Runners... how do you stay healthy?

  1. Hope I can get some insight here. I started running about four months ago and absolutely became addicted! So much so that I increased my mileage too quickly (5 miles was my maximum, usually alternate between 2 miles and 4 miles daily, 6-7 days per week) and have injured myself. First I had tendonitis in my right foot. I recovered, started running again - 23 miles the first week back (loved it!) - then the shin splints hit my left leg. REALLY painful! I have an elastic ace bandage on the ankle and am taking Advil religiously.

    Yesterday my stationary recumbent bicycle was delivered, so I am going to cross train with it - instead of trying to run every day (when I get healthy, that is). My plan is to alternate daily between the bike and the treadmill, and run no more than 4 miles on the treadmill - seems like when I go further than that I get hurt!

    Both the treadmill and the bicycle are gym quality (could have had a couple additional Chanel handbags for what these set me back!) so I don't believe the treadmill is the cause of my injuries.

    Anybody have any similar experiences and or health/training tips to share? TIA!

    PS I should add that I am not overweight (could lose 5 pounds, though!) and am 40+. Haven't worked out much over the last few years but have always walked 3-4 days per week. Former avid tennis player (in my before kids days!).
     
  2. Good for you!!! Running is such a great form of athleticism! I used to run obsessively. I ran the Marine Corps Marathon, the Army 1/2 Marathon and just about every 10k that came to town. I did it for almost ten years. I can't say exactly why I stopped, but I did (and wish I didn't!).

    IMO shin splints eventually go away on their own once your body hardens up to them. They are horribly painful, I agree, but working through them is what cured me. In fact, until I read your post, I had completely forgotten about them. Blisters side-lined me, though. Terrible, debilitating blisters. I learned to wear two pairs of socks and my skin toughened up eventually.

    The cross training you are doing with your bike is great! I actually went on a 12 mile ride today. I dance and stretch almost every other day of the week. And I walk one of my dogs two miles every day.

    I'm glad you're happy and healthy and active. The physical ailments that we experience are all part of the package, I think. I hope you continue to experience the joy that running can bring you.
     
  3. I'm not really a runner but a brisk walker and a few years ago I walked 5 miles a day for a few months in my hilly neighborhood and voila - 35 lbs gone! Admittedly some of it has crept back so I am now recommitted to this. An outside walk does SO much more for me than treadmill or elliptical at the gym.

    I too had a problem with shinsplints but working through them as leelee mentioned helped me too. Now I'm dealing with blisters - ugh. I had one that was so bad on the back part of my ankle today I was actually bleeding through my sock onto my shoe (yuck!) and didn't know it because it didn't hurt!

    I think the variety you're doing is the best way to go to keep the muscles from getting used to anything in particular. I also play (ice) hockey a couple nights a week which uses completely different muscles and is part of the reason I'm concerned about blisters...they're painful in skates, trust me!
     
  4. Pursegrrrl, please be careful with your blisters! They can get infected and oh, what a problem that can be! I know from experience, unfortunately. I'm happy to hear you've started your daily walking again! I actually remember your posting this in another thread and I think it's wonderful! My friend wraps her feet in duct (sp?) tape and that prevents blisters on her feet. I guess we each have to find our own individual solutions, but please be careful! And, good for you for walking!!!!!
     
  5. ^^ thanks, I will keep an eye on them, leelee! I was shocked today when I discovered the blood, yikes. This is part of the reason I am mostly DIY with pedicures this summer...my feet get so trashed with walking and skating and the polish never lasts long, plus the blisters, egad.

    Good for you too!! Cheers!
     
  6. I am running for about the same time you are - ran my first 5k in June with about a month's prep, and I'm in the same boat. Started running too fast and I think I have plantar fascilitis. : ( I just ordered some of those MBT shoes so that I can walk a bit and maybe strengthen my feet. Started Yoga on Thursdays. You're inspiring me to get on the stationary bike today... ever since I started running, I find all other cardio boring. : ) LOL
     
  7. Thanks to all for your positive responses! I am finding the recumbent bike is helping and am also stretching twice a day! Hope everybody stays fit and healthy! See you in the 'so... how did you move today' thread! :heart:
     
  8. gwen10

    Cross-training will definitely help with preventing injuries. Stretching is also goo. I should take this advice as well as I am a little obsessed with running myself and have been injured at times. I was out for almost a year with a tear to a tendon in my foot (ignored increasing tendonitis as I never really had enough pain to make me stop, us runners aren't always so good at listening to our bodies sometimes)

    I would also recommend that you make sure you are running in the proper sneakers. Definitely worth the money to get a great pair and to buy from a running store that can analyze your gait and how you have worn your previous shoes. It can make a work of differences. So can orthotics if you have the need like me. I absolutely could not run without them.

    Pursegrrl- for blisters I would recommend coating your feet in vaseline before you skate or run. Might not be great for walking though. I would think I would not like the feeling if just walking. Doesn't bother me when running and actually does a great job moisterizing too.
     
  9. Thanks for that tip! I'm also going to get new socks as they are getting a little threadbare in the back heel area, duh, no wonder I'm getting blisters there.

    Thanks!!
     
  10. forgot about socks. they can make a huge difference too.
     
  11. When you're injured, do some other form of cross-training, like biking, which you are already doing.....until you feel strong enough, but when you start running again, take it slow.....
    I ran the NYC marathon in 2004 and I know what it's like to be injured from running, so I totally empathize!!
     
  12. I was a runner for over 20 years. I had to stop because of bone spurs and knee problems.

    Now I walk the distance I used to run.

    I do miss running though.
     
  13. sorry double post please read below
     
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  15. Proper shoes are a must. Like mentioned, go to a running store that sells shoes and they should be able to evaluate your stride and recommend a shoe based on that. Stretching too...even though I rarely stretch.

    Aside from that, just slow down a bit. You have to let your body heal or else you'll forever be injured to some extent. I've currently been out of the gym, for almost a month now, cause I finally realized that the tendinitis in my arm wouldn't heal while doing 100 lb barbell curls. And it sucks...I want to get back in there and lift something heavy! Still, even when I do get back in there, I have to be disciplined and start slowly with light weights, then work my way back to where I was. From there, I can go farther than when I stopped.
    Just like you have to do. When you get splints, take a few days off to heal, then scale back your mileage a bit and scale back your running frequency so you have time between runs to heal. As long as you're feeling ok, start adding the mileage back on...then the frequency until you're back on track....pun intended!