Runners! (Help me, please)

This has probably been asked, but...

I am 5'5. 140 pounds. And 90% of my body fat is in my stomach, probably. I frequently try to get into running and start at a slow 12 minute mile. I do 3-5 miles at that pace with no problem for about 3 days in a row. By day 4, my knees are in terrible pain above the kneecap. Could this be a matter of my *kitten* weight distribution? I usually use the elliptical and also cannot handle more than 40 minutes on it. It is extraordinarily frustrating finally adding some speed to my workout only to have to have to sit out two days in. I know I should take it slow, but I really lose interest if I'm unable to challenge myself.

I have good shoes. I might be rolling my foot(how do I fix this?). I'm on a flat-surface treadmill.

As some background, I used to be INSANELY anorexic and run, at minimum, 20 miles every day. I wish that I were joking--I know that sounds untrue--but for anyone who has had anorexia, that may not be too surprising.

I did this for five months before I was hospitalized. I'm wondering if I'm paying the price now.

Does anyone have any thoughts or ideas?
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Replies

  • AdrianChr92
    AdrianChr92 Posts: 567 Member
    If you just start I wouldn't recommend to run days in a row. At least no more than 2. Best to run every other day, 3 times a week. See how that goes. Find something else to pair it with. Like lifting weights or something your gym offers. You need rest for now.
  • coreyreichle
    coreyreichle Posts: 1,039 Member
    Stop trying to run 3-5 miles, all at once. Start on something like a C25K program, to slowly build up to being able to to that sort of mileage.

    Took me just under a year to get to be able to run 3-5 miles, daily.
  • hoyalawya2003
    hoyalawya2003 Posts: 631 Member
    To me, 12 min mile is not slow, it is fast. I also don't understand why you are going from not running at all to running 3 days in a row. That is a recipe for disaster in my opinion. You also state you have good shoes, but were you fitted at a running store? If you have gait issues, they will be able to advise you on proper shoes for it.

    TL;DR:

    slow down; run every other day; go get your gait analyzed at a knowledgeable running shoe store.
  • Springfield1970
    Springfield1970 Posts: 1,945 Member
    edited February 2016
    Oh wow. That's pretty amazing. A marathon nearly every day you poor thing.
    Are you male or female?
    Any possibility you could find a less impacting sport or hobby?
    I enjoy running so much but even at 10k a week, I am carrying 2 running related injuries (though I tend to do sprint distance tri and run like I've stolen something).
    Maybe something less punishing?
    Your weight may be relevant, if you were female, you'd need to be a lower BMI but I'm the last person to recommend that to a former anorexic.

    Tango dancing, salsa, swimming, cycling??? Walking?

    Other thoughts, go to Asics and get advice. They can give you correcting shoes.

    Quads may need stretching and foam rolling, (they could be pulling up on the knee joint) this means you are using too much front drive and need to develop glutes (try Bret Contraras hip thrust weightlifting type exercises).
    Make sure you actively stretch hip flexors too before workout and fully stretch after.
    Running is a high risk sport if you ask me. I love it even though it screws my body up.
  • AdrianChr92
    AdrianChr92 Posts: 567 Member
    To me, 12 min mile is not slow, it is fast. I also don't understand why you are going from not running at all to running 3 days in a row. That is a recipe for disaster in my opinion. You also state you have good shoes, but were you fitted at a running store? If you have gait issues, they will be able to advise you on proper shoes for it.

    TL;DR:

    slow down; run every other day; go get your gait analyzed at a knowledgeable running shoe store.

    To me 12 min mile is incredibly slow. I'm still pretty over weight and I run at 8-9 min per mile and I know I am not fast at all. I also know lots of people much faster than me
  • acivitarese
    acivitarese Posts: 6 Member
    I would recommend not just buying good shoes, but visiting a store that specializes in running. They will analyze your stride and how you land on your foot to fit you in a shoe that is best for you. This can make a big difference.
    I also recommend that you look into using a foam roller. Just do a quick internet search on "using a foam roller" and you will get all the details you need. I will admit that it does not feel good when you are doing it but it does work.
  • _EPIC_
    _EPIC_ Posts: 611 Member
    Go talk to a sports doc or therapist to see what other issues might be at play. You won't find your answer on a public forum.
  • jeankahr
    jeankahr Posts: 1 Member
    You might want to look into Jeff Galloway's run/walk/run method. I use it for all my running. The intentional walk breaks make it easier on your body than continuous running.
  • Capt_Apollo
    Capt_Apollo Posts: 9,028 Member
    wait, are you on a treadmill or on the elliptical?

    i'd start doing cardio every other day. i know former anorexics can be a little all or nothing, but remember, if you give it your all for three days straight, it'll be nothing for 3 days after that.

    invest in a foam roller if you're working out from foam. use it before every workout, and stretch too. get some strength training in your routine, that'll help build up the muscles around your knees to support you.
  • 7lenny7
    7lenny7 Posts: 3,412 Member
    Echoing the above, you're doing too much, too fast. Your heart and lungs get in shape much quicker than bones and muscle.

    If I were you, I'd start 1 mile runs, 3 days/week for 2 weeks, then increase ONE of those runs by 0.5 miles the next week, then increase another run by 0.5 mile the week there after. Keep adding just a little bit more distance each week. If you start getting pain, back off, even taking a several days off if you need to.

    And that 12:00 pace should probably be slowed down too. If you can't sing a song while you're running, without running out of breath, you're going too fast.

    Doing too much, too fast, is the quickest way to injury.
  • sllm1
    sllm1 Posts: 2,129 Member
    I agree with some others that you are "jumping into it" too fast with 3 to 5 miles per day for several days in a row. Take a rest day in between. Work up to it.
  • ceciliaslater
    ceciliaslater Posts: 457 Member
    I don't think this is a weight distribution issue. It sounds like two things are going on: overtraining and possibly incorrect shoes.

    Even at a "slow" pace, jumping straight into 3-5 miles every day is inadvisable. Your knees are hurting because you're overtraining (or, running too much without proper conditioning). You can definitely work up to where you can run 3-5 miles (or more) most days, but I'd still recommend a day off from running here and there. Rest days are a good thing! If you can comfortably run 3 miles now, then run 3 miles--just not every day. Build up to running more frequently/farther.

    If you're concerned about your foot rolling in or out, you should go to a specialty running store (think Fleet Feet, Runners World, etc) and have them analyze your gait. They can recommend the right shoes and/or inserts for you. A good shoe for one person may be a terrible shoe for another--it all depends on the mechanics of how you run.

    For now, take it easy on the running and give your knee a chance to heal up.
  • I have problems with my knees if I don't spend a day in between each run doing some cross-training. For me, this is spin and weight lifting. Also, I get pain in the same place if I use a treadmill, so if using the elliptical make sure the settings are right for your stride - or if you can, run outside.

    Running outside gives your feet the chance to adjust/move more than the flat surface of a treadmill. After making the switch from the treadmill to outside, all of my knee and ankle pain disappeared.

  • RunTimer
    RunTimer Posts: 9,137 Member
    edited February 2016
    An earlier post suggested stretching your runs further apart. I agree with this. start with 2 runs a week, then three. 3x week will give your body the recovery time it sound like it want.

    Most important, listen to your body: nothing is gained by running injured or to the point of injury
    (remember Pheidippides died on his last and most famous run)
  • mmarkowitz00
    mmarkowitz00 Posts: 11 Member
    If you just start I wouldn't recommend to run days in a row. At least no more than 2. Best to run every other day, 3 times a week. See how that goes. Find something else to pair it with. Like lifting weights or something your gym offers. You need rest for now.

    Thanks, man. So no elliptical cross-training, you think, on the off days? Just run M/W/F and upper body T/TR(or something like that)?
  • mmarkowitz00
    mmarkowitz00 Posts: 11 Member
    Stop trying to run 3-5 miles, all at once. Start on something like a C25K program, to slowly build up to being able to to that sort of mileage.

    Took me just under a year to get to be able to run 3-5 miles, daily.

    Perfect! Thanks so much!
  • MeanderingMammal
    MeanderingMammal Posts: 7,870 Member
    edited February 2016
    I frequently try to get into running and start at a slow 12 minute mile. I do 3-5 miles at that pace with no problem for about 3 days in a row. By day 4, my knees are in terrible pain above the kneecap.

    So you decided to go for the too much, too soon approach to developing a sports injury. It's certainly a tried and tested approach to injuring yourself and has a solid heritage.

    Build up to the distance, and run less frequently.

    If you were really running a 70 mile week whilst anorexic this feedback shouldn't be a surprise.
  • mmarkowitz00
    mmarkowitz00 Posts: 11 Member
    To me, 12 min mile is not slow, it is fast. I also don't understand why you are going from not running at all to running 3 days in a row. That is a recipe for disaster in my opinion. You also state you have good shoes, but were you fitted at a running store? If you have gait issues, they will be able to advise you on proper shoes for it.

    TL;DR:

    slow down; run every other day; go get your gait analyzed at a knowledgeable running shoe store.

    Thank you! I have not gone to a running store, but I probably should.
  • mmarkowitz00
    mmarkowitz00 Posts: 11 Member
    wait, are you on a treadmill or on the elliptical?

    i'd start doing cardio every other day. i know former anorexics can be a little all or nothing, but remember, if you give it your all for three days straight, it'll be nothing for 3 days after that.

    invest in a foam roller if you're working out from foam. use it before every workout, and stretch too. get some strength training in your routine, that'll help build up the muscles around your knees to support you.

    Apologies. On a treadmill. Not adding hills yet. I have done the elliptical for years(for this exact reason of wanting to protect my joints). I normally use the elliptical, but I move so slowly and I'm getting bored and not losing weight.
  • mmarkowitz00
    mmarkowitz00 Posts: 11 Member
    jeankahr wrote: »
    You might want to look into Jeff Galloway's run/walk/run method. I use it for all my running. The intentional walk breaks make it easier on your body than continuous running.

    Thanks! That's a great tip. That may be just what I need. :smile: