Platypus' Beginners Guide to Running

Soldato
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Only two weeks till new year, still doubtful I'll be able to start running in Jan.

Sorry to hear that. Still the ankle?

Took me a lot longer than I expected. All I could suggest was to try and follow to Ben Parkes recovery plan which was shared on here. Just trying to run for 30 seconds at a time and walk 10 mins and then slowly build up.
I would say that helped me a lot as without it I would likely have done too much too soon.
 
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Need a bit of advice on knee pain please.

I've been unfit and a little overweight for the last five years (5'11 and 14 stone). Decided to start running a month ago and have been out three mornings a week before work doing Couch to 5K. I'm happy with the plan and my progress so far, but rather surprisingly I'm not being limited by my stamina, but rather pain in my knees. I do a bit of stretching before and after each run and a 5 minute brisk walk to warm up and down, but this seems to make no difference for the first burst of my morning run - my knees are always sore from pretty much the first running step. It is not agonising pain, and I push through. It's also present in both knees, which makes me think it's something I'm doing wrong/something I need to improve rather than an injury. The pain subsides as I get through my run until it's practically unnoticeable on the last stretch, where I can push myself further and harder without issue.

Is this normal for a beginner runner? Any advice to help me move beyond this? Quite annoying!
 
Soldato
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It’s not really normal. Few things I’d look at

Trainers - A decent pair of trainers can fix a lot of niggles.
Stride - Try taking faster/shorter strides. It can be easy to overstride early on which causes a lot of stress in the knee.

The only other thing really is to see a physio. Knee pain is usually caused by issues elsewhere either hamstring, hip or glutes so they’d be able to offer advise as to the cause. Generally linked to the static nature of most peoples lives these days.

How was your lifestyle before running? Did you do much activity?
 
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Thanks @Martynt74 - phsyio is an option on NHS but not privately, and I'd therefore imagine wouldn't be a fast solution. I have an okay pair of running shoes with adequate padding but I do think that some of issue is the shock to the knee with each step - I might be wrong.

My lifestyle has been very sedentary. Throughout my life I've had the odd three months of gym membership and weight training, a few swims here and there, a game or two of squash a year and a bit of walking. 95% of my waking time has been sat in front of a computer screen without a doubt. I imagine I'm suffering for that now, but I'm only early 30's so would hope that there's nothing I can't straighten out with enough effort.
 
Soldato
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It's a tricky one with running shoes as even a £150 top of the range pair, if not suitable for you might be worse for you vs a £30 pair which are more suited to your gait. The only real solution is gait analysis but even then it's not a 100% certainty as you're at the mercy of how good the guy in the shop is.

It sounds like your body is probably just struggling under the higher forces on joints particularly with being so sedentary, from a sheer weight point of view you're not hugely overweight so it's not like that should be a big factor (for reference i'm >16 stone and 6'3).

It might be worth spending some time doing stuff like Yoga/Pilates on youtube to aid general mobility which will transition well into running. Also throw in some bodyweight squats to try and strengthen your knees and some hip flexor stretches. I'd hazard a guess that tight hip flexors/weak glutes will be the main issue due to prolonged sitting so things like clamshells/leg bridges should help a lot. Just make sure you focus on form and take things slow.
 
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Appreciate the advice pal. Will incorporate some bodyweight exercises and YouTube Pilates and see if I notice any improvement over the next few weeks!
 
Soldato
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No worries at all. Let us know how you get on :)

Also don't forget to try shorter strides. You may end up feeling like you're just shuffling rather than "running", but it can really reduce the impact forces because everything is in line.
 
Soldato
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Sorry to hear that. Still the ankle?

Took me a lot longer than I expected. All I could suggest was to try and follow to Ben Parkes recovery plan which was shared on here. Just trying to run for 30 seconds at a time and walk 10 mins and then slowly build up.
I would say that helped me a lot as without it I would likely have done too much too soon.

Yeah looking around the internet, it was somewhere between grade 2 and 3, had the full bruising and swelling but could put weight on it so probably no full ligament tear, reckon looking at 6 weeks minimum recovery.

Being heavy and having a relatively active job isn't helpful either to the cause so just need that patience thing that I've never had.
 
Soldato
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Yeah, an active job can't help. I'm quite lucky in that i was literally just sat at a desk with the ankle elevated for a while.

Weird niggle in my left hamstring. When i run it feels really tight, but then if i attack the spot with a foam roller/massage gun there's nothing. I'd be expecting to be in agony with how it feels running. Was meant to do some strides today but sacked them off after 1.

Should be interesting seeing how i get on tomorrow. 22 mile hilly run and it was the end of August when i last managed over 15 when i did a 16 mile run and since then i've only gone over 10 twice. Both of those being in the last 2 weekends. Last one over 20 was probably the Grisedale marathon back in July.
 

hux

hux

Soldato
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Personally I'd give the Hoka Clifton 8 a look, super comfy shoes and rather light means they're more fun than expected.
Good run tonight. Took on board the suggestion to run shorter, so did 7.5 miles at a pretty decent but comfortable pace.
Loved it, well all except the warm up as I wanted to go.
And it means that my saucony speed 2 that I don't get on with are now great, as anything longer gives me chronic runners toe.
Lovely moonlit evening means no lighting needed, so went full stealth mode in black.
Felt amazing having the whole trail to myself.

Anyway great run, will be out again tomorrow and probably Sunday. Only problem now is having to buy more gear.
 
Soldato
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Just went for 5k in t-shirt and running tights , dang it was cold, arms still stinging and hour later. Good though.
 
Soldato
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Need a bit of advice on knee pain please.

I've been unfit and a little overweight for the last five years (5'11 and 14 stone). Decided to start running a month ago and have been out three mornings a week before work doing Couch to 5K. I'm happy with the plan and my progress so far, but rather surprisingly I'm not being limited by my stamina, but rather pain in my knees. I do a bit of stretching before and after each run and a 5 minute brisk walk to warm up and down, but this seems to make no difference for the first burst of my morning run - my knees are always sore from pretty much the first running step. It is not agonising pain, and I push through. It's also present in both knees, which makes me think it's something I'm doing wrong/something I need to improve rather than an injury. The pain subsides as I get through my run until it's practically unnoticeable on the last stretch, where I can push myself further and harder without issue.

Is this normal for a beginner runner? Any advice to help me move beyond this? Quite annoying!

Your unconditioned, your extra weight doesn't help but the real problem is your muscles are weak, calf, hamstring etc so they're not supporting you, also your tendons and ligaments will have contracted over time due to lack of use. Try doing squats or lunges everyday.
 

hux

hux

Soldato
Joined
9 Dec 2009
Posts
2,690
Location
Dogbin
Need a bit of advice on knee pain please.

I've been unfit and a little overweight for the last five years (5'11 and 14 stone). Decided to start running a month ago and have been out three mornings a week before work doing Couch to 5K. I'm happy with the plan and my progress so far, but rather surprisingly I'm not being limited by my stamina, but rather pain in my knees. I do a bit of stretching before and after each run and a 5 minute brisk walk to warm up and down, but this seems to make no difference for the first burst of my morning run - my knees are always sore from pretty much the first running step. It is not agonising pain, and I push through. It's also present in both knees, which makes me think it's something I'm doing wrong/something I need to improve rather than an injury. The pain subsides as I get through my run until it's practically unnoticeable on the last stretch, where I can push myself further and harder without issue.

Is this normal for a beginner runner? Any advice to help me move beyond this? Quite annoying!

Yes all perfectly normal, I ached like you wouldn't believe for the first six or so months
and after that I'd have issues with tendons and such.

Only two years in do I now feel like an actual runner.
I too would ache for a good 3-4 miles, only then could I open up the throttle.

Running is a long game, takes years to get good at it.
 
Soldato
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So ran about 1km of my 5km walk yesterday, mainly on flat sections as ankle mobility still quite shot, down and particularly up bits bring a lot of pain.

Had another 6km walk today and don't seem to be feeling any bad pain from trying to run. Maybe a few weeks and I can actually return to very light and flat jogs while ankle is doing its healing thing. Might just try doing daily 3km jogs around the house, all asphalt so no danger of rolling it anymore.
 
Soldato
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Well my long run fell over completely. Had created a brilliant route over some local fells, yet on the drive there the fog was so thick i could barely see 100m in front of me!

The first few miles were superb, and running on trails i already knew. We'd also climbed above the fog and the sun was bright and sky blue. Then i missed a slight turn and ended up with around a 1 mile road section. Not an issue in itself as the views were still pretty spectacular. We then hit a reservoir and this is where things went wrong. The GPX map on my watch hadn't loaded correctly but i didn't know at this point. So it was directing us across a field, i was blindly following it and we just kept coming to a barbed wire fence with no "path" in sight, we skirted around the field a bit and picked up the path. Running along, it seemed i was always "off" the gpx line on my watch, so we kind of did our best, then came to a road crossing and ended up in the wrong direction.

At this point i realised the watch was wrong. I'd made the route on Strava so pulled my phone out and could see where we were supposed to go. The watch was missing various points, so just plotting a straight line between the points it had and not all the small accurate plots of an actual route.

We knew roughly the direction we wanted as could see Darwen moor in the distance and decided to cut through a forest. I climbed over the stile and landed awkwardly. My ankle turned over and i thought it had destroyed itself again. I've gone over on it a few times over the last few weeks which have been really painful, but then subsided. This felt different and i feared the worst. At this point we're a minimum of 5 miles to the car and with no proper idea how to get back. I walked along a bit and the pain subsided. We then came upon a load of trees which had fallen down completely cutting off any obvious path. I rested against one and moved my foot around in circles which reassured me it wasn't too bad. No swelling at this point and movement was "ok". We cut off across a bit of moorland and i started a jog again. Still being very worried because it hurt and i couldn't see where i was running as the grass was around 3ft high and blocking any sight i had.

Came back to another road and followed that a while and my watch had us turning left, i could see an actual trail here so followed that, only to come to a dead end after half a mile with no other options. Checked my phone and it had messed up again, turned back round, followed the road around 400m and picked up the right trail. Followed this up to Darwen moor and i knew where i was going. Ankle was feeling ok at this point which was good as the ground was very bumpy and slippy.

Got to the top of the moor around 13 miles and my mate was struggling. He's normally a much better runner than me and runs around a 1:25 half, however he had had his covid booster the day before and i think going over 2 hours had wiped him out. Luckily i'd been aware of this and we did the route in reverse. This gave a lot of options to cut the route short as it was very zig-zaggy at this point and we headed straight to the car which was only around a 1 mile downhill section to finish with around 15 miles. Probably got the best as another 7 miles and factoring in the extra being lost time meant that i'd have been pushing it for time.

Fitness wise i felt good and i did consider doing another 3-4 miles once back at the car, but sense wise i knew i'd just done ~8 miles on an injured ankle and wanted to get home and check on it. Also it was the first outing in the new trainers. There was a little rubbing but overall they felt comfy and more that enough cushioning for those road sections we had.



Onto today and ~48hrs recovery. I can walk ok, however twisting my ankle with weight causes pain so it's definitely a light sprain. Luckily this is an easy-ish week in the training plan, so just going to take it easy and get back to icing it often and hopefully it'll be a quick recovery.
 
Soldato
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Also my Hoka Rincons have arrived. I ordered direct from Hoka as they give that 30 day return window where you can even get out for a few runs. They don't initially feel "too" tight and can't believe how light they are. I always go for fairly heavily cushioned/longer distance trainers and accept they're going to be heavy, but these are mental.
 
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I had Rincon 2's and they wore out after 300 km due to the lack of rubber on the sole. The Rincon 3 does look better in this regard though. Also I think they were also way too narrow in the toe box for me. They gave me lots of discomfort on the medial part of my big toe and ball of my foot. They didn't feel too tight but I think my foot was falling off the side of the insole when running.

They promise so much being as light as they are, but I didn't find them all that fun to run in. The Hoka EVA foam feels a bit dead compared to the newer foams such as Nike's Zoom X or New Balance's FuelCell. But Hoka's seem to work for some people and not for others so I hope you get on ok with your Rincons. Mine were a bit of a disaster!

BTW: If you don't mind the awful colour scheme, these are a bargain at the minute.
 
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