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Is Combat Underwear an Oxymoron? Running to Win

As the miles running pile up, my body has responded; some of that is good and some of it is not so good. Of course I am getting stronger and increasing my endurance every week. I had a personal best 5K time a few weeks ago when I broke the 30 minute barrier.

Most of you know I have had more than a few "overuse" injuries including plantar fasciitis (foot injury), a lower leg stress fracture, bone edema and a torn meniscus. I had knee surgery in December, and I am doing great. I don't know why I waited! (We'll talk about my rotor cuff another time!)

The latest response to my training program is chafing. Holy crap, the chub rub burn is nasty! So last night I went out and bought me a pair of Nike Combat compression underwear. Let's just say it is God getting even with man for some serious transgressions. When I saw the name combat, I was a little excited, but not now! I thought it was me and my manhood against the world, but it's them against us. I also got some Body Glide - that is not as exciting as it sounds, but it sure works great.

A few months ago I decided to register for my first 5K race which takes place on March 25. It is to benefit the American Heart Association. It also falls within a week of the 1-year anniversary of my heart attack.

I am not a veteran runner, but I have learned a few things from my mistakes. Here is what I do know:

- Shoes: No two runners are alike, and body geometry differs with each one of us. Because I am 53, I had a lot harder time finding shoes that were comfortable, and good for me and my joints. A good running store can help. The winner for me was a podiatrist who was familiar with the top brands. Actually it was my physical therapist that adjusted my inserts so the weight transfer was even better. Don't be cheap, get good shoes!

- Stretching: The older you get, the more you'll know why this important! Do easy warms ups, and only stretch warm muscles. I walk for 5 minutes before stretching.

- Strength Training: You can prevent a lot of injuries by spending a month or so doing some basic strength training. You don't need a gym; squats, lunges, and calf raises can be done anywhere.

- Start Slowly: Even the C25K program might be too much for you. If you can't walk it without trouble, you can't run it. Start with 10 minutes walking and then 20. Try running for 30 seconds - do something.

- Intervals: These are your friend. They are also one of the best ways to lose weight. Run then walk, then run, then walk some more. For most 5K training you only need to do intervals for 20-25 minutes a session. Pick a plan that mixes them up. I did 8 MPH and 4 MPH for varying lengths of time. Then I upped it to 10 MPH and 5 MPH. The next week I just did the best mileage I could in 20 minutes.

- Rest: 3 days a week is a great start. I like to walk or strength train or on my off days now. Sleep is also part of a good rest.

- Fun: You need to make running fun. For me it is a change of scenery, and at the gym, it is running with a friend. Get new music, reward yourself with something that gives running value for you.

- Push: This was a hard one for me. I was good at the intervals, but not walking during a 2.5 mile trek was a hard one. One day I just did it. By race time, walking will NOT be an option.

- Race: There are hundreds of "Run, Walk or Crawl" 5k races out there. Just do it, and register. I did!

I'll be interested in the what the veteran runners have to add! But for right now, I am going to get another dose of Body Glide for my crotch.

Thanks for the comments and votes.

78 votes + -


aliciagetshealthy wrote 112 months ago:
=D sorry to laugh at your manhood David...and thank you for the entertainment!
Hoppymom wrote 112 months ago:
Funny. My niece is trying to get me to do a 5K this summer. I am able to do one on the treadmill at 3-3.5 mph but I really want to do one when I can run it. I need to lose some more weight before that happens. I too have plantar fascitis and have had knee surgery on one knee and PT on the other. I am worried that pushing too hard is going to undo all the porgess that I have made. Baby steps I guess.
Johnny760 wrote 112 months ago:
Thanks for the advise. I walk almost everyday, but I need to start running soon.
Angie80281 wrote 112 months ago:
Can't agree more on the shoes! When I first started running, I would wear my regular workout shoes... $20 Walmart specials... because I didn't see the point in spending $100 on running shoes. After $90 in co-pays and another $45 in prescription meds to fix a stress reaction in my foot, I changed my mind and bought a pair of Brooks. That was one of the best fitness decisions I've ever made. I used to have to run in ankle brakes to prevent joint pain and I always had shin splints, but none of that has been an issue since I changed shoes. Don't buy the ones your friend recommends or the pretty pair that matches your favorite running shirt. Go to a running store and have a consultation to find a pair that works best for you.

When I was starting out (I used to hate running with a passion), the best advice that was given to me was to start slowly. I used to take off like a madwoman, only to double over with side stitches a block or two later. A friend told me to run at a pace that would allow me to hold a conversation, even if that meant running a 20-minute mile. I started out running a 13-14 minute mile and very quickly brought my pace down to 10 or 11 minutes without intentionally trying to.If you need to stop and walk, do it. There's no special speed or distance that makes you a runner. You're a runner the moment you go out the door and start running towards your goals.
floshideaway wrote 112 months ago:
another great blob
dsjohndrow wrote 112 months ago:
What Angie said!
TinaDay1114 wrote 112 months ago:
Yep, you found us out -- those Nike Combat compression undies were designed by a woman who was REAAALLLY pissed off at the guy who invented PANTYHOSE. So there. :P

I don't know if I'm a veteran or not, but I second everything you said above. AND DOUBLE THAT on the stretching for us "older" folks -- when I forget, I pay for it when I try to run the next time.

GREAT blog.
MacInCali wrote 112 months ago:
LMAO @ "I thought it was me and my manhood against the world, but it's them against us." These combat underwear sound a lot like what "spanks" (no, not the fun ones, lol) are to women! LOL
FlyByJuly wrote 112 months ago:
Great blog! I've been wanting to get back into running, and I think this blog may just be the little extra push that I needed! Thanks!
jhoyett wrote 112 months ago:
This was BY FAR one of the best blogs I've read in a long time. Thanks for sharing!
cfreema wrote 112 months ago:
Learning to use walking as a tool was a hard one for me to figure out. I felt like if I was going to be a "real" runner then I needed to be able to run 5 miles without stopping the first week, and a marathon by week 3.

I finally figured out that it was okay to walk if I needed it, and to use the walking to rest up for my next leg in the run.

I did a 4 mile race in February and my walking ideas were confirmed when I saw quite a few other people doing the exact same thing as me.

Another thing for men is to not wear a cotton shirt or for the ladies, a cotton sports bra. OOH GOODNESS THE CHAFING! So spend a little money on the silky running shirts, they will help in the long run.

A lot of people seem to use this stuff called Gu. I have yet to try it, but am thinking about getting some. I'm wondering if it really helps? I have always been a water and banana girl.
Angie80281 wrote 112 months ago:
As far as I know (I've never used it), Gu is a gel. Personally, I don't like things with a jelly-like consistency, so I use Jelly Belly's energy beans. They're great when I do longer runs, but not necessary for shorter distances. For example, when running a half-marathon, I'll eat a pack at 4.5 and 9 miles. I'd never have the energy to keep going without the extra carb boost.
StaceyL76 wrote 112 months ago:
This is a GREAT post - on so many levels. Thank you for sharing. = ))
runbyme wrote 112 months ago:
Awesome blog! I want to get back into running as well and you just reminded me of all the things I miss about it. Well, possibly not the chafing and the occasional dribble! Good luck to you in your running!
Mustangsally1000 wrote 112 months ago:
LOL...glad you got your crotch lubed up!
Danpellizzari wrote 112 months ago:
Don't feel bad. I think anyone that has done any running had had to deal with chaffing. This was great!
odditblue wrote 112 months ago:
Glide on in to first man..... LOL! Ya keep me in STITCHES!!! =D

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