Exercise! - beginner runner pains -- what to do when you can't run?

02-09-2008, 12:59 PM
Hi there! I'm starting a running routine, but my poor ol' bunion and shins are really starting to bother me so I'm thinking I should switch off to another more low-impact activity today to let them recover. The hard part is, though, what should I do? I don't belong to a gym, I run on my treadmill at home. I have tae bo videos but those are fairly high-impact as well. I have a step, but no step video workouts (would that be higher or lower impact?), and I have some 5- and 10-pound free weights. If I walked on my treadmill (hill climb), would that allow my body to recover, or would that just drag out the recovery process? Would I be better off walking outside on the road? I would love to know if other people have experienced similar problems when they were starting out running, and whether I can expect them to get better (or WORSE) as time goes on.

02-09-2008, 10:14 PM
Tiger, I was hoping you'd have an answer by now. Dang! I'm a beginning runner, too, so I don't know the answer to your question. Perhaps you could post this on the cool runners' thread, and the right people would see it.


02-09-2008, 11:28 PM
Hi Tiger, today is almost over so my answer will have no impact on how you solved your dilemma, but in the future I would just walk on days you are particularly sore, either outside or on the treadmill, doesn't matter. The impact of running takes your body awhile to adjust to, so make sure you don't push the pace too much. It is best to build up distance at a SLOW pace for the first couple months at least. Then, once you have a base and your body has adjusted to this new high impact activity, you can up the pace and start working on speed. Also, for your shins, try sitting in a chair and put your feet flat on the floor and lift your toes up toward your shins while keeping your heels on the ground. Do a few sets of that to build those muscles around the shin. Walking on your heels can also help. Enjoy your runs and try to stay injury free!

02-09-2008, 11:58 PM
Thanks for the great advice! I'm really glad to hear that my body will eventually adjust -- jogging seems like an activity that I can really stick with and I want to keep going (and going and going) with it. I actually did end up walking today, and I eventually put the incline up on my treadmill to the point that I felt that I was getting an equally challenging workout. I think I'll keep walking until I stop feeling sore, then try a couple more days of running, switching in a day of walking.

02-10-2008, 01:34 AM
Yeah, I've always just walked on days that I hurt too much to run, sometimes even walking hurt at first, but then I seem to feel better once I get warmed up a bit. Agree with jordan about exercising the shins too, when I get started after not running for a while and not being used to it, boy do my shins hurt. It gets better though! I've only been running on and off for a few weeks after not really running for a year, and already I can tell my shins (and other muscles) are getting a lot stronger. Hang in there! =0)

02-10-2008, 02:15 AM
Man I just about killed myself when I first started to run. I walked on my off days from running and if I was absolutely too sore I took a day off to be honest. You could always do hand weights or a stability ball on off days.

02-10-2008, 12:45 PM
Are you wearing running shoes? You need them even if you are on a treadmill. Some treadmills are better than others at absorbing the shock of running.. if you don't have the right shoes you will still have problems running outside, or even more.

also don't run every day, if you are beginner runner you should do 3 days a week or every other day with run/walk intervals .. the couch to 5k program is a good one.

02-10-2008, 09:10 PM
I think my shoes are pretty good! I bought them specifically for running with the help of the shop girl, though I didn't really get them fitted by a specialist. I did some more research about the shoes though, and I'm now trying a different lacing system for my foot with the problematic bunion. I'm also making a conscious effort not to pronate that foot while I'm on the treadmill, which in retrospect I realize I was doing to a terrible degree. Before I would always be veering off to one side, now I am careful to run straight ahead and not put extra pressure on the inside of my foot!

I tried out the shin exercises jordan suggested today, and I'm definitely going to keep going with them. I searched the internet and learned that doing them can also help me with shin splints, which is what happened to me when I tried to get into running a few years ago, so hopefully with the exercises I'll be able to avoid that problem this time!

02-11-2008, 12:12 AM
I just started running as well, and I get terrible pain in my shins! I bought dedicated running shoes, and I have finally made it where I run for 4 minutes straight, then walk for 3 minutes, then 4 more minutes of running..and continue the interval for 30 minutes ...however, I only run every other day, and the stretching is very very important! if your shins hurt too much, a walk on the treadmill with a high incline gives you a pretty good workout too, since it takes the pressure of the shins, and works the backs of your legs instead... I am having a hard time moving past the 4 minutes of continuous running, but I figure if I add it in slowly, it will get better. And if you continue with the stretching and adding in time slowly, it should get better for you!