I am so ignorant..Please Help.
My partner and I started running about 7 months ago...We mapped out a track in our town...about 4.5 miles....it has flats and hills....We started running as far as we could then walk and run some more...now we are running about 3 to 3.5 miles of the track not at one time...it takes us about 55 minutes...We try to get in 4 days a week usually it is only 3...We have had our share of injuries and sickness so we have had to lay off for several days at a time. We are not very diligent about stretching but we always walk a half mile before we run.
I am 37, I weigh about 150 lb and am 5'7". Before Christmas I started having pain in my right hip...I noticed my right shoe being worn on the outside heel so I got new shoes. The pain is nagging but not intense so we kept running. A few weeks ago I started having severe pain starting at my hip and running down the inside and front of my thigh...after I walked a while it would go away so now we have stopped running hills. I am stretching more but my hip is not getting better but not worse either.
We both think our runs should be getting easier but they are not...is this normal? Are we pushing too hard? Are we not working out enough? What about my hip? We really think we need some expert advice. Please help.
Amy, first off, I think it is GREAT that you have started to get in better shape. It is not clear to me that you have done anything wrong so far. Doing things on a gradient, like increasing your fitness, is the way to go. I happen to believe that you have to push a little to get stronger, but the way that should happen should be as follows:
- Sub-maximal aerobic exercise (like walking) is the key. We define sub-maximal by subtracting your age from 220 (220-37= 183) to get your heart rate max. Then you find your sub-maximal exercise range by using a 60-80% range of your heart rate max (183x.6-.8= 109-146)
- They key is to maintain your heart rate in the sub max range (109-146), but every once in a while push a bit to get your heart rate over the 146 number...once it is over that number, then slow down and recover your heart rate (respiration rate) while CONTINUING to exercise.
- Use your RESTING heart rate as a measure of your fitness. Take your resting heart rate while in bed in the mornings and write it down to see if you are increasing your cardiovascular fitness.
- As you go, you will notice that it is harder to get into the anaerobic zone, and you recover more quickly. This will be an indication to you to increase your exercise intensity.
- When should you run? You can run whenever you reach a place where your heart rate is routinely in the aerobic zone, and you have a hard time getting into the anaerobic zone, then running will push your heart rate into the anaerobic zone.
- You can run more than walk when you feel like you have no pain associated with walking.
- As far as your musculoskeletal pain is concerned, I think that cross training (free weight training) and stretching is important to help ofset the discomfort of introducing a training program. AS you back off, your hip should settle down. Perhaps a little physical therapy and perhaps even orthotics will be necessary to get you over the hump.
Hope this helps!