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I've recently (for the last 6 months) started running, both for fitness and as a hobby to keep myself entertained. I've done a few 5k races, and most recently did an 8-mile hilly race in St. John (USVI). I'm trying to build up more and more mileage and increase my fitness and endurance, in hopes of training for a half marathon and possibly a marathon someday. (Right now my longest training run was 5 miles, and I seem to keep a pretty steady 9:30 - 10:00 minute mile regardless of distance).
My question is, I am working 2 jobs that both involve being on my feet - at a retail store during the day, and at a restaurant at night. So the majority of the week, I'm on my feet at work for 10-12 hours. I'm wondering if anyone has ideas or suggestions for how to train so that I'm not completely killing my feet and legs. One day I got up early to run before work, and by mid-afternoon I was experiencing bothersome knee pain in both knees. (I've had severe shin splints in the past but never knee problems). I want to build up to longer runs and also work on my speed, but I am afraid running on days when I'm working will result in a lot of leg pain.. and running only on days off would allow for a run about once every two weeks, so that doesn't seem like a realistic option either. If anyone has suggestions or ideas or anything, please throw them my way!
It sounds like you have a very demanding schedule. I would say try working in some shorter intervals for speed training and then try and add a LR one day a week, with some patience about increasing the overall mileage. Seems like you have good conditioning and overall fitness, so finding the training time might present the greatest obstacle. Actually, weights and some other cross-training (combined with even light running routines) would probably result in strenghthening your leg muscles so that you might feel less fatigue over time on work days.
Also, carefully consider supplements that are known to support circulation and leg function..vitamins A, E, & Zinc, for example.
Wishing you all the best.
This is a great question.
What you are really talking about is training load. I look at training load as the sum total of your training, mental stress, and exercise outside of running (walking, standing, yardwork, etc.). If you are starting to get injured, you need to reduce your training load, then once you are better, slowly inch it back up. I recommend getting a heart rate monitor and keeping yourself under the heart rate of 180-age until you are better. Monitor your speed at this heart rate. It should be getting better. This will keep you running purely aerobic.
If it is, you're on the right track, if not, adjustments need to be made. I'll give you some links so you can read about this, and make an informed decision.
By doing this, you will cut your training load down right off the bat, even if you keep the same mileage. Many people heal when they start to run at this low intensity. Later, you can add anaerobic work when your body is ready.
As your running journey moves on, you might someday find yourself under abnormally high stress for a prolonged period. This adds to your training load BIG TIME. Cutting volume down is usually a must during these times, so you don't throw yourself into one of the overtraining syndromes.
Good luck, I wish you the best.
jacs935, To avoid injury, I recommend trying to optimize your running form. I recommend the form you would naturally use if you were running barefooted. You can try running in your sock feet on grass at first. Avoid landing on your heels. Touch down first with your forefoot or midfoot. It's Okay for your heel to settle to the ground after touching down first with your forefoot. Sometimes, I use a Seiko DM-50 metronome to calibrate my cadence. (A cadence of 90 is 180 steps per minute, or 3 steps per second.) I want to take take 180 steps or more per minute. I might set the metronome in the range 90-93, and take 2 steps per beat. I might set the metronome in the range 60-62, and take 3 steps per beat. When running down a slope, increase your cadence, and still avoid landing on your heels.
Also, I recommend running shoes that do not have too soft cushioning. I recommend gradually adjusting to minimalist-type shoes that have zero offset from heel to toe, and with room for your toes to splay naturally. For variety, do some training on dirt trails. Do some moderately hard running up hills, while cruising down hills without taking long lunging strides.
Before any hard running, warm up. You may do some dynamic stretching before running. I wouldn't do any static stretching until after you have finished your running. You may do well to avoid running more than two days in a row. Rest a day after running two days in a row.