It's been my experience from a lot of top-notch coaching back in the day that with shin splints, it has a lot more to do with your running form and your shoes than any particular type of training. Except downhills. Downhills can murder your shins if you do them wrong... and if you do a lot, even right.
- Make sure your shoes are correct for your legs, pronation, and weight.
- Run level. Don't bounce up and down. Ideally this involves:
--- footfall directly below center of mass
--- pushing extension behind you
--- no reaching forward/heel strikes.
--- lowering your center of mass to keep your head level
Correct, balanced, and even running prevents SO MUCH painful stress particularly on relatively unfit joints and bones. Asphalt makes it worse, and concrete is flippin brutal. If you're in a c25k program, your joints aren't fit. Smooth counts for everything....
Eventually your bones catch up with what you are asking of them. As the bone density increases, the ability to handle the repeated stress increases, and most of the time, so does your smoothness of gait.
ETA: It also makes you flippin fast on your feet...
I started running a little bit. I'm overweight and about to turn 61, also showing some signs of depression. But I started running just around my small arena, doing short (short!) intervals. This morning, I left something in my office at the start of class and had to rush back, and even ran up the stairs!
I'm concerned about an 8 y.o. hip replacement, but I try hard to run without a lot of scope and to use muscles to absorb motion, rather than pounding joints. So far, so good. I've found I really do miss running, and it's simple and cheap (tho I do need to get a better pair of shoes ... ).
I don't aspire to do any big distance runs; just want to feel a bit better and try to lose some weight. My horses will appreciate that ...
"One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine
Agree with Belg... I started to get shin splints after the first couple runs I did with C25K. Getting correctly fitted shoes made a huge difference. I also run on grass as much as possible (big park near my house so I can run across the soccer fields and on the dirt paths) or on the treadmill, and am building up my tolerance to asphalt slowly. I get a little bit of shin pain every now and then but it's mild now.
I was also told that it's important to let shin splints rest completely before running again, because trying to work through them will just make it worse.
I'm curious about the connection of shin splints to riding though!
We always tried to run through ours with a easy day or two.... Worst was a week. Generally it meant it was time to retire your shoes to walking and get a new pair.
But in general, that's the difference between have a plan and having a coach. You couldn't really learn Grand Prix dressage by reading the SRS books. You need someone who can teach you how to apply the knowledge in correct form in concert with your own biomechanics and your own... What's the word....self awareness of body posture. Drawing a total blanks. Kinesthetic awareness?
Anyhow, couch to 5k is great for getting off the couch. It needs help like anything else to make a competent, safe, healthy activity; unless of course your naturally balanced athletically and coaching is absurd I've met those people and envy them. I've also outrun a few of them
I have recently gotten new shoes. So far so good. knock on wood! The shins are slightly sore sometimes but so far so good. I like what Belg said-- I need someone to teach me, not just a book. I have started using Sore No More Gel (yes the horse stuff) and that also helps! I have learned more about my posture and my stride and how to properly cary myself. That has helped I think too.
Wow. I am feling overwhelmed with the different fitness options. I think I will start with the C25k to get off my butt and outside. Then see how much weight training I can stand.
Since I started this thread I have come down with a HORRIBLE head cold which has gone to my lungs. So no running for a bit. But I am walking to the far corner of the 5 acre paddocks to take blankets off and then carrying heavy blankets back to the gate. Come to think of it, I could probably start just by walking the fence line of my paddocks. Hmmmmmmm.
A friend is having wrist surgery on Wed and next week he wants to go on daily walks because that is the only exercise he is allowed to do for a while. I need to get into enough shape to even walk farther than a mile....
Lets keep going with reports back. Misery loves company!
If at all possible, try to get some sessions with a good trainer, particularly if you have a problem with an old injury. A good trainer can adapt exercises to help the injured part or prevent new injury.
Running alone or any cardio alone is not going to be all you need-especially if you are after a 'certain age'
Weight training is the Holy Grail...along with some sort of flexibility training (like Yoga).
The best investment you can EVER make is in a program sold through BeachBody.
I have done almost every one of the extreme programs-but there are several for those just getting back into fitness.
Tony Horton's P90 (NOT P90X) would be a good start.
I believe Debbie Siebers Slim Series is another one.
Chalean Extreme is a fantastic program and you can modify if you are new again to fitness.
They are balanced programs that work your entire body correctly.
And you can do them in your own home so no excuses.
I could never live without Beachbody.
I'm with LMH on this one! I recently rehabbed my shoulder from several rotator cuff tears (as in, 3 out of 4) and borrowed the P90X (I don't know about the P90?) and *slowly* built up to the exercises in it. As in: I will probably never be able to do a "real" pull-up, so I use the band in my doorway. My push-ups aren't great, most of them are on my knees...but not ALL of them. It's the best overall fitness program I've done. When I've run in the past, my hips tighten up horribly, but with this program it's enough yoga and stretching in between to keep all my muscles strong but not overly tight. I DO have to say I'm not a big fan of the Yoga tape in this series, it's not as flowing as I'd like to see (too many push-ups thrown in and I don't like the order of the exercises)so.....for those of you who have the Gillian Michaels Yoga tape, how is that one? Or can anyone suggest a GOOD yoga DVD? One that is challenging, but makes "sense" for a yoga tape? (ie not a bunch of push-ups, lol)
If you have a back problem and/or other injuries I would urge you to NOT just try something on your own, but instead consult a physical therapist/trainer or the like. You can really mess yourself up.
If you really want to be fit, you have to work in all of the areas of fitness- aerobic endurance, speed, flexibility, muscle strengthing, core body strength.
I wouldn't suggest someone who is really unfit to start off with running- in general, it takes very little time to achieve aerobic fitness, and then the other parts of your body lag behind in fitness and you're setting yourself up for an injury. I've heard estimates that it takes only about 3 months to achieve basic aerobic fitness, about 6 months to strengthen muscles, and almost 2 full years to strengthen tendons and ligaments and bones. So you hear stories about all the new runners who start out ok and then quickly start to suffer injuries like shin splints and foot pain and assorted others- because they haven't strengthened the core structure of their body before embarking on running.
If you're really unfit, I'd start out with a basic pilates class and some swimming and walking. Pilates will strengthen your core and walking will start strengthening your structure; swimming is excellent all-around. Then I'd add in some weight-training to build muscle and help strengthen the structure more- older people, and women, are often very weak in their muscles. I'd only add in aerobics like running after months, possibly a full year, of doing pilates, weight-training, and basic walking/swimming.
I have done pretty much everything mentioned. C to 5k can be modified to speed walk or eliptical or something more joint friendly. But I really like the rating of the increases. It will seem too easy at first and you will be tempted to skip ahead. Don't.
I like the Beach Body programs (not the price). I have a really hard time staying motivated to work out in my own home. That's just me. Oh and I got burned buying Chalean Extreme on Ebay--looked brand new but must have been pirated as some of the discs didn't work in various players.
I also agree with whomever said weight training is the holy grail. Best fitness and body I ever had was weight training 3-4 times a week.
I really like some of the recipes in the Sonoma Diet cookbooks and the philosophy of eating frequently and "clean."
Wow you guys have almost inspired me to do something. But every night is working on the house right now. I don't even have a kitchen to cook in anyway.
I'm a huge fan of Debbie Rodriquez's Success in the Saddle DVD's - 6 20 minute workouts that you can add hand weights to once you have them down - focus on rider muscles and your core - I think she has just come out with another dvd (great xmas present!)
Last winter I did these for 3 months and really noticed a difference fitness wise AND in the saddle - then spring showed up and I slacked off, fast forward to doing almost nothing fitness wise all summer/fall and putting on some lbs - so I got back in the groove and I'm noticing a difference -- I'm over 50 and like that I can do this quick workout when I have time in my day, without having to go to gym or buy a cute outfit (horse needs new show bridle so no cute outfits for me!)
For everyone who's a fan of the BeachBody programs, check out lovingfit.com. The girl who runs it is a former trapeze artist and professional figure skater, now a certified personal trainer. Her routines are well put-together, balanced, and most importantly, EFFECTIVE. They're also hella hard, but once you get past of the initial few weeks when all of it feels hard, they do start to get do-able, albeit still challenging. (tip: start with her earlier routines, as she was coming off of a back injury--they're definitely easier).
I honestly can't say enough good things about Tatianna--and the best part is, they're FREE!
The Jillian Michaels DVD's are good too...I did 30-day shred a few years ago when I was basically a couch slug (I could never get past level 2) and found them surprisingly difficult but yes, effective as well. They're a good starting point for building up a basic level of fitness.
To the OP--I would DEFINITELY start by just walking your fence lines! Walking really is great cardio--the only drawback to it is that it takes a lot of time on your feet to get a decent calorie burn, which is why most people move on to running pretty quickly, since you get more calorie bang for your time. And don't shy away from weight training--it truly is the "holy grail", as someone else noted. In fact, I doubt you'll see any real results until you start incorporating it. Even if you start with something as simple as 3 sets of 10 pushups (off your knees), some bicep curls with a light weight, and some lunges/squats to build your lower body your strength will improve.
Good luck! Maybe we should start a COTH workout-support group. I know I have a more than few jiggle pounds I'd like to get rid of....
LordHelpus, thanks for starting this thread. I've had some stresses this past year, and while comfort food has served its purpose, it's also served up a few extra lbs. The couch to 5K is going to be my new goal. I walk the beach every day, but my goal is to be fit enough to jog it and compete in a 5K next summer. I also want to show my horse before he's too old. I hope we can keep this thread going to support each other on this new journey.
My two cents here:
C2K is a FANTASTIC program. I started in early September of this year and have run two 5k's and am registered for a third in a few weeks. I was a complete non-runner when I started. I am 38 years old and did not find the program super difficult, but it was challenging. I am amazed at the improvements I have noticed in my fitness level.
As far as yoga DVD's, my favorites are Adrienne Reed's Power Yoga series. I believe she has her own website where she sells them. I first saw the series on PBS and liked it so much I purchased the DVDs. They are authentic yoga-not too much fast movement or bouncing around, and are challenging without being discouraging.
One other comment... check out LivingSocial, Groupon and other deal websites for your area. The first LivingSocial deal I bought was for two months' membership at my gym with unlimited classes, a fitness consultation/evaluation, and a massage, all for the price of one normal month's membership (without classes). Then I got 5 yoga classes for $15 at a studio that I ended up loving, and I just bought the same deal again there. I've seen stuff like yoga or fitness classes or gym intro memberships pop up a lot on those websites, and it's a good way to try out different things for not much money or commitment.