Hello, everyone. I'm on w8d2 of thee couch to 5k training plan. Until w8d2 everything was going swimmingly, but on this run I felt much more pain, bad pain, than on my previous runs. This is actually my 2nd attempt at completing w8d2 and I get winded, even on differennt running routes. I have successfully completed these routes before. Every day I do physical therapy stretches for my legs, hips, shins, lower back, and core; they haven't really changed. I'm wearing the same gear, too. This setback is a bit disheartening, as I am really set on running some holiday 5Ks. What's going on? What should I do to help myself move forward in my running?
Oh, BTW, the pain that made me stop running was a side stitch and back of leg pain on one run, and general hip and leg pain today. I successfully completed 2 long rounds of phys. therapy with a licensed PT at the beginning of November. If it matters, I'm female, in my late 20s and on a successful weight loss plan as well.
Thanks for your help!
Without being too specific on your soreness and possible injuries, I can tell you that weight loss programs are a tough balancing act with athletics because of the calorie restriction and sometimes, a bit of muscle weakness as you adjust. Unless you are way too thin, you probably have enough fat to burn, but even on slow runs, about half your calories burned are coming from stored carbs. Calorie restriction may play a role here if there is not enough glycogen stored in the muscles before your workout.
A lot can be played with here. It is known in athletic circles that the body is most efficient at storing carbs (glycogen) in the muscles and liver immediately after exercise. The benefit here is it is also less likely to store carbs as fat at this time. Since many of us do our workouts in the morning, you may be at a disadvantage because many diets require cutting back well before bed time, which means you will be burning stored carbs overnite. Starting out on an empty tank would have you huffing and puffing for sure, because all runs start out with max glycogen vs. fat burning for the first half-hour or so. The shift to more fat burning later also increases the need for oxygen to burn the fat. When your need for oxygen exceeds your supply, cramps are more likely to result and often take the form of side-stitches. Can't win for losin' sometimes, huh?
Although I've had mixed results with such products, you might try a slug of a sports drink made with real carbs before your runs (you will surely burn what you drink), or a lower glycemic alternative like oatmeal or my favorite -sweet potato (both in season this time of year) to tide you over. You don't need much to boost your blood sugar for the run, and it will have minimal impact later. Remember it takes at least 20 minutes to start absorbing water and even the simplest foods. Aim for a half-hour prior for a boost, and two hours if you want to minimize digestive cramps. Also, eating right after makes sure you get restocked in the right places.
You'll get there. Good luck!
It's great that you've come so far in the C25K program with few problems until now. You don't say what weight range you are in or what pace you've been running. I'm 55, 230+ lbs and currently run about a 16mm pace, though I started C25K at 255# and 20mm pace. You probably are running much faster than I am, maybe near the 10mm pace that the C25K program implies with the 30min or 3miles target.
Most of the newbie runners run the program to complete the time recommended, not necessarily the distance. What I have learned from the other threads I'm participating in is that sometimes people have difficulty completing a program day because they are running too fast, or are just having a bad day or week. So, next time you run, give yourself permission to go a little slower, until you are jogging (if necessary) at a pace that lets you complete the run for the recommended time. Just remember to listen to your body. If you complete C25K and the 30 minutes does not get you to three miles, then gradually increase the length of your runs (just like in weeks 6-9) until you do.
Regarding my diet, I usually start my day before runs with either a mini-bagel w cheese cheese or (weight-loss) oatmeal with raisins & almonds added in. It is a <200 calorie boost w protein, carbs & fat. I keep a logbook with my workouts & food intake, and try to eat healthy and moderately. I target 500 cals less/day than my BMR, and with cross-training, try to burn an average 800-1000 cals per day. This has worked pretty good to maintain a 2.5-3 lb/wk weight loss. However, with the holidays & travel interruptions, I am only expecting 1 lb/wk till Christmas. I am targeting 175# by June so that I can complete a sprint-tri then.
I know that I'm not an expert, but I hope that some feedback from my experience helps.
Jo Ann C
Started Walking 7/15/09 Weight = 265#; C25K Grad 11/6/09
8/30/09 5K (62:42) 262# 10/2/10 5K (37:44) 206# 3/26/11 5K (36:42) PR 202#
6/19/10 10K (83:47) 208# 3/6/11 UAH 10K (79:18) 200#
6/27/10 IronGirl, Atlanta Tri S 1/3m/B 18m/R 3m (2:42:10) 207#; 5/15/11 - (2:34:08 200)#
9/25/10 Women's HM, Nashville (3:27:10) 209#, 11/13/10 Huntsville HM (3:17:27) 203#
2/13/11 Mercedes HM, B'ham (3:02:02) 203#; 3/19/11 Rocket 10mi (2:13:37) PR
4/30/11 RnR HM Nashville (3:10:12); 5/15/11 5/30/11 Cotton Row 10K (84:36) ;
6/11/11 Mt. Mania 15K (2:17:12); 7/16/11 Wet Dog Tri (98:56);
8/13/11 Mtn Lakes Tri; (2:13:32); 8/28 Rocketman Oly Tri; 9/10 Frantic Frog Tri (1:52:35)
9/24/11 Womens HM (2:54:28) 195# PR; 10/1 Toray 5K (35:35 PR);
10/15/11 Liz Hurley 5K (36:24); 10/22 Book-it 10K (74:51 PR) 197#;
11/12/11 Huntsville HM - Target 2:50
Thanks for the thoughtful replies!
I reread my original post and noticed that I failed to mention my herniated disc in the lumbar section (I'm going to blame the pain).
As for the weight loss, I'm 170 lbs., 5'6"and have lost 26 lbs. since the end of July 2009 (lost 23 really fat (last 3 were a battle that, I think, involved a lot of converting fat to muscle). My goal is to lose 20 more by, I dunno, the end of May 2010. I run about a 10 mm, which is very impressive for me. Originally I was on a very low sugar diet due to other health problems, but I have slowly reintroduced a few healthy carbs (whole wheat bread, grits) back into my diet ( along with the fruit I was eating all along), especially as I progressed through the Couch to 5k program. My body will bust me for cheating, but it takes a week or two. James: I love oatmeal! It's my most common breakfast. Since I began running, I've found that a 1/2 cup of OJ mixed in with water in my water bottle helps get me through a run, along with a banana beforehand. I follow a WeightWatcher's diet with extra protein.
About a day or so after my post, the back pain increased so much that I called my orthopaedist and we are moving to get a new MRI. In the meantime, I am back in physical therapy and stick with walking, riding a stationary bike, and other workouts at home, besides my daily PT. I would have tried an interval training run, but my back has been quite insistent on reminding me that I might want to avoid it for the time being.
I'm a bit worried about the herniated disk being related to the leg pain. I assume they've given you clearance to run, but I hope the MRI does not reveal a pinched nerve.
I suspect the PT is about strengthening the core, but make sure the Illiopsoas, Quadratus, and Erector muscles (or any muscles acting on the Lumbar spine are loose enough to reduce pressure on that disk. These can be difficult to stretch safely and effectively when there are compromised disks.
You are working very hard and have a lot to be proud of. 10 minute miles are excellent. I hope you can continue your workouts and preserve all your progress!