I do not stretch before running, as I hound it led to more issues, instead I walk for a short period before running and start slow, this helps with my breathing too. In the past I have run stretching and not stretching, I have tried to run after using foam rollers, I have run with strapping on, I have run with depeat, I have taken pain killers prior to running. However long term nothing seams to work.    I want to run, but as you might imagine I am finding it a little frustrating. I have read the books, the shoes, the heart rate monitor, I have done the stretches and worked with the experts, but I am as likely to go out running on a 10k and return home after 1k with a issue (which has happened) as I am to come back after 20k problem free (which has happened)...................     ........................What, if any advice can you give me to keep me out the of the house before I hang up my running shoes?    Thanks,   Ger 


  • Run it slow, don't push it, just set out to complete. Everyone has niggles

  • Thanks Runnin Man,

    I go quite slow as it is, I read RichRoll's book "finding Ultra" he is all about the slow run. This worked well for my first half marathon, where I amied to do in in just over 2hrs. it was enjoyable and the training I did for it was perfect, but I still could not walk after it as my left knee locked up at about 3/4 way through.

    Would you sugest any streches or shoes, I can manage the niggles but the seezing up of joints and stabbing pain has made me want to throw in the towel.




  • Have you tried doing some strengthening exercises to build up your joints?  These are very helpful as they tend to help guard against niggly injuries.  You could also try some pilates to build up your core.

    I also notice your outlook seems to be very negative - you should maybe work on that a bit too, try to be more positive and maybe, without being rude, man up a bit? 

    Good luck.

  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    Sod the 'man up' attitude. I'd give 100% support to the OP for simply having a go at what can be quite a stressful activity.

    Not everyone can run. Its largely a genetic lottery. Look at Steve Way. Trained for three weeks and weighing 16 stone ran three hours for a marathon.

    I'd go for cycling or swimming myself if I was injury prone. It isn't always training mistakes.

  • Also-ranAlso-ran ✭✭✭

    Mr Smullen,

    I sense you are a little frustrated. I will offer advice, anecdote, suggestions where I can.

    1. Forget the 'man up' advice. That is lazy bullshit advice
    2. Learn to Walk before you can run
    3. Fun runs called To Hell and Back doesn't sound like fun
    4. Have keeping fit as your goal for 12 to 18 months. Don't put pressure on yourself  to have running as the main activity.

    I tried on and off over several years to get into running, mainly to help shift some weight. Anytime I tried I injured myself. So I walked, and I walked a lot, and by walking I mean a reasonably decent pace but not like those mincey walks they do at the Olympics.

    Over the course of a couple of years I wore out plenty of shoes, lost plenty of weight, and then decided to just start running. Everything felt easy and natural. Bloody marvellous.

    Now whilst you build up the walking you can do some higher intensity stuff in the pool, on your bike, rowing or whatever you fancy.

    Perhaps in my own case, I let running become the dominant activity for the next couple of years and my well hench highly tuned running machine of a body is now an old, saggy cloth cat, baggy, and a bit loose at the seams




  • My suggestion is. (and sorry if you have done all this before!)

    have a proper rest for a week or 2, just maybe walk. let things settle and recover

    increase your fitness for the next few weeks using low impact eg bike and swim only.

    get a gait analysis and check you are running in the right trainers.

    I know it sounds like a rediculous backward step but start again using a beginners training program, even go as far back as a couch to 5k to retrain the muscles and not overdo it. (i have done this myself following injury!)

    (not sure what your age is buti found Bruce Tulloh's running over 40 book to be excellent to follow for training programs)

    take up yoga for flexibility

    visit a different physio or better still an Osteo as they are a little more holistic. many running injuries come from problems in other areas.

    check your running style to make sure you are not overstriding, hunching shoulders, leaning forward from the hips, etc etc

    run 75% of your runs offroad

    and Chill Winston. . .image

  • sorry, like an idiot just realised your age is in the post title! image

  • Hi All,

    Thanks for all the advice. I had spent the last 2 months resting and just back walking followed by that disaster of a run on Monday night. I have booked an appointment with an osteo for tomorrow night and have found a chi running clinic. 

    Beth you were right about being negative, its difficult when dealing with 4 years of injury's. I have clocked up over 500 hours or running and not been able to complete a 5k is frustrating.


    I think it will be a case of "forget manning up, but do keep the chin up" 


    Thanks again,



  • I tried to man up, then I became a man down.

    Concentrating on hillwalking has helped me immensely, I feel it allowed my body to reset itself.

    That and corrective insoles image

  • See a sports physio for a postural assessment. The fact you are injuring and re-injuring yourself means something is not right with your posture and you need to work on fixing it. Best of luck.

  • mowzermowzer ✭✭✭

    I'm surprised that with all those injuries you've had time to race. You certainly won't have had time to build a strong, solid base. Do you have any problems with cycling or 'astro' (is that football?). If you're serious about running you're going to need lots of time and patience.

    I would suggest that you just walk for a few weeks building up to 5/6 miles 3 times per week. Then start walk 5mins, run 1 min on just one walk. When happy with that up it to 5 mins walk, 2 mins run until you're up to 5 mins walk, 5 mins run. Then introduce it into another walk, but keep one session each week walking steadily and perhaps introducing some hills. Very slowly build up from there. And all running should be slow - barely above walking pace. Rather like couch to 5k training but even slower and taking more time. Said you would need patience! If all is well you could start using heart rate training to build up a running base. I think you should be looking at about 6 months of building a solid base before thinking about going out and running a 5k. Running should also have a long term aim - like still being able to run in 30 years time!!

    Yoga, pilates or something like the Alexander technique might also be useful.

    Long term yes, but build that base slowly and it will last you for ever and enable you to go on to longer or faster things in the future. And give you time to enjoy your family life too. (I was on an organised walk yesterday and one boy of about 8 years said 'I like walking better than anything'.)

    Good luck

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