Since I started running just a few years ago, I have a lot of fresh advice for first-time runners. Here are a couple of suggestions to get you started:
The first thing you need is a good pair of shoes, so if you've never bought running shoes before, I would suggest going to a specialty store and having the shop assistant help you pick a pair. Everyone's running step is a little different, and at a good store they'll have you try out the shoes on a treadmill to see if they work for you. For example, I over-pronate (my feet roll inward when I run). I learned that I need to buy so-called "stability" shoes, and they really helped my step. After the first time, you'll know what kind of shoes you need, and you can shop around and look for good deals.
Once you have proper shoes, you're ready to start running! There are tons of plans for beginners out there, and you'll need to take your running goals and past athletic experiences into account when choosing one. The best advice that I can give is to start slowly. Running is quite hard on your knees and joints, so even if you are in very good shape, be careful not to start out too hard. Many people prefer to begin with a run/walk program and work up to running for their entire workout. Also, you should take at least 2 rest days per week (on average, I run 3-4 days per week and may take a yoga class one other day).
Finally, I highly recommend Dawn Dais' book, The Non-runner's Marathon Guide for Women. It's funny, sarcastic, and full of good advice for first-time runners.
By: hillaryhoffman: May, 18, 2010 16:40 PM
Interesting! I don't belong to a gym now, but when I did, I used the treadmill a couple of times a week. I always felt that running on the treadmill was more difficult and resulted in more muscle soreness than running outdoors, despite the fact that almost every running resource I looked at says that treadmill running should be easier
Anyway, glad to know that I'm not the only one who has difficulties with treadmills! There is some evidence that the biomechanics of running are different on a treadmill vs.
running outdoors, so that could be the reason why you have more difficulty on the treadmill.
Regarding your arch pain, you could try doing some arch strengthening and stretching exercises like the ones on the Mayo Clinic website
if you don't feel like spending money on arch supports just yet. Good luck!
By: AmariT: May, 14, 2010 17:24 PM
Hillary: Thanks for the response!
I run both outside and using a treadmill at my local gym, but I actually have more difficulty when running on the treadmill than when running outside.
By: hillaryhoffman: May, 04, 2010 16:41 PM
AmariT - first of all, congrats on sticking with the running! The reason you have issues with just one leg could
be due to your feet being slightly different, and in this case using the arch support on just the affected side may help.
My other thought on the matter - where do you run? If you're running on roads with traffic, you are of course always advised to run on the left so that cars can see you. Good advice, but the downside is that roads are not completely flat; they're always sloped toward the sides so that rain can run off more easily.
So if you're running on the side of the road, your body is at a slight slant, meaning that one side has to work harder than the other.
So if you normally run on the road, try running on a track or trail for awhile instead. If you're still having problems on the same side, I say give the arch supports a try. Good luck!
By: AmariT: Apr, 23, 2010 15:41 PM
I'm a new runner (I'm actually one of those new year's resolution runners, but I've stuck with it for almost four months!). I've noticed that I'm perfectly fine in one leg, even after long runs, but the other leg my foot's arch starts bothering me early on and sometimes I also get a twinge in the knee on that side. Do you think this is a sign that I'm running wrong, or are my feet maybe shaped differently, meaning different physical results? A friend of mine told me to get arch support inserts, but since I'm only bothered on one side, I thought that perhaps I should just use the arch support on that side. Does that make sense?
By: kho1: Apr, 23, 2010 11:26 AM
I read an article about "runner's knee" syndrome, patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS). It is a common overuse injury in runners, and research has shown that women are twice as likely to be effected by PFPS as men are. This is because women usually have wider hips, creating a greater angle of the tighbone will cause more stress to the knee cap. Symptoms are pain in the back of the knee, and sense of cracking. Running is a healthy exerice, but it will bring you knee pain if you are not careful about increasing mileage and the choice of running shoes