Feet and lower leg are sore when running. Help a newbie! (Read 154 times)


    So I've recently started running (about a week or so) and I find that after I run for about 0.75 miles or so, my feet and lower leg start to hurt and feel sore to the point where I have to sit down for a couple minutes and wait for the pain to subside before I can resume running. Any ideas on what could be wrong?

    A little background:- I'm 24, male, 5'10"  and weigh 180 pounds. I used to be very active physically about 5 years ago but since then I haven't been living a fairly sedentary lifestyle. I finally realized it was time I did something and lost some weight so I decided to start running. I tore my ACL about a year ago and my knee bothers me too while I run but not as much as my foot. While I have full extension in the injured knee, my good knee hyper extends a little so there's about a 2 or 3 degree difference in extension between my good knee and bad. I don't think that is the cause of this because I used to have the same problem even before I tore my ACL.

    This is the first ime in my life that I am running for an extended distance/period of time. While I was indeed quite active a few years ago, that was because I played a lot of sports and that involved bursts of running over an extended period but nothing like I am doing now. Could it just be that my muscles are week and need to be strengthened and I need to power through the pain?

    And I don't know if this matters but I don't have any swelling or signigicant discomfort post running.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.



      Oh, and I'm basically following a program:


      1st minute: Run 30 seconds, walk 30 seconds

      next 2 minutes: Run 1 minute, walk 1 minute

      next 3 minutes: Run 1.5 minutes, walk 1.5 minutes

      next 4 minutes: run 2 minutes, walk 2 minutes

      next 3 minutes: Run 1.5 minutes, walk 1.5 minutes

      next 2 minutes: Run 1 minute, walk 1 minute

      1st minute: Run 30 seconds, walk 30 seconds


      About a third of the way through this is when the pain starts and towards the end it's almost impossible for me to finish. The pain and soreness force me to stop long before the rest of my body feels tired and needs to stop.

        Pain is different than soreness.  You will get sore muscles your first week or so of a new exercise program.  I wouldn't recommend powering through pain as it is usually a sign of an injury.  Pain in your foot could be one of many different injuries depending on where it is.  If it is above your heel in the back, that is your achilles tendon.  That can be strained or torn.  If it is on the bottom of your foot, it could be plantar fascitis.  There are many other possible injuries to your foot, calves, and shins.  I have managed to get a lot of them over the years by doing too much too soon.  Most you can treat with RICE (rest, ice, and elevation).  For instance, if I have achilles tendonitis, I have had success with cutting my running back to every other day and using a frozen bag of peas to ice it about three times a day.

          Have you been fitted for running shoes?  Also, since you're just starting out, it's probably a good idea to run more slowly.  Almost everybody who is starting out starts at a pace that is too fast for them to hold over distance.


            TJoseph - The next time I am out running I will focus more on where exactly the pain is and let you know. It's not exactly a sharp pain in one area - more like a general pain in that area.


            Zelanie - I haven't been fitted for running shoes yet - I plan to do that this weekend. I feel like that may help - the shoes I wear now feel like they touch the arch of my foot a little more than I would like. I do not have flat feet. For a long time, I've worn only dress shoes and converse sneakers and these shoes aren't quite as comfortable as those shoes in the arch area of my foot. I'm not sure if they are supposed to feel that way or if they are the wrong shoes for me.


            Also, regarding speed, my average pace has been about 13:30 per mile. Is that too fast?


            Both of you - thanks for the responses! I know I'm not being very clear in terms of what exactly my problem is but thanks for taking the time to respond anyway.


              Just wanted to reinforce Zelanie reply with the fitted running shoes.

              Getting fitted and using a quality shoe that fits your gate is very important, especially for a running novice.

              Sounds like this is the step your taking. Let us know how it works out for you!



              Team 9 from Outer Space

                Regarding speed, it's hard to say if a specific pace is too fast or not, especially since what feels easy could be different day to day depending on sleep/energy/etc.  A better test is can you talk while maintaining that pace. It doesn't have to be super long sentences but if you could talk to someone while running, it's a good pace. Think conversational pace. Smile

                "Don't feel like running today...suck it up and run ...you're an athlete." (John Stanton, founder & owner of The Running Room)


                Three half marathons later, I got a number. Half Fanatic #9292. :)


                  Thanks for all the replies and sorry I took so long to write back. I'm getting fitted for running shoes tomorrow - I'll let you know how that goes! I went on a run since the last time I posted and I believe even stronger now that it is the shoes. Halfway through my run I started experiencing the same pain again and sat down for a minute and almost instantly fell better after I took off my shoes.

                  Jon the Freshman

                    It's always good ensure you have proper running shoes for your body type and foot/ankle motions.  Once you become more experienced in your running you'll begin to learn more and more about your body and what your body can tell you.  As far as your initial concerns the shoes should take you far (no pun intended). In the mean time if you have any residual soreness its best to nip it early even if you need to take an extra rest day. Ice is your best friend for sure whether its packs, massage or a bath.  Anyway I hope your new kicks solve your problems!