Running prep? (Read 104 times)

The Hansenator

    I wasn't sure if this is the right forum for this but..,


    Are there guidelines for getting in shape to start running? Like drills to improve form, or strengthen necessary muscles, or identify weaknesses and things that might lead to injuries?  Things I can work on at home would be most likely to get done regularly.


    I'm 47 with a history of back and foot pain, leading me to become quite out of shape. Physical therapy has done a lot of good and my pt had me start with alternating four minutes walking with one minute running. That's getting better and each time i go out it seems to hurt less but I'd like to get all the running muscles turned on so I can keep at it without injury.


    Here's one example - I get inner knee pain on the left and it seems related to hamstring activation. When I feel more activity in the inner hamstring area my knee feels better.



      Your pt has the right idea with the four minutes walking one minute running to begin with. There's a program called 'couch to 5k' that's based on this idea. Gradually you'll start filling up more of that five-minute block with running. The key is gradually upping that ratio. If you do it too quickly, you'll injure yourself. I don't want to recommend much because you have foot and back issues. You should ask the pt for more exercises that will help you improve. Squats and push ups can get you a long ways if you're starting from zero, but check with your pt first.

      The Hansenator

        Thanks for the reply.


        The pt is working with me on the foot and back issues and that's going well. I was wondering if there's more general advice like maybe "People who can't do this are more likely to get injured". Or if there are drills to help correct common technique flaws?


          Take it slow and easy.  A walk\run mix, as your PT is advocating, makes sense.

          Old , Ugly and slow

            What kind of back issues?


            running can tighten back muscles.


            if your back is just weak and/or tight


            then you could start with yoga.

            then find someone  to show you how to deadlifts

            first race sept 1977 last race sept 2007


            2014goals   1300  miles  , 190 pounds , deadlift 400 touch my toes

            Bacon Party!

              A "functional movement screen" (FMS) might be helpful to identify strengths and weaknesses and assess your readiness to run. Such a screen would be followed with recommended exercises.


              You might be able to find an FMS credentialed practitioner with running experience in your area. Or not.


              Failing that, you could start running and see how you break. Then start The Process. 


              pace sera, sera

              The Hansenator

                Back issue is related to glute activation. This also led to foot problems. I've had back problem my whole life but it's gotten worse in recent years. I suspect my glute (medius I think) has been weak for most of my life and will take some time to come up to speed. Making good progress though.

                  Walking lunges, body weight squats to begin with, push ups and pull ups will be all you need for a few months at least, probably more. I wouldn't say it's actually running prep, more just general strength stuff. However, that general strength will pay off day to day.

                  The squats and walking lunges will give you the leg strength you need. Lots of people don't do this strength stuff, but if you're just starting in your 40s, you'll need to build some muscle. It'll also help prevent more than just running injuries.

                  Look around on YouTube for good tutorials and record yourself doing the exercises so you can check your form. Recording yourself will also give you positive reinforcement because you'll see yourself improve.

                  The most important thing is to go slowly and not rush yourself.