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 Post subject: Advice for the Newbie, por favor!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:19 pm 
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Finch

Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 12:29 pm
Posts: 8
Hello everyone! I’m a newbie here! Just wanted to get some advice from you guys because I’m pretty new to the vegan fitness world. BTW, I’m 22, 6’0”, 155 lbs. Haven’t had regular exercise since high school gym!

For about two months, I have been focused mostly on running. I’m doing 30 minute jogs on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Along with that I’m just doing pushups and sit ups and working some dumbbells at home. Not very exciting, but like I said, I’m new!

One of the things I’m having problems with in my runs is I seem to get a lot of injuries. I injured my Achilles a while back and couldn’t run for 5 days! I get a lot of soreness in my calves that last a while, but now I’m experiencing something that feels totally different than soreness running parallel to the ground around mid-calf. I’m not sure what I can call an injury and take a break from or when it’s okay to keep running! And why is it taking so long to heal!

I plan on sneaking into the fitness room and getting in some strength training before I go to work once a week (so nobody can see me make an ass out of myself) but I’m not sure where to start. I read a bit on strength training and it sounds so complicated! How can lifting a heavy object repeatedly be so complicated! What I did learn intimidated me more than I was before I considered starting.

Anywho, I know I’m a cheap-o looking for free fitness advice from the internet, but a gym membership and a trainer is out of my price range right now.


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 Post subject: Re: Advice for the Newbie, por favor!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 1:20 pm 
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Gorilla

Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2010 3:57 pm
Posts: 527
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
What are your goals? I have some ideas if you want to get stronger.

As far as your injuries go, it might have something to do with how new you are to running. Maybe your body just isn't used to it yet. I'm not a doctor though, so if it really hurts, go to a doctor!


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 Post subject: Re: Advice for the Newbie, por favor!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 1:44 pm 
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Elephant
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Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 8:53 am
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Location: Scotland
Hey man, welcome :)

Strength training doesn't have to be complicated. Squats/deadlifts/bench press/overhead press/pull-ups are all great exercises. The simpler the program the better. Starting strength or stronglifts are worth a look at.

If you're dumbbells aren't that heavy strength training can be kinda hard. You'll need big weights for lower body stuff. Try and get access to a barbell and some big weights. In the meantime squats (holding dumbbells), push-ups, and chins/pull-ups are good exercises to break you in.

How's your diet? Even running 4 times a week could be quite taxing on your muscles if they don't have good food/rest to recover.

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 Post subject: Re: Advice for the Newbie, por favor!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 2:20 pm 
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Stegosaurus
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Location: San Jose, CA
It's important when you are running that you are wearing the proper shoes. Have you been fitted at a running store? They will watch you walk (or run, depending on the store) and match you with shoes based on your stride.

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 Post subject: Re: Advice for the Newbie, por favor!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 6:44 pm 
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Gorilla
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Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2008 11:27 am
Posts: 722
Location: Ontario
Good advice here so far. The shoes could definitely be one problem, as could the volume of training you're doing for a beginner. Half an hour 4 times a week is a lot for someone who has never done it before...you might need more rest between runs in order to stave off injuries, until your body adapts.

Also, as for why some of this is taking "so long" to heal - you don't mention how long this specific problem has been going on. If you actually injured your achilles, you should have taken much longer than 5 days before getting back to running...trying to do too much, too quickly will risk serious injury.

My best suggestion is to mix up running with biking/eliptical/whatever other types of cardio you have available or appeal to you. It will help avoid repetitive stress injuries while your body adjusts to running. Running 4 times per week as a beginner with injury concerns doesn't sound like a good idea...I'd try to alternate between running and another form of cardio for now, and don't be afraid to take time off from running if you think you have any injuries.


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 Post subject: Re: Advice for the Newbie, por favor!
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 11:28 am 
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Finch

Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 12:29 pm
Posts: 8
Thanks for the advice guys! Yeah, I have been fitted for running shoes. I ended up getting a pair of Mizunos that work really well for me. I think a lot of my injuries are from the fact that my body is not used to absorbing the constant impact of running. It's a bummer though, because I find myself falling behind on my schedule.

My diet is pretty good. I am certainly not a junk food vegan. I'm always aware of what I should be eating. For example, I'll say "Oh, I haven't had a leafy green or whole grain dish in a while" and I'll make sure it happens. I do eat a LOT of brown rice and a LOT of beans.

My goal is mostly to do long distance runs. I know some strength training and cross training will help, so I'm working that in on my injury days (hopefully there won't be too many more!). My feelings are if it doesn't hurt to run, then run. But that may not be the best way to go about things.


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 Post subject: Re: Advice for the Newbie, por favor!
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 3:32 pm 
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Manatee
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Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 2:33 pm
Posts: 360
Yep..I TOTALLY screwed up my achilles too. Its usually caused by too little dorsiflexion and pronating too much. Im relearning to walk correctly and place my weight on the outside of my feet... Hopefully I'll be able to run again one day. Please take care if your tendon hurts, its easy to break. See a GOOD fisio for some advice. I've actually almost corrected my knock knees with exercises recommended by my fisio so its amazing what you can achieve one you have the correct info. :wink:
FYI, walking on tiptoes is great for strengthening the whole of the ancle. Try it on the running machine with a slight incline.

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 Post subject: Re: Advice for the Newbie, por favor!
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:15 pm 
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Finch

Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:10 pm
Posts: 2
Quote:
I've actually almost corrected my knock knees with exercises recommended by my fisio so its amazing what you can achieve one you have the correct info.


Hey, can you please,please, please describe these exercises? :)
I understand that each case is different, but maybe they could help me too. :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: Advice for the Newbie, por favor!
PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:20 pm 
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Manatee
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Fine, I'll tell you what he told me but in real laymans terms XD. Having knock knees in general stems from the lazy way you learn to walk when you are a toddlerl. You find it easier to "cheat" and "swing" your legs around, one infront of the other, than pick up your knees and walk correctly. This causes an imbalance in the muscle and ligament lengths, and strengths on the inside and outside of your legs. You will find that if you look straight ahead at your legs in the mirror, the bottom of your foot will bend in at an angle towards your ancle. If you put your weight on the outside of your feet and twist your knees out, you will see that your ancles don't "sag down" so much and are far straighter in relation to the base of the heel (mm..hope you are following me). Well basically you need to remember this position and try to maintain it from now on at all times. You'll need to re-learn how you walk, remembering to walk with your weight on the outside of your feet, trying to suprinate rather than pronate the foot. You have to remember also not to relax your ancle when you are standing still. It feels really unnatural at first and you have to have it constantly in mind. It took about 6 weeks for me to learn to walk and stand in another way. Also, when you do leg exercises at the gym, remember that your knees should never buckle in, push using the outside edge of your feet and predominantly with the heel. I also did a lot of leg extentions, but only working the top 10-20% of the movement and focussing on tensing the muscle at the top. I also did one leg at a time so I could rotate my foot out, you'll see this concentrates the effort onto that tear shaped muscle you have above your knee, this muscle is also very important in holding your knee in line, so to say. Its difficult to find a knock kneed person who has this muscle well developed. I had good leg muscles but this one was out of proportion. Use 7 sets of 10-15 reps with this one with very little rest imbetween. I also worked on this muscle on the running machine. I put a slight incline on the machine but I didn't turn on the motor. Then I got on the machine backwards and PUSHED the tape away from me, like i was walking backwards uphill. I also had to run sidewards on the tape. It was difficult at first but I got used to it and used to put the machine at about 9kmph and do 20 seconds skipping to the right, 20 seconds going backwards and 20 seconds skipping to the left etc. Be careful though, its takes a bit of practise to turn around when the machine is on and you get some wierd looks from other gym members!
When I first started these exercises along with walking in a different way, my aductors got tired and my ancles and my knees felt kinda "wierd", but then I started noticing they looked straighter and now they are almost perfect. I also used to get a lot of probelms with my achiles tendons but they stopped when I sorted out my knock knees...Oh! Also my shoes last longer now because they don't get deformed by excessive pronation, checking the wear on your shoes is a great indicator of if you are doing this correctly...XD Good luck!

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 Post subject: Re: Advice for the Newbie, por favor!
PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 2:01 pm 
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Finch

Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:10 pm
Posts: 2
Ruz, thank you for your detailed answer! I still have some questions for you:

1. do you think this can be fixed at any age? I'm almost 25.
2. I tried walking and standing the way you described, and it doesn't just feel weird, it really hurts. And it's difficult to do this for more than 5 minutes. Is it ok?
3. do you have any pictures of your legs 'before' and 'after'? seeing the results would be really inspiring! :)
4. do you still have to force/remind yourself to put your weight on the outside? or is it already a habit that your body is used to?

thanks in advance!


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 Post subject: Re: Advice for the Newbie, por favor!
PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:16 pm 
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Manatee
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Joined: Fri May 07, 2010 8:22 pm
Posts: 420
Location: San Diego
1. be fitted for the proper shoe. most stores will do this for free, if they know what they are doing and are reputable.

2. if you are running 4 days a week, you need short and long days....example. if you are running 4 days @ 3 miles a time, thats 12 miles. it would be better to do a 2 mile run, 2 mile run, 3 mile run, 5 mile run. every few weeks you increase the long day by 1 mile, and every other week you add .5 miles to the 3 mile runs, the 2 would stay the same.

something like this.
sunday - rest/ cross train for 30-60 min.
monday - 3 mile run
tuesday 2 mile run
wed. - rest/ cross train 30. min
thursday - 3 mile run
friday - rest
saturday - 5 mile run

at first the rest days are necessary, after a month or 2 you should be cross training to prevent injury and help your runs out. cross training is anything low impact, cycling, swimming, yoga, etc...

3. most soreness and injuries come from not being properly fitted for shoes, not warming/ cooling down/ stretching, and over training.

im not an expert on the injury you speak of, see a doctor. i would tell you to fight through it, because its what i do, but its not smart.

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 Post subject: Re: Advice for the Newbie, por favor!
PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 6:28 pm 
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Manatee
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Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 2:33 pm
Posts: 360
You really can't fight through knock knees..believe me. You have to correct the problem first. You definitely shouldn't run much, lower impact cardio would be preferable, especially something where you can concentrate on correct form...and correct form is really difficult to achieve when running!
I did a lot of step-ups and step-downs onto a high box in interval fashion for my cardio. I think I was inspired by a video on you tube for knee rehabilitation by the Diesel Crew...
Maybe one day you could go back to running a lot, but as someone who broke their achilees tendon from "fighting through it", I personally can't recommend it. Hip, knee, lower back, ankle, tendon and many other injuries can result from running with knock knees.
I actually found using the foam roller immensely helpful in lengthening tightened tendons and ligaments or whatnot which had resulted from walking around knock kneed for years!
I too however, am no expert. I read everything I could find on the net and had a fisio who was interested in curing my injuries, not keeping me as a regular client...
To be safe consult a fisio if you've got the cash XD

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I'm not a vegan because I love animals..I'm a vegan because I hate plants!


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