So, How Many Hats Do You Wear?

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Pensacola, Florida, United States
Husband. *Dog Dad.* Instructional Systems Specialist. Runner. (Swim-challenged) Triathlete (on hiatus). USATF LDR Surveyor. USAT (Elite Rules) CRO/2, NTO/1. RRCA Rep., FL (North). Observer Of The Human Condition.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Time To Put Out The Shingle

So...looking in the local bulletin board and I find this:

I am a relatively new runner (6 mos). I have 3 5k's, 3 10k's, and 2 4 milers under my belt. In the last month though I have been dealing with terrible lower leg pain after a run no matter what the distance is. I motrin up, take hot soaks, ice bag, and use the various cream rubs to no avail. I am hooked on running but am worried this is more than something that a new runner deals with. Any advise (sic) out there?

IF I WERE YOUR COACH: Eight races in six-months of running might be normal for a well-trained, well-conditioned elite-level runner. However, I think it's too much, too soon for a person who is in their first six months of regular running.
There are a number of root causes for lower leg pain that come to mind:
1. Previous (undiagnosed) injury
2. Lack of running experience
3. Competitive running
4. Excessive weekly running distance
Your injury is probably due to a breakdown. You've run and raced more than your body has been capable of handling, stress-wise. Without looking at your shoes, your mechanics, or your background I cannot say with clarity what the cause may be.
The good news is that most injuries are curable, if you are willing to be patient (the degree of injury you apparently have suggests a three-to-six-month recovery) and correct the root causes:
1. Find an alternative means of exercise that will build leg strength and maintain cardiovascular fitness without aggravating the present injury.
2. Sit down with an experienced running coach and develop a holistic training and racing plan which includes all of the necessary elements; rest, long aerobic runs, speed work and recovery runs.
3. Visit a knowledgeable running store (such as Running Wild) and have their staff look at your biomechanics and fit you for a running shoe that meets your running needs and your individual biomechanics.
You might want to also spend some time and money visiting your general practitioner to let them make certain there is no (stress-related) fracture to the leg.
There's my two cents. Please feel free to contact me; if I cannot help you I can point you in the direction of other coaches and professionals.
I cannot wait to see my response get slammed. :)

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