This obsession can be pretty frustrating at my age!

I graduated a while back now and have really enjoyed the running or rather the feeling when I stop I running :). But since graduation I've had several minor injury niggles which are sooo frustrating. I can do 5k in 35mins and under every other day for a fortnight but then the knee goes or my calves are too painful too run and I have to stop for a week or so. I can only assume I'm pushing it too hard? I'm 53 and quite literally climbed off a sofa to do W1R1 last August, six months later I've dropped almost a stone and a half and love it! I just want to get back out there (whatever the weather) ...

I'd be really interested in hearing any tales from the over 50s of how they've carried on after graduation. How often do you run? For how long? Do you combine it with other exercise? Stretching regime? Do you follow a programme/podcast etc..


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  • Hello simonHumph, nice to see you still going ๐Ÿ˜ŠAs an over 50, I seem to have had niggles on and off since I graduated but I am determined not to stop because, as you say, I enjoy the feeling I get when I stop running too much ๐Ÿ˜‚ I do some of the strength and flex on rest days but when the niggles flare up I can have a lot of rest days in a row! Hope you get your 'niggles' under control, and good to hear from you :) :)

  • i think it sounds like you're doing too much. If you're running 5k every other day? Or maybe I didn't read that correctly?

    Perhaps cut out one of your 5k & put in a shorter run? Have you joined ju-ju- 's B210K? You'll see it's a mixture of lengths of runs & as was explained to me this helps build your strength & stamina.

    If you really were couch, then it will take time to slowly build up your "running legs".

    On rest days, walks or cycling, will still give you the chance to be outside, whilst allowing your joints & muscles time to recover, repair & rebuild. ๐Ÿ˜€

    I do sometimes do 4 runs a week, but never 4 X 5k. I've done 3 x 5K & a 2.5k - deliberately slowly, so that my friend & I could chat! (And I wanted to save myself for the parkrun!)

    All the way through the C25K the mantra is slow & steady. So maybe it's a case of less is more:)

    Hope you get it sorted.

    PS, I love that post run feeling too๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Thanks. Yes I've been trying for 5k every other day. I've been keeping the B210K back until I feel really secure with 5. I'll take your advice and try some shorter runs :)

  • I am in my mid-50's and am getting back into shape after a hiatus from running. Prior to that, I was running an average of 20km a week with no problems.

    There are many factors that lead to niggles and injuries but one of the most common is unsuitable footwear. Do you have a decent pair of running shoes? If yes, have you had (or considered) gait analysis at your local running shop?

  • Thanks Dunder2004, yes I had that done back in October :)

  • Hi simonHumph, I had to re-read your post too! I agree with Davoda, that you are probably not giving yourself enough rest days between runs (which are a good distance in a pretty fast time) and your joints are complaining.

    I am 56 and haven't had any running injuries, but I usually take two rest days between runs which are now either 30 mins (just under 5k) or a longer Bridge to 10k run which has 60 sec walking breaks but can be up to 51 mins so far. I always stretch after my warm down walk while my muscles are still warm.

    Its great that you like to run often, and that post run feeling is brill๐Ÿ˜Š but to stay injury free maybe think about changing things up a bit and take extra rest give your muscles chance to repair and get stronger.

    Well done on that 5k time by the way, under 35 mins is great. Have your tried the c25k + podcasts or thought about having a try at B210k. I think adding variety to your running is good for stamina and ultimately improves speed... (its fun trying anyway๐Ÿ˜Š)

    Happy (after) running๐Ÿ˜Šx

  • Just looked back on your previous post 3 months ago and see that you have already been doing the follow on podcasts with Laura.. but agree with the others that extra rest days, recovery runs and changing things up may inspire you more.x

  • Yes thanks. I really enjoyed the stepping up podcast as it got me to 5k but perhaps I am setting my expectations too high ... I'm going to try leaving a couple of rest days in between and see what difference that makes.

  • I agree with the others, maybe pushing too hard.. and really no need....? This is supposed to be fun ! :)

    I am 66, nearly 67... graduated Dec 2015. Still running three times a week, where possible.. Sunday, Tuesday and Friday. I usually do a short run, 3K ish, a 5K and a longer run..I did run 10K but broke my ribs and am working back up to it.. BUT, that 10K was after a slow, steady build up and not really intended.

    Immediately after Graduation, I did runs for pleasure, with no pressure, and then did C25K+ podcasts..great fun and then tried loads of things, intervals, strides, speed, short sprint runs and loads of silly things to;,then used Sami Murphy, as many of us do, Bridge to 10K podcasts.. also great fun...:)

    Often I just head out to run and have no thought of time speed or distance...I am nowhere near as fit and fleet as many of our runners, but I do it, for me, my way :) I write about my antics too! Currently doing the 30 Day Kinetic challenge too, to hep with balance and mobility.. I need to keep healthy for my new granddaughter!

    I use Strength and Flex, link on this site, on non run days, am currently walking ( a lot) with new baby granddaughter! I swim and cycle when I can too. Yoga is part of my daily routine.

    Now, I am not an exercise mad person, I just have these routines, early morning exercise and early runs., I love running.... gives me time for the rest of life :) I get twinges... see my post,' The incident of the Knee that twinged in the night time'... I get aches and pains...I listen to my body and take note. A good warm up and a hot shower after, gentle massage etc, often works wonders.

    So... maybe some ideas here for you...keep posting maybe, that is great motivation! Our friends here support and encourage all the way!


    You are of course, a mere youngster :)

  • You are an inspiration Oldfloss ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

  • Yep- really helpful - many thanks!

  • I am much older than you, but this is my second time around on C25k. First time round I found once I had finished the course and wanted to run faster, or lengthen my stride I pulled a calf muscle (it felt as if I had been hit by a golf ball) and then found I couldn't run for several weeks. Then I got Plantar Fasciitus (heel pain) which has lasted 18 months. So I am back starting all over and have just completed Week 6. I have decided to heed all advice and keep it slow this time - and be happy that I can just run - however slowly. Perhaps you are being too competitive with yourself, by trying to increase your speed too quickly. Many on this (and the graduate 5K to 10K forum )have said keep it slow but run for a greater distance and speed, strength and stamina will automatically increase. It's better to be slow and run rather than not be able to run at all. It is frustrating - but you'll get faster, it might just take longer.

    Good luck.

  • Thanks, I'll keep that in mind next time I get out :)

  • I'm coming up for 57, and running 5K every time I went out would bore me to death! I agree with previous posts, mix it all up, do some shorter runs, maybe some intervals, and some longer runs. I found always running on the flat actually harder on the legs than more hilly routes, I think you are always using the same muscles, and going at the same pace, it's just kinda relentless! Yes, get your gait/shoes checked, and make sure you stretch out afterwards.

  • Thanks Curlygurly2. Be good to find some hills but Cambs is not renowned for them! I like your advice about mixing it up for different muscles - good one. And yes, I've had my gait checked and do stretch afterwards ...

  • Yes, I run in Cambridge half the year, I forgot you're around here too! The other half I run in a very hilly place!

  • I turned 50 last year, but I have osteoarthritis. I take my training plan loosely from the athletes. (Hehe I don't consider myself one) I have two seasons usually I have a HM in May and I start slowly increasing distance for that in November then after that I have a couple of weeks recovery then I take my distance right down and work on speed and strength work. This seems to help keep me going, it is going to be interesting this year as I haven't got an event due to family reasons and I haven't really started upping any distance yet, usually I am ready for a 10km at the end of January.

  • I am 59. Just got over a post grad knee niggle which I brought on myself by going too far too fast. I learned lots from that mistake and since injury I have introduced strengthening exercises, stretches, foam roller work etc. I have built up again to 5k but slowly and am now training towards a 10k .

    I agree with the other posts - you may be over doing it. We need to give ourselves sufficient rest between run days, following long runs in particular. After my longer run each week I now take two days rest, so still running three times a week.

    If you read up on running you will note there are 'recovery runs'. These are slower and generally not so far. They build legs and stamina without too much stress on our bodies. I would suggest you include these in your schedule.

    You could then mix it up a bit. Trying for a faster 5k time by constantly running 5k flat-out isn't likely to work. You need to build running legs, stamina and strength. Longer distances, run slower, will help with stamina and will thereby likely help you improve your 5k times, because you will find the 5k distance easier. So maybe try a schedule of a 5k run, but mix this with hills, speedwork etc. Then you could consider adding a little distance each week or so to one run but reduce your speed. As this builds add in a recovery run, slow and easy , not too far. As Oldfloss suggested, think about something like the Strength and Flexibility programme too.

    Take a look also at the Myasics plans. One tip is tell the plan you now run less than 5k as a starting point otherwise it ramps the distance too quickly. AncientMum posted a really useful piece on the Myasics so take a look at that.

    There is a lot to learn about running, I would suggest you read as much as you can on it, I constantly have my nose in some running article or other and am surprised at how much we need to think about.

    I will never be an elite runner and will always run slow. But it's a great activity so I feel it's well worth the effort to understand and educate ourselves to keep us healthy injury free and able to run๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿป

    Happy Running

  • Thanks Jacs-W. I'm looking up recovery runs now - reckon I need a week of these :)

  • I'm 56 and started almost exactly a year ago. I seem to be lucky in that I haven't had any serious mechanical injuries that have stopped me running. My left knee niggles pretty regularly, but it was doing that before I started running. Other niggles, like the beginning of shin splints just after graduation settled down after a week of rest (thereby proving they weren't shin splints, which are horrendous!) and my shins only remind me they exist if I overdo it. I have experimented with all sorts of routines and even ran 5 times a week a couple of times in November and December. The most successful routine for me is to mix things up. I like doing 2 x 5ks during the week, broken up with one interval/fartlek run. I have used "Speed" and also the first week of c25k, running fast in the running bits and still running but slower during the walking bits. It is good fun, but I can't do it at the moment because the roads are too icy to be hurtling along at top speed in the dark! At the weekend I try to do a longer run, anything between 7 and 10k. I have experimented with run/walk (5 min run at the start, 1 min walk, then 4 min run repeating all the way through) which got me my fastest 10k and can also get relatively speedy 5ks. During the summer my 5ks were between 33 and 35 minutes, but at the moment I'm about 38 mins because of the weather conditions (that's my excuse anyway). Having covered 100k in December I am reducing drastically in January and "only" running 3 times a week (I prefer 4, because I'm greedy!). As the others suggest have a look at the 10k challenge by ju-ju- on the Bridge to 10k site. The runs vary in distance - and that is perfect for building up strength and stamina.

    There, now you have my life story! Good luck with your running, hope things settle down!

  • Thanks JaySeeSkinny

  • I found myself in deep do-do from pushing too much. Felt ok at the time but a serious shin splint stopped me in my tracks. It was so painful that I thought I would never run again, and all because I pushed too hard before my body was strong enough. You can't undo what's been done but you learn from it and can warn others

    In hindsight I would not have done an early half marathon or pushed to get faster at 5k. you are a new runner up to18 months to 2years so go steady. I would still run every other day but carefully, progressing using the 10% rule

  • Lots of good advice and ideas from the others, Simon. I agree with maybe taking an extra rest day between runs and also thinking of a gait analysis to make sure your running in the right shoes (you may have already done this!) As for pushing too hard - maybe, maybe not. You might find an extra rest day will make a big difference. Be aware though that many injuries do seem to happen when folks are increasing pace rather than steady distance. It's a difficult balance isn't it? Personally, I still love it when I get a new PB so I get that desire to push a little too. My fastest runs have always been in the organised events, is that adrenaline or 'competitiveness' or just a desire to be the best you can - I don't know?

    I will be 52 in April and graduated 15 months ago and run 3/4 times a week. Number of rest days for me varies between 1-2 (very occasionally 3) depending on length of run, life commitments and how recovery from previous run goes! I like to think I am quite committed. Generally I run 5ks on weekdays and a longer run at the weekend. Last October I ran my first 10 mile event and I am currently increasing normal distances again in preparation for a Half Marathon. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    I am a great believer in listening to what your body is telling you - some runs I can push a little because everything feels good and sometimes I take it easy! Since graduating I have never used training plans as such, but have used them just to inform me, preferring to increase distance and pace when I feel it's right. I had a problem with niggly hips early last summer and took two weeks off in the end and refocused on strength and flexibility exercises.

    Hope this is of some help and that those niggles settle soon! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Thanks :)

  • Thanks all, some really interesting feedback. Just to add, I've had the gait analysis done several months ago and have shoes they reckon I should have though I confess I'm a tad cynical as I was pronating very slightly on one side but have shoes with extra support on both. Also, I'm really not after speed just want to set 5k as a marker but more importantly to get out and run every other day as I can really feel the mental benefit (and weight benefit) but after a a good solid block (e.g. fortnight) I find the legs/knees/calves will not let me:(. Ho hum. I'm going to try leaving 2-3 days between and will report back :) Thanks everyone!

  • I'm 55 and pretty much in the same boat as you. Ive found that mixing up the run distances and terrain (agree with Sarah about not always running on the flat) and doing 60:30 run/walk runs for longer distances (up to 10k) has enabled me to keep going. Interestingly the run/walk strategy has no impact on my overall times but keeps recovery time much shorter.

  • Thanks henpen90. Can you explain more about the 60:30 run/walk runs?

  • It's called the Galloway method I think. If you google 'Jeff Galloway' you should get all the info on how and why it works.

  • Really interesting - many thanks :)

  • I am 46 .... and I appreciate not quite yet in the 50 and fabulous zone of life. I hear what you are saying... I started running in 2013 and doing C25k I had shin splints, niggles, pain... one could ask why I persevered... but I knew it was special and the good feelings outweighed the pain. I have spent the last 3 years building up my ability, my strength and stamina and it's only now I realise its just hard work to get a sustainably strong body. I run everyday mostly, I have had injuries: ITB problems, hip and back problems, Achilles tendinitis, plantar fasciitis.... I have seen sports osteopaths and also self diagnosed and treated. I can honestly say that no injury is going to stop me because I will find a way to overcome it. My advice to you is to take control of your body, build up very gradually with your running and overall fitness, read up on preventing injury and also treating ( sports osteopaths are excellent)... keep on enjoying and reaping the benefits ๐Ÿ˜Ž

  • I thought I'd post a brief update following the really helpful comments provided by others here. I've resolved to:

    - having a two day break between runs which I've +/- kept to since my cri de coeur

    - take it slow and steady

    - walk on the "days off"

    Which all felt fine :) But ... not sure if it is a but ... I'm tending to run for longer each time, 40-45 mins per run rather than 30-35mins. The temptation I then have to avoid is not adding an extra 5 mins to try to reach a further km milestone!

    I'm really grateful to those who took time to share their experiences and advice :). Thank you

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