Running Injuries


I have been running for one month. I did 10km the first week. Last Saturday, I did 10km and have been doing between 3km and 4km on the other days of the week. Currently, I am getting pains in both legs, in my calves and in my shins, as well as in the toes of my left foot. When I run, I have the strength to go long distance, but my legs are not willing to take me. Can you help?
* Gordon Lazarus

Whenever a patient complains of fairly widespread injuries involving several body parts, it is usually because of a training problem. In your case, it seems you are doing too much, too soon.

Although you are coping with the cardiovascular side of running, you are not giving your body sufficient time to adapt to the repetitive stress that running places on your body, especially if you have jumped into 10km runs. Because of this unique strain on your body, you will often be plagued by injuries, even if you have been a sportsman all your life. You need to adopt a much slower programme and build up to the
10km distance.

The areas in which you are experiencing problems suggest a possible problem with your shoes.
Try to get some advice from a running shoe shop or podiatrist with regards to your shoe choice and size.

To build up to 10km, I would suggest running alternate days, three times a week and for not more than 10 to 15 minutes, at a comfortable pace that allows you to maintain a conversation. Increase each run by fi ve minutes per week, until you are running 60 minutes. Gradually, add a fourth and fi fth run, and when you are comfortable, start increasing your weekend run by not more than 10% per week.

Toni Hesp – Modern Athlete Expert

BSc Physio (hon)
BSc (Med) Sports Science (hon)