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TOPIC: Running vs. Walking - Joint Pain

 
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June 10, 2013 6:27 AM
Running is supposed to be harsher on your joints, correct?

I am 24 years old, 5'1" and currently 162lbs with a goal weight of 135-145.

I started C25K in the beginning of April. After a run I get the typical muscle soreness indicating a good workout, but usually feel great. When I walk, even if it's a short 20 minute walk, my feet, ankles, knees, hips and lower back all ache. It's a joint ache, not that refreshing muscle ache.

Initially I thought perhaps it was because my sneakers are "running" sneakers and not "walking" sneakers but I had this issue with walking long before I began running and bought "running" shoes.

Any theories as to why this is and what I can do to help with the pain after a walk?
  24021744
June 10, 2013 6:42 AM
Bump
  24021744
June 10, 2013 6:50 AM
Do you do much continuous walking in your normal day? Walking is exercise and if you don't walk much normally, and then you go out and do a mile or more, your body would need to adjust.

I have arthritis and I'll take Advil or Tylenol if my joints ache. I find the more I walk the less likely I am to have joint aches. It is when I move less in my day to day life that I find I have problems with my exercise.
Edited by zlauerMom On June 10, 2013 6:56 AM
June 10, 2013 7:03 AM
Try walking slower?

If I try to walk at too fast of a pace - (at the point my body wants to run - about 3.5 mph) - I get sore from that.

If I walk at 3 mph and jog at 3.5+, everything is good.
June 10, 2013 7:14 AM
QUOTE:

Running is supposed to be harsher on your joints, correct?

I am 24 years old, 5'1" and currently 162lbs with a goal weight of 135-145.

I started C25K in the beginning of April. After a run I get the typical muscle soreness indicating a good workout, but usually feel great. When I walk, even if it's a short 20 minute walk, my feet, ankles, knees, hips and lower back all ache. It's a joint ache, not that refreshing muscle ache.

Initially I thought perhaps it was because my sneakers are "running" sneakers and not "walking" sneakers but I had this issue with walking long before I began running and bought "running" shoes.

Any theories as to why this is and what I can do to help with the pain after a walk?


If done properly running should not be too harsh on your joints. I think part of it is that your body is new to this level of activity and is still adjusting. I'd suggest a few things. One, slow down the pace a bit until you get more accustomed to this level of exercies. Two, make sure you are stretching thoroughly after you get back. I always stretch my calves, hamstrings and quads after a run and am going to start doing my hip flexors too as they feel a bit tight.

Third, elevate your legs a bit after the run (like laying on the couch and putting your legs up on the armrest or in bed with some pillows under your calves.) This will help reduce the swelling. More extreme would be an ice bath. Fill the tub with cold water and put in two bags of ice, then ease yourself in. This is what marathoners do after a race to help get the lactic acid out of their legs.

It's......bracing to say the least, but it works.

I'm not even going to get into the whole running shoe argument. I still use them but am planning to move to more barefoot-style shoes as I get in better shape. that is an argument

I finished C25k a few months ago and am doing a 5k per month for the rest of the year. Stick with the program but take it easy until this swelling subsides, which will happen as you adjust and as you lose weight.
Edited by bostonwolf On June 10, 2013 7:16 AM
June 10, 2013 7:18 AM
Your joints, ligaments and tendons need to get strengthed the same as your muscle. That may be what you're feeling. They take longer. Don't over do it but keeping working at it and the aches will go away. No need to go fast.

Try light stretching every day in the morning and evening and give your body a couple days to recover after running. Walk, swim or pedal instead of running on recovery days.
Edited by mikeatmichael On June 10, 2013 7:19 AM
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June 10, 2013 9:04 AM
QUOTE:

Do you do much continuous walking in your normal day? Walking is exercise and if you don't walk much normally, and then you go out and do a mile or more, your body would need to adjust.

I have arthritis and I'll take Advil or Tylenol if my joints ache. I find the more I walk the less likely I am to have joint aches. It is when I move less in my day to day life that I find I have problems with my exercise.


Continuous walking during my normal day really depends. I do primarily have a desk job but I'm the receptionist at a law firm so I'm going between offices frequently and if we have motions going out the frequency increases in addition to making a million copies.

I haven't taken ibuprofen yet but I might as I sit down to lunch. This morning has been crazy.
  24021744
June 10, 2013 9:05 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

Running is supposed to be harsher on your joints, correct?

I am 24 years old, 5'1" and currently 162lbs with a goal weight of 135-145.

I started C25K in the beginning of April. After a run I get the typical muscle soreness indicating a good workout, but usually feel great. When I walk, even if it's a short 20 minute walk, my feet, ankles, knees, hips and lower back all ache. It's a joint ache, not that refreshing muscle ache.

Initially I thought perhaps it was because my sneakers are "running" sneakers and not "walking" sneakers but I had this issue with walking long before I began running and bought "running" shoes.

Any theories as to why this is and what I can do to help with the pain after a walk?


If done properly running should not be too harsh on your joints. I think part of it is that your body is new to this level of activity and is still adjusting. I'd suggest a few things. One, slow down the pace a bit until you get more accustomed to this level of exercies. Two, make sure you are stretching thoroughly after you get back. I always stretch my calves, hamstrings and quads after a run and am going to start doing my hip flexors too as they feel a bit tight.

Third, elevate your legs a bit after the run (like laying on the couch and putting your legs up on the armrest or in bed with some pillows under your calves.) This will help reduce the swelling. More extreme would be an ice bath. Fill the tub with cold water and put in two bags of ice, then ease yourself in. This is what marathoners do after a race to help get the lactic acid out of their legs.

It's......bracing to say the least, but it works.

I'm not even going to get into the whole running shoe argument. I still use them but am planning to move to more barefoot-style shoes as I get in better shape. that is an argument

I finished C25k a few months ago and am doing a 5k per month for the rest of the year. Stick with the program but take it easy until this swelling subsides, which will happen as you adjust and as you lose weight.


It isn't the running that is bothering me. Running feels great. It's walking on days where I don't run (or just walking around the store for more than 20 minutes) that I get these aches.
  24021744
June 10, 2013 9:06 AM
QUOTE:

Your joints, ligaments and tendons need to get strengthed the same as your muscle. That may be what you're feeling. They take longer. Don't over do it but keeping working at it and the aches will go away. No need to go fast.

Try light stretching every day in the morning and evening and give your body a couple days to recover after running. Walk, swim or pedal instead of running on recovery days.

Perfect excuse for some PM Yoga. wink I'll give it a shot and see if it helps. Thanks!
  24021744
June 10, 2013 9:07 AM
QUOTE:

Try walking slower?

If I try to walk at too fast of a pace - (at the point my body wants to run - about 3.5 mph) - I get sore from that.

If I walk at 3 mph and jog at 3.5+, everything is good.

Hmm, maybe. When I go out for a walk I walk at about 3mph or a little slower. When I do C25K on the treadmill I walk at 3.5 and start jogging at 4.5 and I'm pretty sure when I walk outside I'm slower than that initial 3.5 on the treadmill.
  24021744
June 10, 2013 9:16 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

Try walking slower?

If I try to walk at too fast of a pace - (at the point my body wants to run - about 3.5 mph) - I get sore from that.

If I walk at 3 mph and jog at 3.5+, everything is good.

Hmm, maybe. When I go out for a walk I walk at about 3mph or a little slower. When I do C25K on the treadmill I walk at 3.5 and start jogging at 4.5 and I'm pretty sure when I walk outside I'm slower than that initial 3.5 on the treadmill.


Walking outside and walking on a treadmill is definitely an adjustment. I found issues with shin splints during outdoor walking ... none at all with treadmill walking. I don't think it's the speed, it's the uneveness of the terrain.

Stretching is a good idea .... some people need more stretching than others. Here are some "walking stretches."

Calf Stretch -- Stand on your toes on a step or curb. Hold on to something for balance. Remove your left foot and slowly allow the right heel to move down. Hold this position. Be sure to keep you body upright and straight. Release and repeat on the other side.

Another calf stretch -- Take a big step forward with your left foot, keeping you right heel on the ground. Hold the position and repeat on the other side. Be sure to keep your body upright and your abs tight, do not arch your back.

Shin Stretch -- Standing up, hold on to a stationary object. Stand with your weight on one leg and straighten it. Place your other foot on the ground, with toes pointed and your toenails toward the floor. With the tops of your toes touching the ground, roll your foot and leg forward, from the ankle. Release and repeat on the other side.

Hamstring and Lower Back -- Slowly bend forward from your waist with your knees slightly bent. Reach for the floor and hold. Only bend as far as comfortable.

Outer thigh and buttocks and spine -- While lying on your back bring your right knee up. Place your left hand on your thigh and gently pull it over to your left side. Do not pull at the knee. Your shoulders, left leg and back should remain flat. Pull gently. Then repeat on the left side.

Lower back -- While lying on your back, bring both knees up towards the chest with the hands. Round the lower back and relax into the stretch. Don't do this stretch on a hard surface...it will bruise the spine!

Quadriceps Stretch -- Standing up, hold on to a stationary object. Bend your right knee, bringing your foot toward your buttocks. Keeping your left knee slightly bent, grasp your right ankle with the opposite hand. Slowly pull your leg up and back, bringing your foot at high as comfortable. Repeat with other leg. (To protect your knee... think of pulling the quads back rather than pulling the foot toward your buttocks.)
June 10, 2013 9:22 AM
appreciate your tips, thanks!

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:



Walking outside and walking on a treadmill is definitely an adjustment. I found issues with shin splints during outdoor walking ... none at all with treadmill walking. I don't think it's the speed, it's the uneveness of the terrain.

Stretching is a good idea .... some people need more stretching than others. Here are some "walking stretches."

Calf Stretch -- Stand on your toes on a step or curb. Hold on to something for balance. Remove your left foot and slowly allow the right heel to move down. Hold this position. Be sure to keep you body upright and straight. Release and repeat on the other side.

Another calf stretch -- Take a big step forward with your left foot, keeping you right heel on the ground. Hold the position and repeat on the other side. Be sure to keep your body upright and your abs tight, do not arch your back.

Shin Stretch -- Standing up, hold on to a stationary object. Stand with your weight on one leg and straighten it. Place your other foot on the ground, with toes pointed and your toenails toward the floor. With the tops of your toes touching the ground, roll your foot and leg forward, from the ankle. Release and repeat on the other side.

Hamstring and Lower Back -- Slowly bend forward from your waist with your knees slightly bent. Reach for the floor and hold. Only bend as far as comfortable.

Outer thigh and buttocks and spine -- While lying on your back bring your right knee up. Place your left hand on your thigh and gently pull it over to your left side. Do not pull at the knee. Your shoulders, left leg and back should remain flat. Pull gently. Then repeat on the left side.

Lower back -- While lying on your back, bring both knees up towards the chest with the hands. Round the lower back and relax into the stretch. Don't do this stretch on a hard surface...it will bruise the spine!

Quadriceps Stretch -- Standing up, hold on to a stationary object. Bend your right knee, bringing your foot toward your buttocks. Keeping your left knee slightly bent, grasp your right ankle with the opposite hand. Slowly pull your leg up and back, bringing your foot at high as comfortable. Repeat with other leg. (To protect your knee... think of pulling the quads back rather than pulling the foot toward your buttocks.)

Edited by Hearts_2015 On June 10, 2013 9:24 AM
June 10, 2013 9:25 AM
I haven't read everyone's posts so I don't know if someone suggested this but I take glucosamine every day for my joints. I didn't really notice an improvement but if I don't take it for a few days, my joints definitely complain. Also, I have arthritis in my right foot. It bothers me when I walk but doesn't bother me when I run. I'm not sure why.
June 10, 2013 9:28 AM
QUOTE:
I'm not even going to get into the whole running shoe argument. I still use them but am planning to move to more barefoot-style shoes as I get in better shape

Yeah, I bought some pure flow brooks this year and I've been doing better with running than I ever have before, even though they're not crazy minimal, like vibrams, they are a little more flexible and with less structure.

For the OP, I would say try to walk outside, for pleasure, and see how that goes. Smell the roses, enjoy the scenery :) Lately I've been doing my relaxed easy walks with flip flops just to keep them low key and switch up my shoes. Sometimes it's nice to switch up your shoes between running and walking (if doing on different days), even if you just use different tennis shoes.

As for why you're getting the pains, have you paid attention to how you're walking? Maybe you're hunched over or doing something else odd and that's the reason for them. I don't think 20 min walking would normally hurt someone who is fit enough to run.
June 10, 2013 9:43 AM
You use your muscles differently when you walk vs. run. Your posture is also different. I'm the opposite-I can walk miles and miles on end without a care in the world at an average of 3.8 mph, but add a jog to it and my legs immediately cramp up and I start scuffing my feet because it's as if I can't even lift my feet high enough to put one in front of the other. I've been working on jogging for almost 2 months now, and my walking pace is still faster than my jogging pace!

Also, the terrain will make a difference, treadmill vs. outside. You may want to look into a walking shoe vs. a jogging shoe. If you have any shoe stores such as Running Etc. or, my favorite, Fleet Feet, around, head over there. They will assess your stride, your posture, etc. and help you find the best shoe.

As for aches and pains, consider some ibuprofen or another NSAID (Non steroidal anti inflammatory). I'm also a huge fan of Icy Hot or something similar (I LOVE the menthol cool effect!) I have also taken some paper cups and filled them with water and stuck them in the freezer. After a particularly sore jog/walk, I'll grab one, tear off some of the paper, and massage the sore area. It gives me complete control over the pressure I put on the sore spot while providing some cool relief. (Just make sure you do this with a thick towel under your leg or you'll end up with a melty-wet spot!)

Hope you find some comfort and relief soon! Good luck!
June 10, 2013 10:10 AM
When walking, I usually do walk outside. I just used the treadmill reference as an indication of how fast I think I walk outside from comparing it to my walking portions of C25K on the treadmill. For that matter, I usually run outside, too, unless it's really bad weather.
  24021744

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