Category Archives: Common Challenges

Personal challenges associated with running, may include excuses for not running.

Running vs Walking to Lose Weight

When you start a new exercise program, a few workout buddies can make all the difference in the world. As humans, we all love to socialize and the same is true when it comes to exercise. The time goes by a little faster, the physical work is a little less tedious, and you have more motivation when you exercise with other people. This is why many women like to run with a running club.

Besides offering a social element, running programs can help you meet your fitness goals. Your fellow runners can offer you encouragement, tips, and support when you are trying to meet your goals. With the help of others, you will be able to achieve any running goal you set for yourself. Running clubs can also connect you with people who have similar interests and experiences in addition to a love for running.

Finding a Running Club

The first step to finding some local running programs is to look on the internet. There are many sites that will give you a list of all the running clubs in your area. Some running clubs even have their own websites where you can learn more about the program. These running clubs may only list meet-up times and give minimal information. Before you show up for the run, be sure that the running club meets your needs.

Running level

Consider your running level before joining any running club. If you are an advanced runner, it doesn’t make sense to run with beginners. You will want to push yourself and the best way to do this is to run with people who are at your level or even more experienced. Your running partners can give you helpful tips and also encourage you to run harder and faster.

Terrain

Some running programs may focus on a certain type of terrain such as: mountain, wilderness, urban, or track running. What type of running do you like to do? If terrain will make a difference, then be sure to investigate whether the running club is specialized for a certain type of terrain.

Formal/Informal

Formal running clubs often have structured leadership team including coaches, event directors, and club directors. These formals clubs may also be sponsored by a national organization such as the Road Runners Club of America. Some runners may not feel comfortable with this type of formal structure. If you prefer a more relaxed atmosphere, then you should choose a group that is more casual and informal.

No matter your running level, interests, or preferences, if you have struggled to stay motivated in the past then running clubs could help. One of the biggest reasons women fail at achieving their fitness goals is that they don’t feel inspired or encouraged. Does this sound like you? The last thing you need is just another fitness failure. Find a running club that works for you and start running with your new friends. When you see the results, you’ll be happy you joined a running club.

How Effective is Running for Weight Loss?

If you are struggling to see results with your current exercise program, don’t worry—you’re not alone. Many women don’t see results from yoga, aerobics, or calisthenics. It can be very disheartening when you aren’t losing weight quickly enough, but don’t give up. There is still a chance for you to achieve the results you want. If you want to lose more weight in a shorter time period, then you may want to try running for weight loss.

For some women, running can help get rid of those stubborn pounds that otherwise just won’t come off. A running routine can give you the jumpstart you need to get motivated and lose weight. Of course, it is important to keep in mind that there is no “silver bullet” for weight loss. Our bodies are all different and thus different exercise solutions may work better or worse depending on the individual. You can lose weight running, but always listen to your body and choose exercise options that make sense for you.

Why does it work?

Running for weight loss works efficiently because it burns more calories than walking or jogging. You can expect to see results more quickly, but remember to be patient. Just remember, if you expect running to work miracles for your body, then you are only setting yourself up for failure. All weight loss takes some time and you will need to have a little patience to make it happen. If you work hard and maintain your workout schedule, then you will most likely lose weight running.

Another reason that you will lose weight running is that your body changes when you start running. You may notice that your eating habits will start to change once you start running. Your body needs to work more efficiently, so eating that bag of chips just won’t seem so appealing anymore. The combination of exercise and change in diet will definitely give your weight loss a push in the right direction.

When you are running for weight loss, longer, slower runs are best because this burns more calories than quick, short runs. Research has proven that in order to lose weight and keep the weight off, longer, slower runs are the way to go. Running at a steady pace for 30-40 minutes, 3 or 4 times a week can be much for effective than a few sporadic and exhausting runs.

When it comes to running for weight loss, the most important element is your own desire to improve your health. If you’re having trouble getting motivated, just think of all the health benefits running offers:

  • Decreases your chance of cancer
  • Runners live longer than non-runners
  • Helps build muscle
  • Natural stress relief
  • Lose weight quickly

Without a genuine desire to get healthy, you won’t succeed in your running program, but with a strong desire and some hard work, you will certainly lose weight running. Are you ready to get healthy and lose weight? Start your running routine today!

What Knee Pain After Running Might be Trying to Tell You

It is quite common for both beginner and advanced runners to feel knee pain after running, but what does this mean? It is always important to pay close attention to your body, but it is especially important when you are an athlete. Pain is your body’s way of trying to tell you something.  Knee pain or knee popping accompanied by sharp knee pain could be a sign of serious health concerns.

If you have been experiencing knee pain, it is crucial for you to stop your running routine and identify the root cause of the pain or knee popping. Here is an overview of some common reasons why runners experience knee pain:

Injury. Unfortunately knee pain after running or knee popping could be a sign of injury. The pain could be an indication that you have injured the ligaments or joints in the knee. Knee pain could also be caused by a previous injury that may have been exacerbated by running. Injuries could be very serious such as knee dislocation or something minor like runner’s knee.

Weight. Many people turn to running to lose weight, but overweight individuals put extra stress on their knees when running. Additional pressure on your joints is bad for your body and can certainly lead to knee pain. Overweight individuals may need to try walking or jogging in order to put less stress on the knees.

Shoes. The right pair of supportive footwear is incredibly important to pain-free running. Athletes who wear inappropriate shoes when running will probably experience knee pain after running.

Terrain. Some running surfaces are harder to run on than others. If you prefer to run outdoors on hard surfaces like concrete, it is likely that you will have knee pain. Consider running on a rubber track or running indoors on a treadmill.

Diet. Eating a healthy diet can help contribute to joint health which is crucial to running with pain. If you aren’t eating correctly, you may notice knee popping followed by sharp knee pain. This is a sign of poor joint health. Eating foods like calcium-rich food and leafy vegetables will give you the nutrients you need to keep your joints healthy.

There are many different causes for knee pain after running; this is not an exhaustive list. If you suspect you have a serious injury, be sure to check with your doctor. Do not continue running if you are experiencing knee pain. Stop running and identify the root cause.

After you have found the cause (and treated it) you can resume your running schedule. If you still experience periodic knee pain, you can easily treat the pain with hot or cold packs and over-the-counter pain relief. The most important thing to remember is to listen to your body. When your body is in pain, this is an urgent message that you must listen to.

Although it can be discouraging to experience sharp knee pain after running, you can’t let a little knee pain get in the way of achieving your fitness goals. With some patience and hard work, you will be able to overcome this challenge.

How to Alleviate Knee Pain from Running

You finally have some momentum behind your running program. Each day you run more and more. Each day it gets a little easier to find your rhythm. You feel invincible, unstoppable, and motivated. Then, seemingly out of nowhere BAM—knee pain. This can be devastating for serious athletes. If you can treat the symptoms and identify the causes of knee pain, you can get back into your running schedule with very little interruption.

As you increase your speed and distance, you may start to have knee pain from running. This could come in the form of pain in the actual kneecap and around the knee area. Your knees are sore and stiff, and sometimes pop when bending. You struggle to run downhill or even go down stairs. Sound familiar?
For some reason, your knee has moved out of its track, causing this pain. With each step, your cartilage breaks down. When you think of how many steps runners take each day, you can see how painful this can become. Runner’s knee could also be caused by foot instability. Without proper support, your feet could either be pronating (rotating your foot) or supinating (turning out). This can cause severe knee pain from running.

Knee pain from running can be quite frustrating, and some runners may even give up on their program entirely if they don’t find knee pain relief. You have worked so hard to meet your goals; there is no reason to give up now just because you are experiencing pain. Many more advanced runners suffer from a condition commonly called “runner’s knee”. The good news is this condition is easily treated.

If you are looking for knee pain relief, the solution for runner’s knee is fairly straightforward. First you will need to treat the pain. Use ice or cold packs to numb the pain of your running injury. You can also take some over-the-counter pain relief such as ibuprofen or aspirin.

Now that you have treated the symptoms, it’s time to address the actual cause. Make sure your running form is correct. Good posture during your run can go a long way. If you notice you have poor running for, correcting this could help bring you some knee pain relief. The right shoes are also crucial to relieving pain from running. You must have shoes that offer you support to stabilize your feet. You may even need to buy special support or orthotics for your feet.

Don’t let knee pain ruin all your hard work. Your effort does not have to be wasted. As soon as you start to feel knee pain, stop running. Take the time to identify the causes of your knee pain, and don’t push your body too hard. Pain is a message your body is trying to tell you. Listen to what your body is telling you. If you keep running on a sore knee, you may risk further injury. Knee pain relief can be very straightforward if you simply take the time to understand what’s going on with your body. Follow these guidelines and you’ll be running again in no time.

Is There Such a Thing as Too Old to Run?

One of the top excuses against getting into — or back into – running is age, “I’m too old to do something like that!” and I personally believe there is no such thing as too old. Sure, there’s the all-powerful “and,” such as if you’re 95 years old AND on oxygen AND need a walker to get around…that’s a lot of ands. If this describes you, you may very well want to stick to the cheerleading section. However, just because you’re 95 years old, doesn’t mean you can’t run – though you might want at least one and in there, like “and the doctor says it’s okay without any detrimental effects.”

For most people, the idea of getting into running, or being a runner, or becoming a runner, somehow implies that they intend to alter all their other daily habits and train to be a super-robo-marathon-runner. There’s nothing wrong with running marathons, or even just training for marathons in case you feel like running one – but there is also such a thing as a casual fun run/walk that just about anyone can do on a weekend.

Having said this, I very nearly made a hypocrite of myself when I got back into running last year – and here we get into the subject of old moms. Like most people, I’d made a lot of excuses to myself about running. When I was in high school I ran a lot, but since then I’d let it slide – sure I missed it, but that’s a lot of work to get back into! Then last year my mom told me she had started running, and my knee-jerk response was, “Really? Isn’t she a little old?”

Just to clarify, my mom isn’t old, she’s only in her 40s – but I think there’s some ingrained idea in every kid’s head that their parents are ancient, and encountering anything to the contrary can really throw you for a loop. I figured, “Well, if she can do it at twice my age and somewhat comparable fitness levels, I don’t have any excuses left.” Yep, you guessed it, I just couldn’t let the old lady show me up (love you, Mom!).

Not long afterward we did a 5K walk/run for the Pink Link in Sheridan, Wyoming. It’s a benefit sponsored by the Susan G. Koman foundation for breast cancer research, and was intended to raise money for a new mammography unit at Sheridan Memorial Hospital. Well, I couldn’t deny the merit in the purpose of the run, so I agreed to attend with Mom.

Being the wonderful, thoughtful daughter I am, I let Mom set the pace the entire way – you know, I can’t leave her in the dust, that just wouldn’t be nice. She was just getting over a cold and we had to stop several times in that three miles until she’d finished coughing, and we averaged 16 minutes to the mile.

If you think that was bad, the worst is yet to come – the one thing that I never mentioned is just how grateful I was for those coughing breaks. It truly was a challenge for me to keep up with my mom, even at that pace. I finished the run with a new desire to work on my running and get back into shape – if for no other reason than to prevent a repeat of such a pathetic performance on my part. I didn’t have a cold.

When I was 11 years old, I managed to run a ¾ mile in 5 ½ minutes. After a knee injury I didn’t run for a long time, and when I got back to it in high school I ended up running 12-minute miles, and eventually pared it down to a 9-minute mile. Last year I made my comeback, 5 years after high school graduation, with that 16-minute mile. Pretty scary. Time to strap on the tennis shoes and get my not-so-little rear end in gear!

For now this is going to be a non-running running journal. Why? Put simply, I have my own ands. I am a healthy 24-year-old, AND it’s -30 outside right now, AND I’m just shy of 41 weeks pregnant. What does this mean? It means that the running journal gets to start from the ground up again – as soon as this baby finally makes her appearance, I’ll have to start from the very beginning of fitness again and work back into running. With any luck, by this summer I will be able to report from the various charity fundraisers and other such running-related events in my area.

That said, there is nothing more boring than listening to someone talk about themselves incessantly, and since I’m going to be learning and re-learning all this stuff for myself I will gladly answer questions for anyone else as we go along. Feel free to post a comment introducing yourself, we’d love to know who you are and where you’re coming from, and let me know if you have a running-related topic of interest that you’d like to see addressed here.