View Full Version : Getting started

09-15-2009, 23:19
My hike left me in good shape, sort of, and I'd like to stay in shape. Maybe even get in better shape. I think I would like to try running.

I completed my hike a couple of weeks ago and all those 25-30 mile days left my feet feeling pretty trashed. I tried running, but it hurt my feet. I don't know what to do about that. Wait for the pain to go away? Run anyway? Run on the beach or on grass? Forget about running and ride a bike instead?

How do you run on trails? It feels like it's hard enough to hike uphill, how do your run uphill? Or do you walk the hills? How about down hill? It seems like it would be really easy to trip and fall.

How do you stand it holding a bottle of water or having a pack bounce around on your back or waist? I suppose I wouldn't need to worry about water for a while, not being able to go very far at first.

When do you run? I always think it'll be a good idea to do it in the morning, but I'm hungry then and once I get out there, I find myself, uh, searching for a restroom. But in the evening my belly's full of dinner. When do you run?

09-16-2009, 01:38
I'm not a runner. About all I can tell you is that the feet will get better in a matter of months, depending on how much damage you did. I assume they're not numb and there's no nerve damage, which could take closer to a year to heal. They'll be tender for a while, especially in the morning, and especially on a hard floor.

I bicycle when I'm not hiking (or skiing). I've seen too many runners my age with chronic joint problems. I never liked running much, and I love cycling. Plus it's great transportation, and I commuted by bicycle for my entire career. I never drove to work, and that solved the when do you exercise problem for me. Whatever you decide to do to stay in shape, you're going to have to enjoy it if you're going to keep it up. Good luck.

John B
09-16-2009, 09:10
In regard to foot pain, you don't say exactly where the locus of the pain is on the foot. But regardless, the general advice is rest, ice, and elevation. With luck, the pain will subside or at least be managable in a couple of weeks. If not, then a visit to your local sports med doc may be in order.

For running uphill, most of the experts seem to agree that a short strides and a churning action of the arms is a key. All seem to agree that stopping/pausing on a hill is the worst of all possible worlds -- overcoming inertia and all that.

The question about water is the easiest. There are three primary means of carrying water: handheld bottles (most come with a strap and are ergonomically designed to facilitate ease of carry), a hip belt that can carry small water bottles (the advantage is that you can carry some or all of the bottles depending on your projected need), and of course a camelback water pack. The longer the run, the more water needed, thus most won't carry a camelback unless they're doing some serious mileage. Zombie Runner has a great selection of hydration options as well as other very useful gear: http://www.zombierunner.com/store/

When/where to run is a matter of personal preference. I'm lucky that my house backs up to a 15-acre undeveloped park, so I like to run there in the evenings -- soft ground helps reduce ankle/knee injuries. When to run? I try to run at least five times a week, but only once a week is considered my long run (+10 miles).

I don't know about being hungry while running, but I do carry power gel and schedule at least 1 ounce for every 45 min. running.

For great info on these and other questions, www.runnersworld.com (http://www.runnersworld.com) has a section devoted exclusively to trail running. They have lots of info, a good forum, etc. Check it out if you have time.

Pedaling Fool
09-16-2009, 09:49
Thereís two types of pain, the pain that tells you that something is wrong and the pain that tells you youíre weak. If youíre experiencing the pain from weakness itís best to slow down so it doesnít progress to the pain that tells you something is wrong. However, I never take a long break (by long break I mean sedentary) because of pain.

I experienced some really bad foot pain during my hike in 2006, so bad it would wake me at night if I brushed my feet wrong. I slowed down, but kept hiking. Over time the pain subsided and was pretty much gone by Damascus.

I believe the body needs it; itís not good (in the long term) to do just one activity. My base activity is cycling, been riding for +20 years, nearly everyday, at one point I was riding 23 miles (one way) to work. By my early 30ís I developed really bad knee problems. I believe it was from participating in primarily one form of exercise. I started weightlifting and soon got back into hiking and now I regularly run. I did a lot of damage to my knee; I still have some problems, but nothing like it was before I took up cross-training. I think when you primarily participate in one activity you overuse muscles/tendons/ligaments in one respect, but underused in another respect.

Getting Started:
Before my 2006 hike I always had a problem "Getting Started" in running, no problem with weightlifting, but I hated running, just not a runner, I tried numerous times, but just couldnít get into it. The primary reason of my 2006 hike was a way to get started. I saw it as hitting the "restart" button on my physical wellbeing. You just need to find what works for you to get you started, for me it was my 2006 hike. Iím now a runner and donít have any problems getting out the door to go on a run.

09-16-2009, 10:01
Have you tried roller-blading? It's good cardio and low impact. . . and fun. . . :sun

09-16-2009, 10:20
I believe I have tendonitis in my right foot. I don't know what's wrong with my left foot. The bones hurt there.

It seems so odd that during my hike my feet would hurt at the end of the day but then I would feel fine in the morning, ready to go another 25 miles. But now that I'm home, I hurt so much more. I think I have to wait to start running.

09-16-2009, 13:31
1) see your doctor about the pain, unless you think you're going to get good medical advice here on WB:-?

I started running about 8 years ago when I quit smoking. Couldn't go for more than a few minutes before having to walk - now I run 3-5 days a week for 60-90 minutes at a time and enter the occassional 5k, 10k or marathon relay. Moral of the story is it just takes time and practice.

My advice is to find a park if you can with soft trails. I run during lunch at the office, and the local park "paves" its trails with bark mulch that eventually degrades into a spongy, soft surface that is heaven to run on. Go slow uphill... baby steps at first.

Avoid paved/concrete at all costs!

Have fun.

09-24-2009, 20:38
this was a really great question! I've been wondering the same things.

I summited on Sept 12th and I'm still sore, especially my feet. However, I did some yoga and stretched out which seemed to help. My feet and the backs of my legs are still sore though. More achey than anything.

I tried to run on Friday, no go. My knees hurt, my ankles hurt, I couldn't get my breathing in line with my stride and got a horrible side stitch. Hiking has made me into a wimp! Then I worked out slowly the other day again, stretched some more, did some light aerobics.

Today I ran! It's a wide walking path, gravelly, and smooth, not like most of the trail in PA. :) I probably did 3 miles today and it felt like I was flying, compared to hiking anyway. I don't know that I was really running faster than I did before the hike, but it felt like it. I wasn't moving super fast, but I gradually worked up to a good speed.

I'm planning to do a marathon next year hopefully. I'm trying to stay in shape post-hike and keep the appetite in check. Good luck, just take it slow, and I hope what they say is true.. that the hurting will go away. But then again, everyone said Virginia was flat, too, ha!

09-25-2009, 20:20
Congratulations on summiting, Pickelodeon! I'm STILL sore even now almost a month later. But I did go running a few times, on pavement. I still have the stamina from my hiking. It's just the "infrastructure" that seems broken down.