Getting back to running after a decade. (Read 91 times)


    I used to run a lot. Started when I was in the Army, then I started seriously training when I was in the reserves and college due to threatening deployments. Then when I was in law school,  I loved running around a lake that was 7 miles a few times per week. Great stress reliever. Then I started having low back pain, but eventually it got so painful I had to stop running. I now know where I went wrong, it was a muscle imbalance and I was not stretching enough in the right areas. I thought I was done running  for life due to low back pain so intense it has taken years to decline with proper physical therapy and stretching and simply time to heal. By some miracle 10 years later my low back is almost pain free as long as I use my stretch mechanism that literally looks like a mid evil torturing device. So yesterday, I did my first jog with my pup in 10 years, and well, I am 40 now, I realize I can't just dive in. I was horrible at running before and I really had to work on it to get my cardio up.  I only ran 1 mile and walked some parts to catch my breath. It was very hot outside as well. Words cannot express how happy I was to be able to do that. I felt things I have not felt in a decade.   I believe my non ability to run actually made me fall into depression, and well my Job did not help at all.  I did not really have anyone to tell this story too that would understand so I wanted to share that with people others who have a love of running because maybe they would understand.


    But I digress, Obviously I need new running shoes. I used to love Brooks Size D. But I was thinking since I am so out of shape, maybe I should train to forefoot run? So if anyone has advice on how to break back in after 10 years for a 40 year old who is 20 pounds overweight, what type of shoes or style of running do you recommend?


    I am taking two days off in between running and doing light strength training, Increasing 1/4 every week, I am semi retired from my toxic job and time is no problem. Stretching 1 to 2 times per day.  Obviously if the original pain comes back I will have to halt training. My goal is to drop 20 pounds and be able to run 5 miles and properly train for a 5k running about 7:30 minute miles. My fastest military APFT time on two miles was 12:30 which is great for me, and I had to work for those times and I was 28 not 40. I know a lot of people that are way faster but I am a mesomorph that likes his upper body muscles and that does not make for quick times lol.


    Any advice would be great though.


    Half Faster Runners 2023

      Go to a local running store and get properly fitted. (D width is standard for men's shoes and wide for a women's shoe.) I don't think that it's necessary to change your gait for a forefoot strike if that's not your natural gait.


      I think it's too soon to worry about pace. Run mostly easy, sometimes hard and mix it up. Couch to 5k and One Hour Runner are a couple of options that many find success with to get back to running. Try not to focus on what you used to do. Run with the body you have now and start from where you are. You can do this. Smile

      Half Fanatic #9292. 

      Game Admin for RA Running Game 2023.

        I, my brother, and a friend all started running in our late 40's to early 50's.  One of us took a full year of effort until able to run 2 to 3 miles nonstop, another started by running 6 miles nonstop and built up from there, and the third was in between.  Two of us had never run before, the in between one had last run almost 30 years before.


        I suggest that you find a good physical therapist to work with you to prevent the problems from coming back.


        It is almost impossible to run your training runs too slow, but very easy to run them too fast.  I once found myself running with an elite athlete.  He running at 12 minutes per mile.  Two good ways to select a good training pace:


        1) Conversational effort.  This means what it says: you should be able to carry on a conversation at all times.  Take walk breaks as needed.


        2) Run an all out 5K race, taking walk breaks as/if needed.  Then a good training pace is 1:30 to 2 minutes per mile slower than your 5K pace.  If you feel you should faster, run another 5K to find out.  A 5K race not more than once per month is good.


          Thank you all for your insight. When I stopped running I went to Carolina Back Institute. I had the best physical therapist that showed me in about 10 minutes that my right side was tighter than my left and the 12 years of running had led to ligaments being stretched in my low back causing unstable low back  and lots of pain. I have been in an out of physical therapy for over 10 years, I did prolotherapy as well. I believe I have corrected it. And the secret I found was a leg stretching machine which has gotten all those hard areas nice and loose. But I still need to stretch 2 x a day and strengthen core muscles to prevent injury. I am also going to dose BPC 157 to aid in recovery. There is nothing more I can learn from a physical therapist, I just need to put in the work.  Most recently I just had my spine checked out and it was good to go.


          I have gone on two light runs that end up being light jog, walk, light jog and walk, for a total distance of 1.5 miles.  Took a day off in between with therapy and stretching. I did not know at this age that you don't feel as sore the day after, but the 2nd day after, holy cow.  So I will probably only be able to run about 2 times a week. I will see how it goes.


            I am in a similar but not identical boat. I did not have any injuries but am 40 and took over a decade off from running to pursue other interests (job, family, etc as well as being a bit lazy about exercise). I also was about 15 lbs overweight. I dropped 20 through a combination of exercise and diet change.


            I agree with just getting a running shop's opinion about shoes. I would increase distance and improve pace very conservatively. I typically do 5-6 miles when I go out, and my last organized 5k was 8:22 pace, followed by a 10k 2 weeks later at 8:50 pace. I probably could have pushed a little harder but I'm less concerned about being competitive and more into just enjoying the scenery, gradually increasing to half marathon distance in the fall,  and burning some calories. The last thing I want to deal with is an injury.


              Haha, well Fate has another curveball for me. I had two runs under my belt and was feeling great. Took my 7 month year old puppy (Doberman that weighs 70 lbs) on the beach for some fun, ended up breaking MY TOE!  So now i have 2 months of healing and stretching before I can run again.  Maybe some BPC 157 to help heal.