T Nation

Running Again

When I was younger, I always thought that I was a terrible runner. I’d get shin splints, stitches and was generally slow as well.

Now that I’m older, heavier and perhaps wiser, I’m thinking of adding some type of running back into my routine. I need something for non-lifting days and this is cheap and convenient. So, last night, for the first time in ten years or more, I ran a bit – some 400m “sprints”, which I am paying for today.

Anyway, I’m looking for tips from other more seasoned folks about easing back into running and avoiding shin splints, knee problems and so on. I’m thinking maybe I should stick to lower distances and doing HIIT style work?

I’d catch Cressey on Prime Time on this one but I can offer up my thoughts.

Whenever it comes to running… EASE in. Don’t let your ego push you. Many people go out there thinking 1 mile is not that long. It IS long.

Change your shoes every 3-4 months by tapering in a new pair and tapering out the old pair.

Lots of fish oil. This is so key to preventing your knees from turning into a swollen disaster.

Stretch. I didn’t realize how piss poor my flexibility was until I started stretching. Stretch.

The type of running that you do will depend on your goals.

Whatever type of running that you do make sure you begin slowly. As you saw today you probably ran the 400’s to fast.

I have been running on and off (mostly on) for quite a while. When I have periods where I have not been running, and then get back into it I start out very slowly.

A good way to do it is to run three times per week. Since you are just beginning one day you just do one mile slowly to get your body used to the movement. Another day you could do 400’s. I do 4 to 6 with about a 1:30 to 2:00 rest in between. Once you get your body used to the program the final day could be hill running. I have a great hill just about one mile from my house. I jog to the hill for a warm up. The hill is about 275 yds. almost straight up! I sprint it three times as fast as I can.

Personally, I found that running is not the muscle waster that it’s claimed to be, if you do it intelligently.

Good luck vroom!

V,
Good running shoes go a long way towards preventing a lot of knee pain, shin splints, and other problems. Try going to a store that specializes in running shoes, there are places that will evaluate the mechanics of how you run and recommend a shoe that will support your ankles and knees.

If they are good, they will be able to get you a shoe that will be suitable for sprint workouts vs long runs. It can get expensive, but as I have gotten older I have found that good shoes make the difference between running and getting injured and running pain free.

as a reformed marathoner and coach, the best advice i can offer is this: don’t run on consecutive days and always modify your routines (just as you would in the weight room).

running is a high-impact activity and creates a tremendous amount of stress on the body and your precious joints (though your lifting should help this some). when i worked at the running store, we had lots of hotshots in their 20’s and 30’s come in, but by the time they hit 40 or so, most had transitioned into cycling specifically due to injuries/trauma casued by their unwise running program. sure, you’ll see those emaciated 70 year-old freaks out there once in while, but they are truly the exception.

if you’re just starting back, make sure you have some fresh, cushioned running shoes, go extra easy and maybe mix in a little walking with your running. if your goals is to work up to a given distance, add as little as a few minutes every other week.

and while i don’t know what the rest of your program entails, for an inactive runner, i don’t know if going balls out on some 400s is your best start. i love sprints now, but would guess you may want to start with some much lower intensity work.

i say keep it easy the first few weeks, pay particular attention to how your body is holding up (especially with regard to your shin splints) then begin adding in some easy intervals (say 1 minute on / 1 minute off) once a week. once you feel good there, start making those intervals shorter and more intense. and when you’re ready and really want to have fun, hit the football field and do some 40’s.

best of luck.

Is someone chasing you? No? Then, stop running.

Nothing mkes a man look more undignified than running. Real men mosey. Maybe they amble. Occasionally, they stumble.

Never run when you can walk, never walk when you can sit, never sit when you can lay down.

400 meter sprints is some of the best Energy Systems Work a lifter can do. But it’s not something that most people can necessarily jump right into.

In my opinion, most people should comfortably be running a few easy miles a couple times a week with no joint issues and minimal soreness before starting interval work.

As said by others, make sure you have a good pair or running sneakers, stretch well. Ice if necessary. Glucosamine chondroiton, fish oil, and green tea extract are all great for combatting inflammation as well as for general health. Not bad things to be taking if you’re not already. When you do move into intervals if you decide to wait as I suggested, make sure you are well-streched and warmed up.

Sounds like a good idea. I used to realy like hitting a good stride and just cruising for a few miles. Maybe some of that muscle you’ve been building will make a difference in your performance. I just got a treadmill recently and will be working back into some jogging and eventualy running.

[quote]mindeffer01 wrote:
Sounds like a good idea. I used to realy like hitting a good stride and just cruising for a few miles. Maybe some of that muscle you’ve been building will make a difference in your performance. I just got a treadmill recently and will be working back into some jogging and eventualy running.
[/quote]

Sounds good.

Great advice here guys! I can’t even make fun of Tri for what he said.

BTW-Did anyone else notice that ZEB was giving vroom advice? And it wasn’t even intentionally destructive…

[How did all these doves get in here? And where is that angelic music coming from?]

[quote]David Barr wrote:
Great advice here guys! I can’t even make fun of Tri for what he said.

BTW-Did anyone else notice that ZEB was giving vroom advice? And it wasn’t even intentionally destructive…

[How did all these doves get in here? And where is that angelic music coming from?][/quote]

hahaha!

[quote]harris447 wrote:
Real men mosey. [/quote]

Harris,
I was thinking of adding some moseying workouts into my off-days. Can you offer some advice on getting started? Are boots essential or are they more for advanced mosiers and I should start out with a comfortable pair of Easy Spirits? When do you add spurs???

Much obliged, partner.
DB

Vroom, thanks for the timely thread. I’ve been thinking of adding some running and sprinting too and I can’t remember the last time I all-out sprinted.

DB

Great advice all around, thanks everyone.

[quote]David Barr wrote:
Great advice here guys! I can’t even make fun of Tri for what he said.

BTW-Did anyone else notice that ZEB was giving vroom advice? And it wasn’t even intentionally destructive…

[How did all these doves get in here? And where is that angelic music coming from?][/quote]

Shh… don’t disturb… they’re playing

This is what I thought, till I tried running again. I can’t even do a mile, SLOW!. Heck I don’t know if I can do a half mile. I’ve been working with 40 meter sprints to try and get things used to moving again. I Sprint, then walk back, wait another 10-15 seconds and do another. I start to feel it by about 5-6 which is where I stop.

I’m hoping this combined with some slow, slow jogging will gradually get me in shape. Heck right now 5 minutes of slow jog and I feel like my lungs are on fire and my heart is gonna pop out of my chest…

Anyway good luck, I just wanted you to know your not alone.

[quote]jsbrook wrote:
400 meter sprints is some of the best Energy Systems Work a lifter can do. But it’s not something that most people can necessarily jump right into.

In my opinion, most people should comfortably be running a few easy miles a couple times a week with no joint issues and minimal soreness before starting interval work.

As said by others, make sure you have a good pair or running sneakers, stretch well. Ice if necessary. Glucosamine chondroiton, fish oil, and green tea extract are all great for combatting inflammation as well as for general health. Not bad things to be taking if you’re not already. When you do move into intervals if you decide to wait as I suggested, make sure you are well-streched and warmed up.
[/quote]

Not a bad approach. But shorter sprints are less likely to cause problems than longer sprints. I wasn’t as much refering to the aerobic conditioning aspect. Speed work (like 400 repeats) can just be extremely taxing on joints, cartilage, and connective tissue. If someone is out of shape, it’s usually best that they strengthen these things first by building up to a few miles of lower intensity work at a clip a couple times a week. It’s akin to weight training. Ideally, you wouldn’t have a beginning lifter jump into 10x3. Some would be ok, but the safer route is to ease into it.

[quote]Todd S. wrote:
This is what I thought, till I tried running again. I can’t even do a mile, SLOW!. Heck I don’t know if I can do a half mile. I’ve been working with 40 meter sprints to try and get things used to moving again. I Sprint, then walk back, wait another 10-15 seconds and do another. I start to feel it by about 5-6 which is where I stop.

I’m hoping this combined with some slow, slow jogging will gradually get me in shape. Heck right now 5 minutes of slow jog and I feel like my lungs are on fire and my heart is gonna pop out of my chest…

Anyway good luck, I just wanted you to know your not alone.

jsbrook wrote:
400 meter sprints is some of the best Energy Systems Work a lifter can do. But it’s not something that most people can necessarily jump right into.

In my opinion, most people should comfortably be running a few easy miles a couple times a week with no joint issues and minimal soreness before starting interval work.

As said by others, make sure you have a good pair or running sneakers, stretch well. Ice if necessary. Glucosamine chondroiton, fish oil, and green tea extract are all great for combatting inflammation as well as for general health. Not bad things to be taking if you’re not already. When you do move into intervals if you decide to wait as I suggested, make sure you are well-streched and warmed up.

[/quote]

If you are adding running to incorporate some form of general cardio you might consider walking instead. There is no benefit to running over walking for aerobic conditioning and walking is very low impact. A brisk walk at 3.5 to 4 mph will usually increase your heart rate into the 65-75% MHR range.

Regardless of the walk/jog/run choice, follow the “good pair of shoes” recommendations given. If you continue for any length of time you can easily tell when it is time to ditch the current pair. The joints, especially the knees, will express their opinion loudly.

Again, the Glucosamine/Chondroitrin supplement recommendation is spot on. I noticed deminished pain (from high impact jump rope) within a few days, however, I have heard it can take up to 3 months.

A fast walk doesn’t look all that cool, but at least you don’t have to wear those gay running shorts!

!vic

Cool, vroom!

Consider running on grass. Also consider running hill sprints rather than short track sprints.

The wise people who run faster than I do tell me that these are good ways to avoid injury and lay the groundwork for good conditioning and speed.

[quote]harris447 wrote:
Is someone chasing you? No? Then, stop running.

Nothing mkes a man look more undignified than running. Real men mosey. Maybe they amble. Occasionally, they stumble.

Never run when you can walk, never walk when you can sit, never sit when you can lay down.[/quote]

This post totaly reminds me of P.J. O’Rourke. Have you ever read his stuff?

Sometimes running is just plain fun, and it takes less time over distance than walking. I just took the dog for a test run this afternoon. It went not so good. My cardio is in the crapper and my rythm sucked. The dog was much more capable. I’m gonna have to work on some flexability too. Couldn’t hit a good stride if my life depended on it, but it’s a good place to start.