Running/jogging, injuries and stuff

Discussion in 'Health Tips for the Martial Artist' started by LastGasp, Aug 28, 2018.

  1. LastGasp

    LastGasp Orange Belt

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2018
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    22
    Trophy Points:
    23
    (TL;DR at bottom)

    I haven't done anything in fitness training, in a dedicated way, for many years, up till deciding a couple of months ago that it was long since time I did.
    So then I started to put a little regimen together, nothing too strenuous to start with. I quickly found myself able to increase this workout, and have been very pleased with my progress, even in so short a time.

    It has especially been a long time since I did any kind of running. Part of the reason for this is that I have a little 'dodginess' in one knee that made it awkward to run. The most I ever did was a short jog to get across a busy road, for instance. Even then, I found that I would jog on the balls of my feet/toes, I think to help reduce impact transferring up through the knee. Or whatever, but that's how I found I would do it.

    Now, I have found that I have built some strength about the knee, and have been running up and down the stairs as part of my new regime (I'm nothing if not unorthodox! lol), which has advanced this greatly. But what I really want to be able to do is proper jogging/running, for a proper cardio-vascular workout if nothing else.

    So with my new-found ability, I decided to test myself with some jogging on the spot, just to see how far I had come - didn't want to try going out for a jog straight away, partly, I admit, due to self-consciousness, but also in case I did myself an injury and would then find it difficult to get home.

    I'm glad I did! What I did at home, was 30mins jogging on the spot. I had planned to do just 15, but found I felt quite capable of keeping going, so it got to 20mins, then 25, then finally decided that 30 had given me a decent workout, bit sweaty, a little tired. I did the whole thing on balls of feet/toes. Felt fine, no worries, was actually very happy with my progress.

    Next day, the calf muscles in both legs were very stiff and painful. Clearly now, I'd overdone it. I have been hobbling about for the last couple of days, and only now are things improving - going to give it a day or two more before carefully going back to exercise.

    TL;DR So I have a couple of very basic questions about running, strange as it may seem to many:

    1. Is it a bad idea to run on the balls of the feet/toes?
    2. If my body is not going to give me any warnings or signals whilst exercising that I am overdoing it, how on earth am I going to set my exercise limits?!

    Help!
     
  2. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2018
    Messages:
    3,568
    Likes Received:
    1,032
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Apparently, the ideal is to land on your mid sole, with your foot directly under you and then push through the balls of your feet.

    Landing on the balls of your feet isn't great (bit of an increase in loading on your ankles, and like you experienced on your calves), but it could be worse.

    Worse is landing on your heels, that's incredibly bad all round.

    If you can only use your balls (;)) for now, then do that and work toward moving to your mid sole.

    Just don't go too far, if you start using your heels you'll have pain in your shins and knees (voice of experience on that I'm afraid...)
     
    • Useful Useful x 1
  3. LastGasp

    LastGasp Orange Belt

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2018
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    22
    Trophy Points:
    23
  4. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2018
    Messages:
    3,568
    Likes Received:
    1,032
    Trophy Points:
    263
    DOMS is way preferable to shin splints ;)

    DOMS might restrict you for a few days, splints take you pretty much out of running for a few weeks.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. LastGasp

    LastGasp Orange Belt

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2018
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    22
    Trophy Points:
    23
    Yup, improving rapidly now. Will get back to exercise in the next day or two I think :)
    I'll start in easy.
     
  6. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2017
    Messages:
    7,099
    Likes Received:
    1,044
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Manchester UK
    Your body expects you to know that doing new/ usual exercise, will cause muscle damage, causing lightSh, muscle damage is generally a good thinG, as it will cause your body to adapt, however, at your age/ standard of fitness it's not such a good idea, as your blood chemistry is all wrong for repairing, let alone adapting muscles, and all you do is postpone your next training session whilst your body very slowly heals its self, over time, once your body realised that this isn't some one off aberration, your blood chemistry will change to fit the new you, but your repair/ adaptation , recovery will always be on the slow side compared with some younger.

    Jogging is a completely pointless activerty, you need to walk before you can run, go for fast paced walks, that get you heart beating, once you have the hang of that, start doing occasional sprints, even if your flat out speed is only a jog, then walk some more, slowly turn it into a series of sprints with a bit of walking in between.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2018
    • Agree Agree x 2
  7. LastGasp

    LastGasp Orange Belt

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2018
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    22
    Trophy Points:
    23
    Yes, coming to realise this! lol

    This is exactly how I have started :)
    I began with easy walking, then started to push the walk as fast as I could without running, then started to do longer walks.
    But I also started walking up and down the stairs a lot, as I used to do a bit of hill-walking (I live near the Lake District), which I love, but had got out of shape for it, want to get back to it. Walking on the flat doesn't prepare you for this - first time I tried after a long lay-off, my heart went a little bit crazy :eek: Then I found I could start to run the stairs, which seems good for a cardio-vascular workout. After a couple of months of this progression, I found I had built up enough strength and control that my dodgy knee can now cope, and my heart doesn't give me anymore scares.

    So running seemed to me to be the next logical progression, easy jogging being a starting point. And the way I did it certainly gave the calf muscles a workout!

    Going to be a bit gentler with it for a while, see how things progress.
     
  8. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2017
    Messages:
    7,099
    Likes Received:
    1,044
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Manchester UK
    No easy jogging is pointless, either it's working your heart in the zone you want it it's not, and if it's easy it's not,

    Either carry on walking which is a good exercise In its own right especialy, if your getting breathless, or run properly, blast your heart rate right up for a few seconds and then go back to walking.

    I see people slow jogging for miles, with no real effort, if there no effort there no gain in cardio, it's pointless. all you are training is an ability to run very slowly for a long way, which is possibly not one of your goals
     
  9. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2017
    Messages:
    7,099
    Likes Received:
    1,044
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Manchester UK
    To further explain of you easy jog for say 30 mins, and only for the last 5 mins have you had seriously elevated heart rate and panting, then you have just waisted 25 mins, you could have got exactly the same, quite probably better, cardio benefits by running properly for 5 mins, if your easy jog doesn't consist of seriously elevated heart rate and pabting, then you have wasted, the full half hour, as far as improving cadrdio is concerned
     
  10. LastGasp

    LastGasp Orange Belt

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2018
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    22
    Trophy Points:
    23
    Walking, jogging, running, sprinting..,it's all better than sitting on my fat **** doing nothing, like I had been for the last year or so, lol
     
  11. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2017
    Messages:
    7,099
    Likes Received:
    1,044
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Manchester UK
    Well that is possibly true, but that's old news, the old you, you want the best fitness you can achieve if the shortest possible time,

    For that, you don't need a scatter gun,anything is better than nothing aproach, you need a focused goals and objective aproach.

    What is it you want to achieve ?

    Or is there any practical usskilfully in being able to run 3miles very slowly, I considered this back in the day and decided the answer was a resounding no, I have a use for being able to sprint short distances very quickly, and a theoretical use, for being able to, cover a mile in good time,if I'm being chased or chasing someone. And not at all that I can see for running at 4miles an hour.for a few miles.

    Running a long way slowly is not an intermediate step to either of those, it's a discipline that only results in you being good at running a long way slowly,
     
  12. LastGasp

    LastGasp Orange Belt

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2018
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    22
    Trophy Points:
    23
    No, I'm not concerned with getting fit fast.
    As to what I want to achieve, it's largely a case of just see where it all takes me. Remember I have all kinds of physical problems, and have had concerns about where my general health was going too. One. step. at. a. time.

    I do take your point jobo, and I will bear it in mind, but I'm still just feeling my way right now.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2018
  13. LastGasp

    LastGasp Orange Belt

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2018
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    22
    Trophy Points:
    23
    Here's a question for you then jobo:

    What's wrong with developing endurance?
    The last time I did regular hill-walking, I started by finding I couldn't go far on the fells of the Lake District. As I got used to it, I went further, until I could spend all day clambering around the tops. Some of the routes I've yet to do will take that long. At no time did I push my speed, that's not what that is about, unless you go fell-running.
    A few years ago, I spent two whole months camping among and walking the fells. I could go a whole lot further by the end of that than when I started. Even did run some of it by the end (usually on the homeward bound bits, so downhill lol).
     
  14. MxcnPhoenix

    MxcnPhoenix White Belt

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2018
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Utah, USA
    First off I want encourage you to keep moving in the direction your currently moving. I think it's wonderful that you're finding a purpose and passion for exercise and re-investigating the MA amidst the obstacles you're currently facing. Keep moving forward.

    I'd also like to add my two cents to this discussion in response to your two questions in your OP.

    Yes and No.

    Yes: if you have weak ankles from an injury and/or are de-conditioned from a long period of inactivity. Walking on the balls of your feet/toes over a specific distance on a safe, level surface is a very useful and very common method of helping athletes recover from ankle injuries and helping people who have weak ankles to develop the strength necessary to properly balance their body weight. Running that way, if you're not used to it (see the rest of my answer below), can lead to injury ESPECIALLY if your muscles are sore or tired from a previous session.

    No: because if you run that way naturally, or were trained to run that way at a young age and have just continued doing so, changing the way your foot hits the ground (known as a foot strike) could expose you to a greater chance of further injury. IIRC there was a research paper that was done indicating that there is no statistically significant benefit to changing the way you run naturally for MOST runners.

    This is an EXCELLENT question that I've both asked myself and been asked by others over the years. The short answer is that eventually your body will give you warning signs you're overdoing it. Unfortunately the answer to this question boils down to consistency. Start small and careful, as it seems you are, and make changes slowly even over the course of weeks if necessary because consistency will trump intensity (but they aren't mutually exclusive). Like you observed here:

    So my advice for this question is this: in the beginning program every exercise with 3 sets of 10 reps and allow yourself a "recovery day" in between sessions. I know at first that seems overly simplistic (and arguably "lazy") but hear me out. When you break down your exercises into 3 sets of 10 reps you have to break down the volume of work that you're doing and this is a wonderful diagnostic tool for deciding if you need to increase or decrease the intensity of the exercise. Using my example of walking on the balls of your feet/toes you could program your exercise to be 3 sets of 10 reps of walking 10m on the balls of your feet. If you can finish the exercise easily and experience no major muscle soreness or disruption in your "recovery day" you know that you need to increase the intensity tomorrow maybe increase the distance or add a backpack with books or rocks in it (or if you access to weightlifting equipment some dumbbells or kettlebells). However if you find that your are significantly sore or have a major disruption on your "recovery day" you know to decrease the intensity. Over time your body will increase your awareness of how tired your muscles are becoming during your workouts and you'll be able to regulate yourself much more easily.

    You can compare it to MA training, IIRC Lau Gar (which I believe you mentioned in another post) implements grabs and joint locks in their system and like all TCMA it relies on beautiful stances and body positioning all of which require a developed sensitivity of where your body is positioned in space (read proprioception). In the beginning of training you aren't immediately aware of your weight distribution or the proper angles to hold your limbs in but over time that sensitivity develops. Exercise is much the same way. Have faith in your body and trust your gut, if you think you shouldn't be doing something because it doesn't "feel right" then don't do it right now, continue training and re-evaluate later.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Informative Informative x 1
  15. LastGasp

    LastGasp Orange Belt

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2018
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    22
    Trophy Points:
    23
    That is a very helpful answer, thank you!
    I shall try to put that into practice. Whilst I am aware of being careful not to overdo things, it's not easy when you're doing it off your own back with no one to guide you, especially when not having done anything particularly strenuous for many years.
    So far, it has been a case of just listening to my body, but when it's silent on the matter, it doesn't help!

    Doesn't feel right for another newb to do this, but welcome to the forum :)
     
  16. Buka

    Buka Sr. Grandmaster

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2011
    Messages:
    10,128
    Likes Received:
    6,558
    Trophy Points:
    448
    Location:
    Maui
    I have some suggestions. In regards to the ball of the feet, or heel striking first, or mid foot - people do it all of those ways. What's of great importance is you do it the way you have always naturally run. To change now would be dangerous, foolish even.

    But - and this is a pretty big but, what surface you run on is important. You are far better off on grass than on pavement. A golf course during off hours is ideal, impracticable and frowned on, but I only say it to make the point about the surface. Running on cement isn't good, especially as we age.

    You should make it a point to stretch your Achilles and calfs before and after you run. And if they are currently bothering you now, back off and rest them....then resume with pre run stretching and after run stretching.

    As for the dodginess in that knee - you might want to get a brace, just a comfortable sleeve brace, and wear it for a bit when you start. And do some knee strengthening exercises so you won't need it any more. Are you familiar with slow chair squats?
     
    • Useful Useful x 1
  17. LastGasp

    LastGasp Orange Belt

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2018
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    22
    Trophy Points:
    23
    Thanks Buka, some points to think about, and ideas to introduce, surface and stretching.

    My knee strength I have been working on over the last couple of months; stair work and squats mostly. Quite pleased with the improvement thus far.
     
  18. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2018
    Messages:
    3,568
    Likes Received:
    1,032
    Trophy Points:
    263
    I must be one of the not most ;)

    I always ran landing heel first - for short distances (which is all I ever did) it was fine.

    Then I decided to start doing some longer stuff.

    3 runs of a few miles, couldn't run again for 4 weeks without shooting pains in my shins...

    When I started again, I was on my balls (;)) because I couldn't reprogramme to mid sole as easily - no more pain.

    Heel strike is very very bad. For me at least.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Buka

    Buka Sr. Grandmaster

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2011
    Messages:
    10,128
    Likes Received:
    6,558
    Trophy Points:
    448
    Location:
    Maui
    Just wanted to say Welcome to MartialTalk, MxcnPhoenix. :)
     
  20. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2017
    Messages:
    7,099
    Likes Received:
    1,044
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Manchester UK
    I diDnt say FAST I said as fast as you can, do you want it to take two years or 10 ?

    You need goals Or you will fail, Or rather you won't know when you succeed ? and with out success people stop

    For instance you have issues you've shared with us, a reasonable goal would be to improve them to the point of being able to do a specific activity you cant do now,

    So back strenghing exercises, so you can cook a meal with our pain is a reasonable goal, moving on the spot for half an hour, isn't hitting that at all.

    Set some short and mud range objectives and then design a program that takes you on that direction123
     

Share This Page