Exercise! - Beginner runner Needs Advice Please Help !!!

11-20-2008, 05:23 AM
HI , Im hoping all you experienced runner can help me.

Ive started running, not far but i do the whole 'scout pace' thing or run / walk / run.

Problem is after a few minutes my calf muscle literally seize. They go rock solid and the outside of my leg from the ankle up becomes uncomfortable when i walk ????

The 1st time we went this didnt happen, but the 2nd & 3rd it has, this morning my calks still hurt a little.

Now ive invested in proper running shoes, so i am not looking for an excuse to give up. I do strech before we go running. I know im very overweight so i dont expect running to be easy.

Is this just something i have to run through and it will get easier? Is there a particular streach or exercise i can do to ease the pain?

I would really appreciate your advice and words of wisdom.

11-20-2008, 06:55 AM
Amyjade -- do you experience the same symptoms when walking? Or only when you run? My sister has experienced a similar issue, but for her it is a problem when walking for any distance too. It seems to be circulation-related, and it is something that she continues to struggle with. So her answer is to switch to the elliptical machine for her cardio workouts.

If you have properly fitting shoes, and this is a problem that you are only experiencing when running, then maybe your legs just aren't quite ready for the higher impact that you experience with running. Brisk walking is a great exercise, you can get your heart rate up and get all of the good benefits of a cardio workout. So, one thought is to just stick with walking for now and give your legs a chance to strengthen more? You can try the jogging intervals again later on. I would NOT run through the pain/cramping, that will do you more harm than good, IMHO.

I would also continue the regular stretching exercises, that is very important. And to build up your leg muscle strength you can do lunges, squats, calf raises, things like that. You can build up to running over time, I'm sure! It may just take some time and patience.

Just my 2 cents!

11-20-2008, 09:36 AM
Amy Jade - Please try out the C25K! (Couch to 5K) I LOVE IT! I think the website is coolrunners.com .

But MBN is right. You might not be ready for running yet. Your calves probably are not used to that kind of movement and it is REALLY REALLY REALLY important to do the correct stretches before and after running. You might think you are "stretching" but are you doing enough stretching and holding each stretch long enough?

11-20-2008, 09:39 AM
I agree with JamieJo... Definitely try the Couch 2 5k program! I can't run to save my life but I'm on week three and I'm doing it and loving it!

Thighs Be Gone
11-20-2008, 09:43 AM
Amy, I walked for several months and then started running. At first, I could only run maybe 1/5 of a mile. Now, I am up to 1.5 miles of straight running and then do intervals (speed walking and sprints) for 1.5 miles.

Please don't give up. Even if you can just go a little bit it DOES get easier and your distance will increase. I have heard a ton of good things about the "Couch to 5K" program. I applaud you for giving this a go.

Thighs Be Gone
11-20-2008, 09:45 AM
Hey, also wanted to mention something in regards to stretching. I have read recently it is better to do a good warm-up (say, 5 minutes of speedwalking or something) and then stretch. Your chances for injury goes down.

11-20-2008, 09:54 AM

First, congratulations on your start and commitment to get healthier! :carrot: You're going to love how you feel!

Now, on to the calf problem: You said that you stretch before you run. That's OK, but not really effective in actually stretching your muscles. Your muscles have to be warm before you stretch. (That's why stretching after your workout is way more important than before.)

You indicate that you are already doing a walk/run combination so try this: Walk at a moderate pace for 10 minutes (or less) just until your muscles warm up, stop and do 3-4 calf stretches, then run a short distance, stretch, walk, stretch, and so on. Incorporating stretching into your workout while your muscles are warm should help this problem. I agree with MBN, if your calves tighten up don't just keep trying to pound through it. You'll only get injured. Remember, exercise is something that you have to practice. Start slow, warm up, stretch a lot, and you'll be cruising along in no time!

11-20-2008, 10:09 AM
Thank guys, lots of great advice, Have checked out the couch 2 5 k website, looks good and achievable.

Thank you ;0)