aches and pains

Hi All,

At 28yrs old and having a quarter life crisis I have decided to sort myself out and join the TA (Infantry), I was pretty fit up until 2yrs ago then I had some personal trouble and let myself go bigtime, over the last year I have drank/smoked and sat around on my arrse far too much, so I started running last week to get some idea just how unfit I am and to get myself fit enough for the TA, after my first couple of runs my legs are absolutley fcukin killing me, even to walk it hurts, my question is one of rest and recovery times, should I rest until the pain wears off slightly before I run again? or just carry on and fight through it, according to one regular runner I know I should do just that and another says I'm asking for an injury and should rest for a couple of days. whadda you think? I'm an impatient bstard when I set my mind on something I just want to do as quickly as possible.


You've gotta rest mate. A gentle warm up/warm down and stretching will help with the pain. You're doing too much if it hurts like that.
Recovery time for leg muscle damage can be 3/4 weeks.

If you have done yourself a mischief then pounding on will make it worse. There is a reason it hurts!

Rest up for a bit, mobilty exercises only then do what you can but start slow and easy and build up. Try swimming if you cannot run far for a while.

Your body has been acustomed to leading a very unhealthy and sedentary lifestyle for a long period of time. The muscles; cardio vascular system; bones; joints etc, adapt to the physical duress you place on them. Although you should, theoretically, at your age be in your prime.

Muscular pain/stiffness is a result of microtrauma occuring at the individual muscle fibres. A common name is (DOMS) Delayed Onset Of Muscular Stiffness. As a muscle lengthens under tension this is called eccentric movement. Eccentric movement is the main contributer to DOMS. As you run and plant each foot the muscles in the each leg are working constantly to balance; stabilise; absorb and propel you forward.

Your leg muscles have become weak and are not strong enough to carry your weight when running over a long distance. When you run you transmit 3-4 times your body weight through your lower limbs. Your joints are aching because they are uncondtioned to all that extra weight.

If you did a single leg press on a resistance machine you would more than likely find that your entire thigh muscle were not strong enough. For example, if you weight 80 kgs you should be able to single leg press about 125 % of your body weight 100 kgs.

These DOMS should ease within 7 days, they propably peaked after 48-72 hours. Look at how far you ran, it was propably too far to start with. Go back to basics and start with a 15-20 easy run/walk for 3 times a week for the next 2-3 weeks. Look to join a gym, buy a good personnel training book(save money by not using a personal trainer). Look at your diet and think about good nutrition from now on. Concentrate on a whole body approach to your training.

Cut out the crap, bin the fags, have a few beers at the weekend. You can build your own training programme that is SMART Specific, Measurable, Acheivable, Realistic & Testable. Also FITT Freqeuncy, Intensity, Time & Type.

Good luck

Lee, take your time and remember to warm up and down properly - it feels boring and pointless but will help you.

Don't look to do too much too soon, even if you set yourself modest goals and keep bettering them a few times a week you'll start to feel good and you can then set harder targets for yourself, before you know it you'll be enjoying it as so long as you don't give up.

Doing a bit more each time regularly (3-4 times a week) is way better than killing yourself and then taking a week to recover.

My money is on poor warm up and warm down and trying to do too much too soon.

Good luck and don't give up.
If as you say, that you have let yourself go

then take thinks easy

do two, one mile runs one week - and build up SLOWLY from there. get in the gym and do some ab and upper body work, go swimming.

Get a decent book on basic fitness.

warm up and down are just as important as the exercises themselves
but even more important - rest days. when you exercise - you stretch and tear muscles, so you need the rest periods to allow build-up and recovery

and if you havent exercised for a while - and youve piled the weight on, then its no wonder your body is complaining.

Take it easy and enjoy

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