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Running for Weight Loss - Injured...

by momof3
(Massachusetts)

I started a run-walk program 3 weeks ago to help me lose 80 lbs. I was up to running 3 min / walk 3 min 3 days a week on my treadmill.

Last week after my run the middle of my left foot felt really tender and I had small area of inflammation and pain concentrated below the outside of my ankle.





The injury seems consistent with an ankle sprain -- so I have been resting it and for the last week (no running) and I think I will rest it one more until the pain is totally gone.

But I don't want to give up on running. I am worried that I am too heavy run right now or maybe I was running too hard (6.4 mph)for a beginner.

How long should I wait before returning to running? Should I get an ankle brace? Any advice for avoiding further injuries?


Answer by Dominique:
Hi there,
Thanks for your question. Good to see you started running for weight loss.

Running is one of the best ways to lose weight and I would hate to see you give up on it, because you think you are too heavy. That will see you end up in a vicious circle, so don't even think about going there!

The ankle problems are maybe not caused by your weight, but by your running shoes. Maybe you were just unlucky.

When the pain is gone, you can do the following things to try to stay away from further running injuries:

* Cut back a little on the length of your runs, e.g. instead of 3 min walk / 3 min runs, go back to 2 min runs or 1 min runs. When that goes well for a full week, then step it up a little. Check out my beginners running programs to see how I slowly increase the time spent running in my exercise programs.

* Make sure you run at easy pace, i.e. the pace at which you can maintain a conversation. I am not sure what the 6.4mph is to you, it may be too fast at this present time. But instead of giving you a precise number, I am asking you to go by effort. Easy pace is the right pace!

* Go to a good running store and get your feet tested just to make sure that the shoes you have are right for you. The wrong shoes can cause lots of running injuries.

Running injuries are always frustrating. You can't completely avoid them. As you push yourself more and more, there is always that risk. Run easily, build up gradually and run with the right shoes and you are doing everything you should to try and stay safe.

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I hope this helps a little.
Good luck on your weight loss journey and send us a race report when you finish your first marathon... :)
Cheers,
Dominique

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Oct 25, 2009
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your speed may well be too fast
by: Anonymous

For what it's worth - I've been running for 1.5 years now, and 6.4mph would be way too fast for me (I run somewhere between 4 and 5.5 mph. It's slow - but on my best days I can last for 13-14km at those speeds!).

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