beginner - lower leg injury prevention

any tips would be great

2 messages
23/06/2009 at 23:09

Hello,

 I recently began running again after about 6 months of virtually no exercise. Prior to this I used to go to the gym 3-4t imes a week and ran on the treadmill.

Now I run outside, mostly on the pavement and have been 3 times a week for  a month. I've read that running on hard surfaces can result in lower leg injuries. In my neighbourhood there isn't any off-road areas to run, I noticed that after the first few runs, I had pain in the front of my calves. This tends to disappear fairly quickly, though today the pain came on at the start of my run -even though I had rested the day before.

I realise this may be the result of my leg muscles 'getting used to exercise again, but I would welcome any tips on serious injury prevention.

Other information - I run 3 times a week, currently 2.5 miles, at a pace of about 9.30 mins per mile. Plus I tend to walk for  few minutes half way through a run (or at equal intervals) to extend my session and not get too knackered! I am gradually building up the distance each week by approx half a mile.

I also do weight resistance training 2 times a week- though this is restricted to upper body. Any advice on leg exercises that can be done at home would be helpful.

I rest on the other 2 days.

Running shoes - I bought what I could afford unfortunately and didn't have much awareness of the different types until recently. They do feel comfortable, though I wonder if they could be a factor in the leg pain?

Again, any advice would be appreciated.

thanks

Chris.

24/06/2009 at 10:39

Hi Chris - unless your trainers are specifically for running it is almost guaranteed that they are the cause of your pain.  I can't stress how important it is to go to a good running shop, have your gait analysed and get a good pair of runners, I know they're pretty expensive but if you want to run, they're essential.

Other than that, you're doing pretty well.  Build up your distance slowly (no more than 10% increase at a time), stretch afterwards (all major muscle groups - calves, hamstrings, quads etc).  Rest your legs the day after a run to give you the strength for your next run as you build your distance.

Running on hard surfaces doesn't necessarily mean you're going to get injured, I've been road running for ten years and the only injury I've ever had was due to a muscle imbalance.


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