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First time 5k runner


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Hi everyone,

I am a running newbie.  Roughly 10 years ago, I got down to a healthier weight (5' 10", 180 lbs) .  Then surprise baby #3 came along.  Nothing like having a baby at 45.  There is a reason couples have kids in the 20's and 30's.   I got a son in the bargain though :-).  He is a lot of fun.  I did the math and will be hitting Social Security age by the time he is out of college.  

Long and short is that in June 2019 I got back on the exercise band wagon so I will be around to see him grow up (nothing like a death in the family to motivate oneself).  I have been weight training 4 to 5 days a week before going to work (upper and lower body on alternating days).  I need to drop about 45 pounds.  It's tougher this time.  My actual weight hasn't moved much.  But with that said, muscle tone has improved and I need to work on my diet (90% eating habits - 10% workout rule).

There was a poster at the gym advertising a 5k to benefit the local schools.  I have always wanted to be able to run for at least a respectable distance, so why not do a 5k.  I've paid the fee so I have scratch in the game.  Friends and family have been advised to keep me motivated.

I started the C25K program on Monday because it was obvious from past attempts that I need help.  I have some questions where I need advice.

I have been fitted by the staff at a running store and purchased shoes that assist with my pronation issues.   My ortho doctor has advised me 10 years ago that I likely have torn miniscus in both knees.  I need to have these repaired but just haven't taken the time to do it.

  1. With my knee problems and overweight status, do I need a shock absorbing insert in my shoes?
  2. My left knee can be very touchy if I bend down on this knee.  I make every attempt to avoid hyperextending this knee.  Should I consider one of the black neoprene knee supports that I see some runners wearing?
  3. I've had a trainer tell me that I have tight hamstrings.  In the past when I've attempted running, I am getting pain in one or both ankles and my calves after several minutes of running that cause me to stop running.  Any suggestions on how to eliminate this?
  4. I had some sciatica problems just over a year ago.  It took 6 to 9 months to get back to where I could walk without pain.  I have noticed some pain in the piriformis muscle that dissipates with rest and ibuprofen.  This has occurred when I've been doing squats and pushed a bit too hard with the leg work.  Are there any precautions I need to take to keep from aggravating this.  Not running is not an option.
  5. Being a good Southern boy, meals have been very heavy on the four horsemen of heart disease:  sugar, salt, butter, and white flour.  Any food suggestions that don't involve eating food with the consistency and taste of cardboard would be appreciated.  I am taking a graduated approach to sodas.  Down to one sugared soda per day, fill in with diet and water.  Working toward water only.

Thanks in advance for any advice you can give.


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