Jump to content

Calves and ankles burn like crazy. Am I too fat to run?


Recommended Posts

Hello everyone. Forgive me if this has been asked.

 

I'm 6'4" and weight somewhere north of 330 pounds.

 

I go to Crossfit 3-5 days a week and I do pretty well at the Crossfit workouts actually. Sometimes I'm last time wise, but more often than not I finish with a decent time compared to others in the gym. However I've noticed I rely on my walking apocalypse strength more than anything else to get me through.

 

Any time running is programmed in a workout I absolutely fall apart. I can't even run a 200m without having to stop because my legs are burning and I'm out of breath. I'm sure my technique is atrocious, but I decided that I need to get better at running. I don't want to be the friend everyone wants near them that they can outrun when a T-Rex attacks or something.

 

So I took the advice of another friend who runs miles and miles every day and started with a pyramid system. I started with :15 second pyramiding to :50 and then back down with 1:30 rests in between. But I was even too out of shape to make it through that. By the time the second :40 rolled around I couldn't even jog the entire :40. My calves were on fire and my ankles were killing me.

 

So my question is: am I too fat and out of shape to run? Should I even bother working with the pyramid right now to get better or should I just walk for miles and miles until some lbs drop off? The pyramid I have set up is 14:00 long but only 4:40 of it in total is jogging. And I still can't do it! It's very frustrating because I've never been good at running and I thought maybe I could work on getting better but I feel like I'm not even in good enough shape to get out of the gate.

Link to comment

I wouldn't go crazy with a pyramid for starting out. I'd keep it real simple. Lots of people (my wife included, though I got started running before I ever heard of it) have good results with Couch to 5k (henceforward c25k), which -- if memory serves -- starts with a real simple interval of 2 mins walking, 30 seconds running, alternating for about 20 minutes, with a 5-minute warmup and cooldown walk on either end. Total workout is 30 mins, with a grand total of, what, 4 minutes running? Then again, that's 4 minutes out of 20 (or 30 if you count the warmup/cooldown) instead of 4:40 out of 14 minutes. So I'd think that's a significant relaxation in programming that wouldn't go amiss.

 

But depending on where you are, even that might be too much to start -- and there's nothing wrong with that!

 

I think the pyramid construct might be stressing you out -- a minute of solid running can be a lot (even though it doesn't sound like it) for a beginner.

 

Were I you, I'd either use my basic crappy description of the opening workout or -- even better -- google c25k and make sure I've got it right. Try that workout. If it feels good (or, maybe more correctly, as long as you don't feel like absolute death), try it a few more times to make sure. Then, if things are hunky-dory, you can jump into the c25k program proper, which will start to increase your running time and decrease your walking time until -- after 9 weeks, I think -- you are able to run thirty minutes nonstop.

 

One other thing: new runners tend to run too fast. Ease off the stick a little. Recommended pace for "distance running" is a pace at which you are still able to have a conversation. Even if that's just barely above a shuffle for you, embrace the slowness and know that if you stick with it, the speed will come.

 

Some weight loss might help, but I don't think you're "too fat to run." I do think that if your only running experience is with CrossFit, you're not getting the gradual introduction that running deserves -- I'm guessing it's pretty competitive and your partners go out pretty hard. That can lead to crashing out when you overdo it trying to keep pace.

 

Relax. Train on your own to get away from the idea of comparing yourself to anybody else. Embrace the fact that you're gonna be slow for a while. Learn proper form (that will help a lot with your calves and ankles). If it hurts, rest. If it feels like you can do more ... stomp on that urge and just do the planned workout until you get a good sense for your body.''

 

In closing: Anybody can learn to run, especially somebody with a decent baseline for health (and if you're CrossFiting, you have a decent enough baseline for running).

 

There are lots of experienced folks around this wing of the forum -- don't be afraid to ask the questions you have. One thing about runners -- we love to talk running, almost as much as CrossFiters love to talk CrossFit!

Level 11 Brutish Scoutsassin (That's totally a thing, shut up)

Str: 30 Dex: 26 Sta: 27 Con: 11 Wis: 23 Cha: 18

NerdFitness Trials: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Hellfire Club 4LIFE!

Inspiration comes in many forms. Watch me fumble towards it at Accidentally Inspired.

Link to comment

Hm. Well, that's what I get for volunteering information where I had none. Like I said -- I never used c25k myself, I just muscled through it and figured it out for myself.

 

Just remember, pace is key. 

 

Keep me posted -- I'm rooting for you!

Level 11 Brutish Scoutsassin (That's totally a thing, shut up)

Str: 30 Dex: 26 Sta: 27 Con: 11 Wis: 23 Cha: 18

NerdFitness Trials: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Hellfire Club 4LIFE!

Inspiration comes in many forms. Watch me fumble towards it at Accidentally Inspired.

Link to comment
13 hours ago, Damaramu said:

Looks like c25k is actually 60 jog with 90 rest for 20 minutes.  

 

Even that feels too daunting.  But the way you remember it may actually be helpful. I'm going to give it a shot! Thanks!

Then Run 30 and rest for 120. Work your way up to 45 then 60. There's no time frame for Couch to 5K. It doesn't have to be done in 8 weeks. Just keep working on each day until ready to move on.

 

If you are running in shoes, are you in proper running shoes? Sometimes non running shoes can do more damage than help.  Might not be a bad idea to have a running store check out your shoes. 


This infographic is also pretty accurate and a great starting point. Take a look at it and evaluate your form perhaps?

 

Running-Form-Infographic.jpg

Hey. I've got a blog!! ----> The Dilnad Can!

This is how I did it. This is how you too can do it! ----> http://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2015/09/28/learn-how-an-office-worker-lost-100-lbs-saved-his-own-life-and-became-a-superhero/

 

Link to comment

I saw you post that inforgraphic in another thread and I saved it. It appears to be very helpful.

 

I don't think I overstride. I've always tried to be conscious of not heel striking, but there are a lot of things I can improve.

 

Also what Pavowski said about running too fast is probably also true. I probably try to take off too fast out of the gate and wear myself out. But I don't want to shuffle the whole time like I see some people do.

Link to comment
2 hours ago, Damaramu said:

But I don't want to shuffle the whole time like I see some people do.

 

Right? But it's that kind of thinking that makes people give up on all kinds of things. They want to go straight to running fast, they want to go straight to having a successful career, they want to start shedding pounds immediately and for good, they want to sit down and write the great American novel despite never having put pen to paper since high school. Then, when they can't do it (because of course they can't, because they haven't put in the practice), they lose heart. And when you lose heart, you lose the drive, and that's when you stop trying.

 

We have to crawl before we walk. Embrace the suck so that, next time out, it sucks a little bit less. Don't worry about what you can't do yet, focus on what you can do now that you couldn't do before.

 

Shuffle before you sprint. If you keep at it and do it right, the speed will come!

  • Like 1

Level 11 Brutish Scoutsassin (That's totally a thing, shut up)

Str: 30 Dex: 26 Sta: 27 Con: 11 Wis: 23 Cha: 18

NerdFitness Trials: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Hellfire Club 4LIFE!

Inspiration comes in many forms. Watch me fumble towards it at Accidentally Inspired.

Link to comment
6 hours ago, Damaramu said:

But I don't want to shuffle the whole time like I see some people do.

As someone who stated out shuffling, this is likely a big reason you are struggling. Those people you see shuffling are probably beginners too, and there isn't anything wrong with going slow. It doesn't mean you'll be slow forever!

Level 0 Recruit - Current Challenge

MyFitnessPal

Garmin

**********

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

Link to comment

Go run in the morning (like really really early).  this has some advantages:

- it's cooler then

- you're still "fresh" you're not awake enough yet to worry about pain and tiredness

- you're most likely alone.  If you're ashamed about shuffling... there's no one to see you

 

I listen to podcasts (people talking, no music) while I run.  I need to focus on the podcast, which means I'm not focusing on being tired or pain or whatever.

 

Try to run on soft ground if possible (a trail in a park or something).  Running on a road is much harder.

My Profile        |     I must not fear.  Fear is the mind killer.

My Battle Log  |     Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration.

                           |     I will face my fear.  I will permit it to pass over me and through me.

Start to Run      |     And when it has gone past, I will turn the inner eye to see its path.

                           |   Where the fear has gone, there will be nothing.  Only I will remain.

Link to comment

So there was one point while I was doing my walk yesterday that I had to get around some people that were taking up too much space on the trail. The trail is concrete and that's what I was jogging on. I started jogging around them and kept jogging for a while on the grass.

 

It felt so much better than running on the concrete I couldn't believe it. I guess you run the risk of hitting an uneven patch and turning an ankle or stepping in a hole, but maybe I should be running on the grass beside the concrete path instead of running on the concrete?

Link to comment

Grass, dirt, etc are easier on the joints, no doubt, but the road is easier to run on because it's a uniform surface. It's easier to run faster on roads/sidewalks. And running on grass is good practice for going the full monty and hitting some proper trails -- you learn to watch where you step a lot more than you ever have to on the street.

 

In short, they both have benefits and drawbacks. A little of both is a good thing. But don't forget that off-roading, with its uneven surfaces, forces not just your foot, but the entire musculature of your leg to work harder. You'll feel different soreness the next day, so make sure not to overdo it!

Level 11 Brutish Scoutsassin (That's totally a thing, shut up)

Str: 30 Dex: 26 Sta: 27 Con: 11 Wis: 23 Cha: 18

NerdFitness Trials: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Hellfire Club 4LIFE!

Inspiration comes in many forms. Watch me fumble towards it at Accidentally Inspired.

Link to comment

Fat guy here, with the same issue. My issue is that I have weak ankles. What I ended doing was looking at my goal differently. My goal is to finish a 10k. My mini quest is a 5k. So, I started walking. I kept working my distance up from 2.5 miles. I'm at almost 3.5 miles now. What I'm doing at this stage is strengthening my ankles and increasing the speed. I figure, if I lower my time continuously, I'll eventually have to run.

You can try the same, it worked this far.

https://www.nerdfitness.com/character/89458

IF YOU CAN HELP ME WITH ANY OF MY GOALS, PLEASE CONTACT ME! Even if it's just "here's a link to workouts".

I like doing martial arts (including swords), coding (Java and basic HTML webpages), and small-scale bit art (thus the avatar). I like dancing too, but the fancy kind. Except Latin. I suck at Latin. I need a Latin teacher.

Link to comment
2 hours ago, Damaramu said:

I've walked five miles in about  1:20-1:25 twice in the last week and a half.

 

That's a pretty speedy walk -- not much from there up to a leisurely jog (which is where you want to start). Keep it up!

Level 11 Brutish Scoutsassin (That's totally a thing, shut up)

Str: 30 Dex: 26 Sta: 27 Con: 11 Wis: 23 Cha: 18

NerdFitness Trials: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Hellfire Club 4LIFE!

Inspiration comes in many forms. Watch me fumble towards it at Accidentally Inspired.

Link to comment
On 7/11/2016 at 3:42 PM, Damaramu said:

Maybe I've been doing this wrong my entire life. Maybe this is why I suck at running because I start out trying to fly like I'm running a 6-8 minute mile or something.

 

On 7/11/2016 at 8:47 AM, Damaramu said:

Also what Pavowski said about running too fast is probably also true. I probably try to take off too fast out of the gate and wear myself out. But I don't want to shuffle the whole time like I see some people do.

 

Pacing yourself is everything.  10 years ago I started at ~275 lbs and my run was also more like a "shuffle" back then.  I'm a lot leaner, lighter, and faster now, but the same truth still holds: I sometimes still need to rein in my ego and remind myself that my mind's a lot tougher than my body, and I'm not doing myself any favors by going out too fast.

 

These days, I do speed workouts once a week with a  group that includes several elite/semi-elite local runners.  I still have to remind myself to swallow my pride and accept the fact that I'm one of the slower people in this group so that I can train at a pace that's right for ME, and helps ME get faster.  It's a long-term game, and training intelligently will let you recover faster, avoid injury, and become faster in the long run.

 

Trust me.  I was one of those guys shuffling along at 12 minutes a mile 10 years ago.  These days I generally race and do interval training at between 6 and 7 minutes a mile.  It just takes time.

 

On 7/17/2016 at 1:45 PM, Pavowski said:

Grass, dirt, etc are easier on the joints, no doubt, but the road is easier to run on because it's a uniform surface. It's easier to run faster on roads/sidewalks. And running on grass is good practice for going the full monty and hitting some proper trails -- you learn to watch where you step a lot more than you ever have to on the street.

 

In short, they both have benefits and drawbacks. A little of both is a good thing. But don't forget that off-roading, with its uneven surfaces, forces not just your foot, but the entire musculature of your leg to work harder. You'll feel different soreness the next day, so make sure not to overdo it!

 

Agree with this.  It takes more work to hold the same pace when running on grass/trails and you have to be much more careful where you're placing your feet so that you don't turn an ankle.  On the flip side, the uneven surface forces you to run "lighter", which may make you a better technical runner in the long run.  The other big thing that trail running does is force you to vary your stride more due to subtle variations in terrain.  This has the side effect of making every stride a little different, and can help reduce the tendency for certain types of overuse injuries that can come from hitting the exact same joint the exact same way with every stride.

  • Like 2

"Restlessness is discontent - and discontent is the first necessity of progress. Show me a thoroughly satisfied man-and I will show you a failure." -Thomas Edison

Link to comment
13 hours ago, Damaramu said:

Does anyone know if the various apps like UnderArmour and Nike Plus track your distance accurately? I have a feeling they don't.....

They are as accurate as a running watch but still not perfectly accurate. Civilian GPS technology is still limited in tracking accuracy. Your phone is as good as a portable device can be for the most part. You will always be off on premapped runs. It's irritating to have to run a couple extra tenths when you plan that perfect distance by map LOL

Hey. I've got a blog!! ----> The Dilnad Can!

This is how I did it. This is how you too can do it! ----> http://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2015/09/28/learn-how-an-office-worker-lost-100-lbs-saved-his-own-life-and-became-a-superhero/

 

Link to comment

I lead beginners running courses based on C25k.  At least 50% of the people who join have tried running by themselves and failed.  They only get to grips with it when they run with the group or with me as I help to pace they.  They all start off to fast.

 

i would also say recommend that you check your footwear.  I lift sometimes (not enjoying it at the moment so given up for a bit). I could not lift safely in my running shoes.  My running shoes are too springy and closed.  I prefer a looser, flatter firmer shoe when lifting, like a Converse.  Maybe what's right for one part of crossfit, isn't right for another.  I assume you can't change shoes in crossfit so maybe you need to learn to run in proper running shoes and just adapt for cross fit.

Link to comment
On 7/25/2016 at 4:58 PM, Damaramu said:

Does anyone know if the various apps like UnderArmour and Nike Plus track your distance accurately? I have a feeling they don't.....

Can't speak for UnderArmour, but Nike+ Running will track your distance with about the same accuracy as a GPS watch, which is to say, within a 2-3% margin of error.

Level 11 Brutish Scoutsassin (That's totally a thing, shut up)

Str: 30 Dex: 26 Sta: 27 Con: 11 Wis: 23 Cha: 18

NerdFitness Trials: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Hellfire Club 4LIFE!

Inspiration comes in many forms. Watch me fumble towards it at Accidentally Inspired.

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

New here? Please check out our Privacy Policy and Community Guidelines