4 years off from running??


I used to run 7 miles a day until I tore the arch in my foot 4 years ago. I have gained 40 lbs and am having a very hard time getting back into running. My arches are still a bit tender, I think this is mostly because of my weight. I can stand walking about 1 1/2 miles before I need to take a break. How do I get back into my old routine?



Answers:

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The torn arch that you described is most likely from plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a broad band of fibrous tissue located along the bottom surface of the foot that runs from the heel to the forefoot.

Recovery from plantar fasciitis is typically far less than four years. In fact, you could have started running again in as little as six weeks with proper treatment. Of course, since this is a chronic condition, your arches are going to continue feeling tender for a very long time.

You are going to have to start off by making sure that your shoes provide a great deal of support and comfort. You can buy these shoes at any specialty running store, and be sure to mention your arch problems. Typically, they will make several recommendations based on seeing how you run. Just pick whichever one that feels right for your feet after running a little on their treadmills or in the parking lot. Also, they will almost definitely recommend you get some insoles to provide the support that your arches need.

If the insoles are not enough, you may need to get an orthotic that is specially designed for your feet. These custom orthotics provide support for your arches and provide the support and relief that you will need from your runs.

When you find the right shoes, you will have to start off your running schedule gradually. Try running at a slow pace for as long as you can. Perhaps about a mile every other day or so. Do not concentrate on time at all, and focus on distance instead. Stop immediately if you feel any pain. Patience is key.

Good luck easing back into running, and welcome back to the running world.

UPDATE: It seems like you already did all of the conservative measures that I had suggested. It is likely that you have a more serious injury that should be seen by a doctor. To me, it sounds like heel spurs, but I cannot be sure. A heel spur is a bony growth that occurs at the attachment of the plantar fascia to the heel bone (calcaneus). Regardless, there is no question that someone should take a closer look at it. I wish you the best.

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Basically you are a beginner again. I know you ran 7 miles a day, but it will take some time to get back there. I would recommend first that you see a doctor (podiatrist) about your arches to see if you need inserts. make sure you have a good pair of running shoes that fit your type of foot i.e. flat foot, pronator, or overpronator. Once you get the go ahead try to run for 20 minutes 3 times a week. if you have to start walking first that's okay. The key is not to over-train before you get trained. Good luck.

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Just keep on walking until your stamina is better then try a little jog between your walking, eventually you will get back into running again, just be sure to take your time.

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after 4 years you need to be sure you do not injure yourself. So try the run walk routine. Run until you need to walk and then walk until you can run again. Remember that you should keep your program under control. You will start feeling good again and do too much too soon if you are not careful. After you can run 2-3 miles 2-3 times a week do not increase your mileage or days for at least 4 weeks, then only 25%. Once you get yourself back to running you will get back into shape and be your old self.

Sa mga pinoy runners, can you point me to the best local shops that sell running shoes?

Take it easy. See a doctor about your foot before you do anything. You don't want to hurt yourself, before you get a chance to run again.

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Well, you may still be at real risk for tearing it again. I hope you are getting the physical therapy and medical advice you need. You didn't mention if you were seeing a podiatrist or not, but that would certainly help.

The orthopedic inserts will help a bunch, but I would think some about lower impact work until you peel some weight off.

Cycling, or elliptical training might help jump start you again. Swimming is very good too, if you have that resource.

If running is your ultimate goal, you are doing the right thing. Walk. Make sure you are walking in shoes that are professionally fit, and suit your tendencies. If you pronate or supinate, the wrong shoe can really exacerbate the arch problem. Go to a running store for them, if you haven't already.

Take it slow. Tears of any kind can flare up again if you aren't patient. Start with 15 minutes a day walking, and build up. I wouldn't go more than 4 times per week initially.

Prophylactic use of ice is always a good idea.

Good luck, and kudos to you for getting back into it.

UPDATE: I reread your post, and the idea of staying off concrete and asphalt is a very good one. The more you can do on dirt and grass...

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