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To ask if you think I can run?

(47 Posts)
Boozena Mon 08-Feb-16 20:11:25

Based on the following info, do you think running is feasible for me, and if not can you please recommend some exercise I can do?!
I'm 5'6" and currently weigh around 10st9lb. I feel quite unfit but know I can get better- I was quite fit around 4 years ago but let it slide.
I injured my knee 7 years ago and sometimes it throbs/aches but usually only if I've been doing lots of stairs.
I am flexible on time but not money. I don't have a regular monthly income so can't commit to gym/class but want to do something regularly. I have a little cash and I thought I could buy some running trainers and try couch to 5k.
Any thoughts? Will I break my knee forever? Will I have a heart attack? I just want to achieve something exercise wise, get fitter and thinner and tone up a bit. Thanks!

LittlePoot Mon 08-Feb-16 20:15:45

Yes - you definitely can!! Go to a good running shop and get fitted for trainers - one of those places where they film your feet and check your gait. Not cheap, but definitely worth it (and you can always buy your next pair from amazon to save). Then do couch to 5K and if you get any bother from your knee, self refer to a physio and get some strengthening exercises. You'll love it! Nothing like running for a bit of freedom and a cheap way to let me keep up my eating habits....

Bailey101 Mon 08-Feb-16 20:16:30

Maybe start off with walking at a brisk pace and gradually increase the distance - that'll give you a bit of an idea of how you're knee might be. And invest in some good trainers - if you have a specialist shop nearby that can measure your feet that would be best. I used to get sore knees from running and it's because I put the weight on the outside of my feet and having the right sole made a big difference.

Flamingflume Mon 08-Feb-16 20:17:52

What was your knee injury? What did the doctor say at the time?

If you want to run, couch to 5k is a great way to start, you certainly don't need a gym membership to keep fit.

If your knee hurts running I would recommend getting a leisure membership for your local pool and start swimming.

IMO, Your height amd weight seem fine, so I would concentrate on fitness levels because inevitably you will gain muscle weight from running so ditch the scales or you may feel demotivated.

Iggly Mon 08-Feb-16 20:20:57

I would say yes but for your knee injury.

Start off with a 5k training programme - to get yourself in to running. When I first started in my early 20s (!) I signed up for a 10k to motivate myself. But I can still remember my first run of the training programme - I had to run one minute, walk one minute for 20 mins and really struggled and ached like a bitch afterwards grin

shinynewusername Mon 08-Feb-16 20:23:56

[Unless there is some massive medical article you haven't told us about...] You won't have a heart attack, your knee will be fine as long as you take it easy. Have a listen to this podcast - loads of good advice. Couch to 5k is great - even I did it and I hate running smile.

Boozena Mon 08-Feb-16 20:24:12

Thanks for responding! It's sounding positive so far! I've been recommended a running shop so will give them a try for shoe fitting. It seems like the little things make all the difference e.g appropriate insoles etc.
I think I've still got my exercise sheet somewhere for strengthening exercises. I suppose if I don't try I won't know if it will hurt?!
Knee injury was a suspected torn meniscus (sp?) and advice at the time was rest, ice/heat alternating and anti inflammatories.
I should prob also mention I have a rubbish back. I go for massages around every two months but hope that if I can improve fitness/posture it might help?!

BolshierAryaStark Mon 08-Feb-16 20:30:09

Strengthening your core will help with your back. Yoga is really good for posture.
Good shoes & socks are a must I find, start slowly & build up.

ghostyslovesheep Mon 08-Feb-16 20:32:36

Yes you can

Decent fitted running shoes

Go at your pace (it was a revelation to me that I could run slowly!)

Invest in a good SPORTS massage once a month (especially for your back and Knee)

Go slowly - work up to longer runs

Dangermouse1 Mon 08-Feb-16 20:34:23

As far as your knee goes, I have a slightly dodgy knee and running is less problematic than some other things as no twisting etc. But yes to proper fitting for running shoes and doing your original knee exercises. Also stretch really well as the tightening of muscles / ligaments after running could irritate your knee. So make sure you do really good quad and hip stretches and maybe invest in a foam roller.

As you also mentioned a bad back, would you consider yoga as an alternative? A beginners course would probably cost the same as a decent pair of running shoes and once you have mastered the basics you can practice at home using books / videos if needed. It would really help your back pain and a good teacher would explain how to modify for your injuries.

MamaLazarou Mon 08-Feb-16 20:36:25

No, I'd avoid running and anything high impact if you have a dodgy knee - you'll make it worse.

Try the cross-trainer in the gym, swimming and weights to strengthen the muscles supporting the joint instead.

eatsleephockeyrepeat Mon 08-Feb-16 20:36:58

Similarly strengthening the leg muscles will better support your knee, but I'd wear a stretchy-type support around it at first. If you can get out into a nice squishy park (not too bumpy terrain but soft) that might be easier on your joints than always running on hard old tarmac smile

ghostyslovesheep Mon 08-Feb-16 20:39:19

also run on varied surfaces - I use our park and fun on grass and mud as well as paths - it's helps the legs

shinynewusername Mon 08-Feb-16 20:41:27

I'd avoid running and anything high impact if you have a dodgy knee - you'll make it worse

Not true, as long as you are sensible. Everyone's menisci are slightly shot by the age of 25. You don't need to avoid running if you have had this sort of knee injury and runners overall have fewer knee problems than non-runners. Couch to 5k is extremely gentle and you won't injure yourself as long as you follow the instructions. It is specifically designed for people who have been taking no exercise.

Personally I find running so dull that I prefer to do exercise DVDs at home. You can pick them up for next to nothing at car boot sales and on eBay, so it is a low cost option and you don't have to go out in the rain smile.

Obviouspretzel Mon 08-Feb-16 20:44:47

I would advise you to make sure that you run correctly, i.e. without heel striking, as that would potentially cause you massive problems with your knee.

I run in barefoot shoes as I believe this promotes better form as you are forced to pay attention to how your body feels and respond accordingly, whereas I find that padded running shoes can mask problems. Many disagree though, I just think it promotes a more natural running style.

ghostyslovesheep Mon 08-Feb-16 20:49:08

I LOVE running in the rain!

I love the cold and the snow and the mud and the sun and the ducks and the dogs and the people I see

StandoutMop Mon 08-Feb-16 20:54:01

Absolutely. I am your height and a stone heavier with no serious exercise since first DC 9 years ago.Did c25k in October, doing a 10k in May.

Thing that made it amazing for me is I found an online running group for mums and we meet up, semi-organised, so I always have someone to run with or can see others posting about getting out which is so encouraging.

I'm not a natural runner but love the "me time" and headspace getting out for a run gives me. Good luck.

Flamingflume Mon 08-Feb-16 20:56:21

Me too Gordy, love rain just not the wind Brrrr!

Back to OP, I have dodgy back too but not knowing what yours is ,it's impossible to advise. However, I find if I try and focus on my posture when I run, like tightening my stomach muscles I actually strengthen my back. But that might just be me.

MamaLazarou Mon 08-Feb-16 21:00:06

I'm following the advice of my doctor and osteopath, shinynewusername.

shinynewusername Mon 08-Feb-16 21:03:31

I'm following the advice of my doctor and osteopath

And it may well be the right advice for you, but it doesn't apply to everyone who has had a minor knee injury (I am a GP with a special interest in musculoskeletal medicine). You are right about the importance of developing leg muscles though.

Boozena Mon 08-Feb-16 21:15:05

Thank you all for taking the time to encourage and advise me!
The consensus seems to be that it's possible with the right kit and going at a sensible pace. I do have a stretchy knee support that I wear if it gets sore, really helps.
The massage I get isn't a 'relaxing' one, it bloody hurts lol. She doesn't say I've got a specific 'problem', just lots of tension and poor posture- typical hunched over computer/little movement.
Exercise dvds are brill in principal but I rarely have the motivation to do them and Insanity really put me off and I'm a bit stuck for space in my teeny house.
I didn't think I could do yoga as I don't seem to bend- maybe I could have a read up on it before I commit? Hmm I will have to consider running routes for a mixture of surfaces.
Thank you for the link to the podcast! It is downloading :-)

Dangermouse1 Mon 08-Feb-16 21:20:31

The fact you don't bend is why you need yoga! I don't bend either so I speak from experience, it's great for counteracting 'computer posture' issues.

Namehanger Mon 08-Feb-16 21:27:15

Yoga fab, everyone can do it. Where ever you start is the right place and there is no end goal.

DizzyNorthernBird Mon 08-Feb-16 22:26:56

Don't do too much too soon. Build up gradually. If you try to push yourself too quickly you will risk injury or you'll tire out and put yourself off. Running is tough when you're starting out but with a good training plan and a bit of perseverance you'll notice results quickly.

shinynewusername Tue 09-Feb-16 08:19:54

Agree with not doing too much too soon and avoid extreme regimes like Insanity. I know it's a cliche, but you need to find something you enjoy. If exercise feels like a punishment, you won't do it. Having said that, don't expect to enjoy it immediately - give yourself a few goes at a new activity because you can't really assess whether you like it till you're past the "Oh my god, I'm about to die" phase smile

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