Starting Up Advice

Hi guys,

I'm trying to start running properly so I can enter a few races and see how i do. However i'm finding it hard to start, i'm a fairly fit person, not overweight, not extra fit. I have played football most of my life and go to the gym 5 times a week.

However, i find when running, i barely get a mile into the run before i have so much lactic acid build-up or pain in my calves that i have to stop and walk, i can run again after about 5 minutes of walking but it just gets worse.

I have a decent pair of running shoes, i stretch before and after I run so im not sure what i'm doing wrong, this affects me both on treadmills and when running outdoors. 

Is this just because i'm not used to running? Again, any advice is greatly appreciated.

Many thanks,



  • You need to run slowly- "converstaional" pace, whilst you are building up the miles, also there's no great shame in starting off with a run/ walk strategy, but not running so hard that it takes you 5 minutes to recover at the end of each mile!

  • Agree with tricialitt - it sounds very much like you're setting off far too fast. Maybe try to think about starting out "jogging" rather than "running" - it's a subtle difference but it might help you to control your pace better. Also agree that run-walk (or jog-walk) is a perfectly legitimate strategy.

    Just one more comment - personally, I'd be careful about stretching before running - it's not great to stretch cold muscles. For me, some warm-up moves are good before setting off jogging/running but stretching is vital after the run to help guard against DOMS.

  • senidMsenidM ✭✭✭
    As above, you may be fit, but that doesn't mean fit for running. When I used to cross-train the footballers could run me into the ground over 100M, but over 1K+ they stood no chance at all.

    Go a lot slower, and build up the mileage. Insert a couple of runs a week, and then try a parkrun, but take it easy, its not a race, yet.image
  • Get yourself a new missus. 

    I do marathons in my sleep but an hour of football would leave me aching for a week. Takes time for your body to adjust. Stick with it.

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