(EDITED TO BE MORE GENERAL)
I'm doing a 14 week start-to-run course to exercise more as I have a desk job and sit a lot during the day. The course is 3 times a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) which should bring me up to a 5km run at the end of the course. However in week 3 I was already having knee issues. So I made this post to ask for advice and to have a single record of what to keep track off for other beginners.
My history: I'm 32 years old and haven't done any sport in at least 15 years. For the last 8 years I have been doing a desk job with my only workout being walking to and from the train station.
My issues: I started a 14 week course to 5k. At first it went well and felt great. However with little to no warmup and inadequate stretching, knee troubles started rather quickly afterwards. Thinking this was normal I continued running for 2 more even harder runs. This caused me to be nearly immobile during my daily life. With no other choice I had to stop running and recover.
So what have we learned from this? What should you be mindful of if you want to start running?
(EDIT) So things we've learned:
- Make sure you have good shoes. Get a gait analysis if possible.
- Don't run if you have pain. Take one (or more) extra rest day.
- Be mindful of your route. Avoid steep hills or crooked sidewalks when starting out. Soft surface paths like dirt/forest paths or a running track are best.
- Do warmups before your run. This can be as simple as walking (5-10min) or walking lunges and knee lifts.
- Stretching should be done after your workout. youtu.be/eag6V6_2fjw?t=41 is a good reference.
- Protein slightly helps recovery. Eat high protein foods or additional protein powder (no higher than 20mg if only running)
- Ice is only for swelling and actually hinders recovery.
- If you have lots of knee trouble, consider doing knee strengthening exercises like walking lunges and Bulgarian split squats.