Is running for everyone?

I've always felt that my body just wasn't built for running. My knees instantly ache, along with my shins. I've heard people say this is just something you eventually work through, but I guess I've never been very willing to try.

Today I downloaded that couch to 5k app, and I am going to give it my best shot. Has anyone used this app? Did you used to be horrible at running and now it's become way easier? Let me know your thoughts!


  • notnikkisixx
    notnikkisixx Posts: 375 Member
    Anyone can run, it's just a matter of finding your comfortable running speed and working up to the distance. Don't focus on being fast, try to find a speed (no matter how slow) that you can jog for a while at.

    A few years ago I downloaded Zombies, Run!. It was so fun and got me running a lot more. If you aren't loving C25k, check that app out.
  • TavistockToad
    TavistockToad Posts: 35,719 Member
    Have you been fitted for running shoes?
  • quiltlovinlisa
    quiltlovinlisa Posts: 1,710 Member
    Nope, not for everyone. For myself, running is the one activity that sets off my asthma, every. single. time.

    Personally, I'd give it a shot and it could be something you learn to love however if you don't, then find an exercise you do love.

    Personally, I love cycling, kickboxing, hiking, kettlebell workouts. There are so many types of exercise to choose from. :)
  • BrianSharpe
    BrianSharpe Posts: 9,248 Member
    Barring any physical limitations anyone can learn to run and achieve a reasonable level of endurance/fitness.

    Quite often it is as simple as getting past the aches and pains of the initial adaptations but it's also worthwhile getting properly fitted for a pair of good quality shoes and a certain amount of strength/ cross training can address muscular imbalances and weaknesses in the hips / glutes that can cause discomfort.

    The real secret though is to not to do too much, too soon, too fast. Take your time building distances (while I didn't use C25K when I started running many people have successfully, don't feel bad if you have to repeat a week) And be consistent, get out 9or on your treadmill) on a regular basis.

    When I started running I could barely make it around the block, I was overweight and out of shape and surprised myself by actually enjoying running (I'd hated it as a kid). I ran my first 5K at 52 and haven't looked back.

    Don't let other peoples expectations set yours, you're doing this for you.
  • ryblueeyes
    ryblueeyes Posts: 257 Member
    I started with Run Double C25k. It sucked in the beginning, it was hard and I wanted to quit, but I stuck with it and now I'm training for my 3rd half marathon. That said, I enjoy running and the way it makes me feel (even in the beginning when it was hard). You're going to be more successful if you find something you like to do. If running isn't your thing, keep trying different things until you find something that is.

    As far as pain goes, make sure you have the right shoes. Go get fitted if you can.
  • minizebu
    minizebu Posts: 2,716 Member
    No, running may not be for every body. Go ahead and give it another shot, but don't feel obligated to try to make something that you find uncomfortable, or unpleasant, or unappealing work for you. It just might not be your "thing".

    Thankfully, there lots of other options for cardio exercise. Explore your options to determine what you enjoy.

    If you don't have access to gym-based cardio machines, good old fashioned walking will take you far. You will have to walk longer and farther (than you would if running) to burn the same number of calories. But, who's in a hurry?
  • whmscll
    whmscll Posts: 2,254 Member
    Running is not for everyone, just like kickboxing, Zumba or basketball is not for everyone. If you like running, do it. If you don't, find something else you do enjoy. Personally, I hate running, and after I had knee surgery years ago my doc said not to run anymore, which was peachy keen with me. Plenty of other ways to get exercise.
  • jesoverley
    jesoverley Posts: 25 Member
    4.5 years ago I didn't run at all. I thought people who ran 4 miles were clearly crazy. But... then I started walk/jogging with a friend. We signed up for a 5k - and walked part of it. Then we did another, and we got faster... apparently I got hooked, since 4.5 years later I have ran 6 marathons and ran my first ultra marathon last autumn. I used to not be able to run to the end of my street, so I would say.. stick with it, if you want it. (and it might be your shoes if you shins ache right away. Running shoes should be a full size bigger than your regular shoes, and you might need a stability shoe or vice versa - it wouldn't hurt to go to a local running store to get an idea about the right running shoes)
  • mankars
    mankars Posts: 115 Member
    After gaining over 60 pounds in past few years, plus after a serious foot injury, I find myself not able to run as I did before. I too used to get pains & aches in my legs.
    So, spoke to my doctor who recommended to drop a few pounds before trying again. Seems running with all that additional weight can damage your joints and foot.
    Hence, I usually do a brisk walk on treadmills at gym or outside.

    Not sure how much you weigh or you want to loose... but try to do brisk walking. All the best.
    KANGOOJUMPS Posts: 6,472 Member
    I recently started, I like it now, never used to
  • Samstan101
    Samstan101 Posts: 699 Member
    I couldn't run for 30s (literally!) when I started with C25K 3 years ago. I took my time and made sure I didn't move onto the next stage until I'd completed the previous. It took me 12 weeks and at the end I could run for 30mins non stop which was closer to 3k not 5k (my first 5k took me 45mins) . It took me about 8 weeks before I started enjoying running and I'm now totally addicted! I slowly built up distance and found that I got quicker as a result. Last year I ran 3 marathons (plus a bunch of shorter races) and my 5k time is just over 24mins - so its fair to say I was horrible at running and its definitely easier!

    Running has changed my life in so many positive ways, C25K was one of the best things I've every completed and I'm so glad I stuck with it through the first few tough, painful, sweaty, horrible weeks as boy did it get better! Best of luck :)
  • RonnieLodge
    RonnieLodge Posts: 665 Member
    I've always felt that my body just wasn't built for running. My knees instantly ache, along with my shins. I've heard people say this is just something you eventually work through, but I guess I've never been very willing to try.

    Today I downloaded that couch to 5k app, and I am going to give it my best shot. Has anyone used this app? Did you used to be horrible at running and now it's become way easier? Let me know your thoughts!

    It is not for everyone - I have never particularly liked it and prefer the more toned and muscular look I get from HIIT training (i.e. Jillian Micheals/Sean T Insanity) workouts. A good walk/hike doesn't hurt either.
  • jigsawxyouth
    jigsawxyouth Posts: 308 Member
    I used to loath running. I couldn't do it as a former smoker and a recovering fat kid. But I got tired of doing cardio that wasn't challenging. I was suggested to check out Zombies, Run! And I found my calling!

    I started with the Zombies, Run! 5K training (like Couch to 5K, but there is a full zombie story line!) and graduated to the full version app.

    I ran my first 10K last year! I loved it so much, I’m doing another at the end of March!
    Like other posters have said, no, it isn’t for everyone, but it did get easier with a program to follow.
  • briscogun
    briscogun Posts: 1,135 Member
    I started using the C25K app (Zen Labs version) and I'm on Week 5. I can't say that it becomes easier, because the idea of the app is to constantly stretch you until you can do a whole 5K! The better question would be: do you get better at running? That is a YES! Week 1 I was doing 60-second running intervals, today (Week 5) I did 2 Eight-minute intervals. There is no way I could've run for 8 minutes 5 weeks ago, let alone twice. Was it easy? No. Did I die? No. You keep pushing yourself each week just a bit more. I'm guessing once I am done it will get "easier" when I keep running.

    As far as the pain goes, some soreness is to be expected, but you need to know what is just soreness and what is injury. Shin splints are common, and some folks get Runners Knee, especially if they over-train. Make sure you take days off from running. Rest is critical! Also, get good running shoes! I highly recommend going to a running store and getting fitted for shoes. It's really not much more than getting a pair of Nike's at the local sporting goods store, and it's been a Godsend for me the last 2 weeks. I even got a pair (that I liked anyways!) for 25% off due to it being last years model. A properly fitted pair of shoes that takes into account your stride, arches, any pronation or supination, etc., will cure a lot of soreness in your stride. Well worth the money!

    It gets better, and the thrill you get from achieving new milestones is AWESOME! Good luck!
  • runsonrabbitfood
    runsonrabbitfood Posts: 89 Member
    edited February 2016
    I apologize ahead of time for the long "me" post. But I believe my personal story to be relevant here.

    Before I started getting into fitness, I was very frail. I've dislocated my right knee at least 20-30 times. And, no, I am not exaggerating. I was born with some anatomical oddities involving my knees and my thigh bones. But mostly, my problems are due to my knees. The kneecaps sit outside their designated grooves putting odd tension on tendons and making me very prone to dislocations. In the x-ray below, you can see what I mean from my left knee. I was once taken from school to the ER because of a dislocation that would not go back into socket (solution was simple - doctor jammed it back into place).


    My right knee was surgically tweaked when I was 16 - deeper knee groove carved, knee cap moved, shin bone snapped and moved, and tendons stretched and cut. At the time, the surgeon told me that it would help but not fully 'fix' me. And that eventually, my left knee would deteriorate to the state my right had been and would need to be addressed - I had only dislocated my left about 4 times. I was also told I would not be able to do high impact sports like running. Even after surgery, I had dislocations on my right knee, though not as many.

    A few years later, I started hanging around some fitness people. I started to cycle because it was about the safest thing for me. My knees were so weak I couldn't peddle off the seat - not even kidding. Fast forward 1 full year and I braved C25K. It was scary - I didn't trust my own body to support me. I took it sloooooow. I repeated several weeks of C25K. In the 2.5 years since, I listened to my body and slowly improved. I haven't experienced a dislocation in about 3 years now. Going into fitness and, especially running, did not deteriorate me further - it made me stronger.
    I used to be afraid to walk downhill for fear of collapsing. Now I can run a half marathon and the thought never even crosses my mind. It's a freedom I don't take lightly.

    I'm not saying my experience will be your experience. But I mainly just want to let you know (and any others who have issues with running) that we're capable of things that may initially seem impossible to us. It doesn't happen overnight though. It can take time - a lot of time for some of us.

    I hope this wasn't too much "me" talk. And that it helps.
    xray.png 112.5K
  • bendyourkneekatie
    bendyourkneekatie Posts: 696 Member
    I used to hate running. About a year ago I quite c25k in disgust, certain that running was too boring for me to ever bother with. I was also certain I just wasn't meant to be a runner.
    I started trying again in August and, thanks to a stronger cardiovascular fitness at that point from other activities, was able to run 5k right off the bat and I was hooked. I've built up my distance and now find running the best thing ever. I run 14-25km 3 times a week right now, have my first half in a couple weeks, and will be doing a marathon in October.
    Of course it isn't for everyone. But if you really want to know if it's for you, you need to give it a good try. It's amazing how quickly your endurance can increase, and how great it feels to run a decent distance.
  • mommazach
    mommazach Posts: 384 Member
    I used to think the only time I would ever run was if someone is chasing me. My daughter challenged me to run 1... Just 1 5K with her last year. I started the C25K app to get ready... Couldn't have my baby showing mom up now could I? So now, I run. I'm not fast by any means, and I've been told I actually jog, but I can out "jog" all of my 5 children now. Make sure you stretch really well before and after, and make sure you rest one day between each run. There are some great stretching for running videos on YouTube. I'd start with about 10 minutes because IT HELPS. If running was for everyone, we wouldn't need MFP. I have never ran in my life until last year, and I got hooked. I got fitted for good shoes.... There are places online that can help you find them, and then I ran 4 5K's last year and finished strong with a 5Miled Obstacle course. If running is for you, you will run! If it's not, you will learn another exercise technique.
  • WhatMeRunning
    WhatMeRunning Posts: 3,538 Member
    edited February 2016
    For anyone who is physically able to run...


    Whether you choose to do so is another matter entirely.

  • olong
    olong Posts: 255 Member
    I started running by walking. Then, I would set up little goals.... run to X spot or Y minutes, then walk, then repeat. Eventually, my goals became farther/longer. Soon, I found I could sustain a run, though my pace was a 13.5 minute mile, which eventually became an 11 minute mile, which remains my most comfortable pace, plenty of sweat and 8 miles at a time (I happen to like running distance, which I didn't know before trying). Then I extended my distance.

    I did not set out to be a runner. I only set out to challenge myself - to make the hour I set aside interesting.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,874 Member
    Basically anyone can run or learn to run...but not everyone is going to excel at it nor is everyone going to enjoy it...

    I've never been a good distance runner at all...even when I was in the military and had to run all the time, I was always at the end of the pack on my PFT. Sprinting on the other hand...well, at one point in time and for a brief moment in time I was actually ranked third in my state in the 100M.

    I'm a good sprinter and can blow the doors off...but I suck at distance running and also hate it...which is why I generally cycle and do sprint intervals to cross train.