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Riding & Running

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  • Riding & Running

    Along with riding I workout and run at least a couple miles 3-4 times a week. The constant stress of running causes my knees to stiffen up and my ankles and tendons to be sore. I'm never sure if I should continue running since the soreness does continue to hurt while I'm riding. I've been giving myself days off when I have my lessons but I don't want to skip out on workouts.

    Any suggestions or personal opinions from those that run and ride as well?

  • #2
    It sounds like you need new/different shoes. I'd recommend going to a running store and having your gait evaluated. They can give you some shoe recommendations as well. RoadRunner also lets you try out shoes and ship them back if they don't work for you.
    “Thoroughbreds are the best. They’re lighter, quicker, and more intelligent.” -George Morris


    • #3
      You really should get professionally fitted for shoes, makes a huge difference.
      for more Joy then you can handle


      • #4
        Originally posted by Wholehearted View Post
        It sounds like you need new/different shoes. I'd recommend going to a running store and having your gait evaluated. They can give you some shoe recommendations as well. RoadRunner also lets you try out shoes and ship them back if they don't work for you.
        Definitely agree. A good pair of running shoes can make all the difference.


        • #5
          Definitely agree on the shoes. Also, it helps to do some cross training. I have bad knees and I can continue running as long as I'm also either doing yoga regularly or at least some strength training (weight lifting, etc). If I don't do that, then my knees get too sore to run.


          • #6
            Good shoes and STRETCHING!!!
            Specialized Equine Rehabilitation, Reproduction, and Fitness in the Wine Country of Northern California


            • #7
              Back in the day I ran the Big Sur Marathon- then horsie came along. Be sure you have good shoes that are appropriate for your build- buy them at a running store. Did you suddenly start running? From my experience you always want to build up mileage gradually, I think the idea was to not increase your distance more than 10% of your current distance per week. Maybe you should mix in some walking with the running or some other less stressful on the body activity and then gradually increase your running distance. Don't run through pain- listen to your body. Good luck and kudos for working out!


              • #8
                Perhaps just get a demanding workout on an elliptical if you're a gym member? It alleviates the impact that running would have.. just make sure you're putting forth the same effort as you would running. I "run" about 10 miles or more on the elliptical and still sweat like a crazy woman, but it's nowhere near as demanding on my joints as running is (for me anyway).

                I also run and it's completely different than the elliptical. Agreed with muk, it's never good to run through pain, or attempt to run through it. But... I also run in barefoot shoes and if i could run barefoot and avoid the glass bits that are all over my roads at home, I would :P


                • #9
                  My mileage for this week should be 23 miles if I get it all in. I run 3-4 days per week and hardly ever have any soreness or pain. I am also a trainer and spend a lot of time in the saddle. Something is definitely NQR with you.. Whether it be bad shoes, no/not enough stretching, too much mileage.. Maybe you're going to fast? I finish 5 miles in what probably some people do a half marathon in. I know my limitations though. At this point I can't go faster, and if I try, I run into problems. Granted, I am more cautious than most because with my job, I can't afford to get hurt, but it works. Maybe you need to reevaluate your program?
                  Teneriffe Enterprises- NW Indiana


                  • #10
                    I second the elliptical. So much easier on the joints.
                    *OMGiH I Loff my Mare* and *My Saddlebred Can Do Anything Your Horse Can Do*


                    • #11
                      A lot of people have very poor running form which tends to lead to pain in the joints and/or tendons. Poor form can be caused by a plethora of issues- instability in the ankles (causing ankles to collapse inwards), weak through the hips (which usually leads to collapsing inwards at the knee), overstriding, etc. If you are a serious about running, it would be a worthwhile investment to work with a personal trainer to improve your form.

                      Of course shoes are important and its good to have someone evaluate you in case you need special shoes (high or low arches, over pronate, etc).

                      I think injury free high mileage (40+ miles a week) is completely attainable by most people, but you absolutely need to have decent running form. It will also improve your efficiency which will increase both endurance and speed. I ran cross country and track in college at a division I school and currently coach track in the summer when I have time. Its an awesome form of cross training for riding!

                      PS- don't forget to ice those injuries!


                      • #12
                        I ran cross country all through high school and college and have continued to be a long distance runner during my adult years.

                        Get professionaly fitted for shoes. Also, try Osteo-bioflex or however you spell it. You can find a good coupon for it on their website.

                        Its made a HUGE difference with my knees and hips. I started with double strength or whatever. Did a loading dose and was able to go down to the regular strength after a few months. If you buy the 4x strength, you save money.

                        Are you stretching after you run? You shouldnt be having much muscle soreness the next day if you are stretching enough. Try advil and ice. Make sure you are not increasing your miles too fast.

                        You shouldnt have soreness that keeps you from riding, thats for sure. If you do, you might just need some tips from a sports therapist or personal trainer. You can try to do some yoga to help stretch out more as well.

                        I seriously doubt you are in the group that "should not be running" you just need some education.


                        • #13
                          Any past injuries?

                          I ask because I tore my quad, ran through the pain, and even now with properly fitted shoes and some stretching, I'm always going to have knee pain once I hit and exceed 15 miles/week. Meh.

                          But it never once affected my riding. And my ankles and tendons were never sore, maybe my quads if I gave myself some time off for whatever reason. I vote for getting a lameness eval and some corrective shoeing .
                          COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                          "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl


                          • #14
                            Lots of good suggestions so far, but here is my advice-

                            I am in the 20+ miles per week group. If you can workout on the elliptical once or twice per week, especially on days when you also ride, you might find that that helps with some of the soreness. I really enjoy the elliptical as a bit of change from just constant running, and it works out a whole different sets of muscles, while being easy on the joints. I would also suggest swimming if you have an indoor pool available to you. Once I got over the initial learning curve, I found it to be one of the best cardio workouts for me! And no stress on the knees/ankles at all. A good joint supplement might also be needed-- that's something I have been meaning to look into for myself as well.

                            I might get flamed for this one, but you might want to look into some of the supportive stirrup irons. I know a lot of people don't like them for beginner type riders, but once you are past that and have a secure leg, I think it can really benefit some people.

                            Best of luck with the running!


                            • #15
                              You should replace your running shoes about every 200-400 miles, depending. My SO who does ultra marathons replaces his shoes a lot!
                              If only horses would use their athletic powers for good instead of evil. ~ MHM


                              • Original Poster

                                Thanks for all the helpful replies!

                                I received a new pair of running shoes only a few months ago but perhaps they really aren't fitted for me. I do stretch before and after. I've always felt awkward while running, like my position isn't right, shoulders stiff, etc.

                                When I was a bit younger, before I started working out, I would have the most horrible ankle pain from riding. I couldn't get a strong leg on the horse because my ankles and shins hurt so bad that I would just brace myself against the horse, causing me to tip forward and be easily ejected from the saddle. Went to an ankle specialist and got an MRI done—apparently there was some sort of bone problem, one growing into the other, but the MRI didn't show anything?


                                • #17
                                  If your shoes are not fitted to you, they may be your only problem. When I first "became" a runner I was running in the shoes I'd worn on the street for the longest time, and started having some severe, severe problems. I couldnt figure out what was wrong, but got the advice to get shoes fitted. My problems literally went away over night and have never returned.

                                  I had ankle problems when I was heavier than I am now, and they went away when I lost some weight and/or got the jointed stirrups. I have been using composite style ones for a few months now as well and they dont bother my ankles.
                                  Teneriffe Enterprises- NW Indiana


                                  • #18
                                    deep tissue massage can also help

                                    in addition to all of the above advice from everyone else, you might also consider deep tissue massage (try to get someone who does a lot of runners), a foam roller, or a stick roller. Of course, ice can also help with sore places. The deep tissue massage costs about $35 for half an hour.

                                    try to run on natural surface trails that aren't too uneven or potholed and avoid concrete and other hard surfaces if you can.

                                    the jointed stirrups such as Bow Balance or MDC seem to help some people. they don't make much difference with me, I have the MDC and they are a little more comfy than the non-jointed stirrups but I have used the MDC for a week and then the standard Fillis irons for a week and don't notice a difference as far as soreness after running.

                                    how long have you been running? it takes time for the body to make all the adaptations that allow you to run a lot, especially if you didn't start running regularly until adulthood. It can take 8-10 years or so.


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by loosehorse View Post
                                      Went to an ankle specialist and got an MRI done—apparently there was some sort of bone problem, one growing into the other, but the MRI didn't show anything?
                                      Ok maybe you are part of the "shouldnt be running crowd" Is this something a dr has said is okay to run with?

                                      Cycle, fitness walking, swimming, just some other things to do that can get your heart rate up without a lot of stress on you joints.