New jogger needs advice: achy joints, sore feet. I'm using a jogging stroller and fairly restricted to road/sidewalk surfaces in a small geographic area.
posted by Eyebrows McGee to Health & Fitness (29 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Background: I had two kids, two years apart, with two terrible pregnancies and two exhausting year-long breastfeedings. I had plantar fasciitis during my second pregnancy and it took FOREVER to heal, and my joints were all very loose during both pregnancies and while breastfeeding. After four solid years of hormones and growing other humans, I'm in terrible shape, and carrying extra baby weight. I started walking a lot this summer, and after the baby weaned, I started "pre-couch-to-5K-ing," because I was not in good enough shape for week one of getting your ass off the couch. I had to work up to being able to manage all of week one. So, I did that, achieved week one, sprained my knee, waited for it to heal, started over. Which is where I am now:
I have been going for about three weeks on a couch-to-5K program. (The first week and a half was working back up to completing all of week 1, then three times through the week 1 workout. Now I am on week 2.) I am training three times a week, MWF. I walk my older child to preschool and then the younger one and I go jogging. So I must use a jogging stroller, which means I am restricted to roads and sidewalks, and in a fairly small geographical area near the preschool. (Because I know jogging on a track or grass might help some of this, but I can only jog if I have the jogging stroller, and only during this time after I drop off #1.) The second week is 6 intervals of 90 seconds jogging and 2 minutes walking, which I am just about managing.
Here are my problems/questions:
1) My feet had been doing fine for the last two months or so that I've been at this (I am wearing sneakers, from a running store, that I only use for jogging, so they're getting 48 hours between wearings), but suddenly today they hurt like crazy. I had to walk the last jogging interval because they hurt so bad. What do I do? Do I not jog? Different shoes? Insoles? Doctor?
2) I stretch before and after, and I'm usually fine most of the day after I jog, but in the evening my muscles and joints will start to ache and my recently-sprained knee gets very painful, so much that I'll put a knee brace on. The knee is usually fine the next morning, but my joints will ache all day the next day. I've been taking Aleve for the aches when they're bad. Will this go away with time, or is this a sign I'm doing something very wrong? What stretches should I be doing that I might not be doing?
(I know that I'm carrying too much weight and that is not thrilling for my joints, but I don't think that gets better unless I start getting in shape and losing weight. I know something like swimming might be good, but my only option for consistent exercise right now is walking or jogging, and I really want to do this couch-to-5K.)
3) My inner thighs burn like they are on FIRE. (Okay, a little less so today.) Is this normal for beginners? Normal for a jogging stroller? (More upright posture, legs doing more work because torso is fairly still.) I assume if this is normal it'll fade in time as I get stronger.
4) What should I be doing on my off-days?
I have been trying to peruse Runner's World's website and forums, but there is so MUCH stuff and most of the beginner's stuff I'm finding is either way too basic (Did you know humans have to drink water sometimes?) or too advanced (I have been jogging in a 65-RX27-L14 shoe and am thinking of switching to a 65-RX28-L15 shoe ...)
Should I slow down and only train twice a week? Try different shoes? Change my posture? Stretch better? Halp. I also appreciate any other tips for new runners you might have.
I can go see my general practitioner if I need to, though it always takes a couple weeks to get in. I am eating sensibly. Normal days involve a mix of chasing kids around/walking at parks/etc., running errands, and sitting reading books/supervising indoor playtime.
The other thing is, this is a secret. Only the baby knows we're jogging and he only says like 10 words and none of them are "jog." None of my friends or family (including my husband!) know, because people have been teasing me for as long as I can remember that I'm clumsy and unathletic (true!), and in self-defense I developed a sense of humor about it, so other people feel okay making fun of me about it, so whenever I start doing any kind of exercise, people either make fun of me for it, or make a super-big deal about my doing something so fish-out-of-water, and I'm not comfortable with either reaction. So I feel like I need to get achieve a certain level of competence at this before letting other people know so that it's a done deal and I'm ALREADY a jogger, not just TRYING TO BE a jogger. Also thinking of myself as a secret ninja jogger makes jogging more fun. But it makes it hard to get advice!