Posted by: Lee | 2007/02/27

Injuries hampering progress!

I recently started walking/running in the mornings (6 days a week)- started with brisk walks of 45min and over a 2-3 week period built up 1 hour (20 mins running and 40 mins walking). Unfortunately I have had to cut back considerably as my ankle become very painful as well as my knees. This has meant that I can no longer run without considerable pain. Now I can only manage to walk briskly. I am frustrated as I was seeing great results before these injuries happened. What should I do? Shoukld I continue to keep up with the walking, or rest compltely until the injuries are healed? How long should that take? Could the injuries be caused by not wearing the right shoes perhaps?

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Our expert says:
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Hi Lee

I suspect that your injuries were the result of increasing the training volume too quickly, and not the shoe issue. The most common cause of injuries, by far, is increasing training distance too rapidly (or intensity, for that matter). And so while it seemed to you that you were going up slowly, going straight in at 45 minutes, and then building up to 60 minutes, and including running, is probably too much too soon. So the solution then is to withdraw the stress causing the pain, which in this case is the running. So unfortunately, you need to back off the running for a week or so. you may well be able to walk and I would suggest walking 30 minutes, as long as there is no pain. Then once you feel you have recovered fully, you will be able to begin with some easy jogging, but try to make these amounts very small.

For example, in a 30 minute session, you might jog 2 minutes, walk 3 minutes, repeated 6 times. As you get fitter, rather than increasing the total time, all you do is run more and walk less. So in otherwords, jog 3 minutes, walk 2 minutes, then 4 and 1, and so on. Eventually you will be up to maybe 15 minutes run with 1 or 2 minute walk, repeated twice. At that stage, you are probably ready to do a solid 25 minute jog and that will be when you can start just running. But all this will take at least 6 to 8 weeks. I know that may seem frustrating, but it's better to be patient now and reap the rewards later.

Good luck

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