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Author Topic: For the walkers out there  (Read 2839 times)

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For the walkers out there
« on: June 09, 2013, 05:17:37 AM »
I've signed up to do the Race For Life in October. It's a 5k run, jog or walk in a local park. As I am overweight and unfit, DH and I have been going out walking three evenings a week to "train" for it (I put it in quotes because it's not really what I'd call training, but it's a good reason to get fitter).

I suffer from chronic thoracic back pain, which usually is relieved by walking. However, I've noticed that after going at speed for some time, I'm getting pain in the lower part of my back, usually on one side, which is actually made worse by walking. It gets better if I sit down, but obviously I can't keep doing that in the middle of a walk.

Does anyone have any tips to prevent this or relieve it once it starts?


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Re: For the walkers out there
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2013, 05:40:16 AM »
When I was running I had a similar problem.  If you can, consult a podiatrist.  It may be that one of your legs is slightly shorter than the other.  It's nothing you'd notice in everyday walking but walking a distance at more than usual speed can bring it out.   

Tea Drinker

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Re: For the walkers out there
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2013, 10:04:16 AM »
Are your walking shoes old? When mine wear out, the wear can lead me to stand or walk in ways that are slightly off, and that can make my feet, knees, or hips hurt.
Any advice that requires the use of a time machine may safely be ignored.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: For the walkers out there
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2013, 10:39:45 AM »
Definitely something to get checked out.  You may have something funky going on with your gait that orthotics could help correct.  Once you have the orthotics, a new pair of shoes that they fit into is in order.
After cleaning out my Dad's house, I have this advice:  If you haven't used it in a year, throw it out!!!!.


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Re: For the walkers out there
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2013, 10:56:38 AM »
That kind of pain is very common with worn down shoes, so my first suggestion would be, since you are training* and planning to do this 5k, go ahead and make sure you have a good pair of new walking shoes/sneakers.

If that doesn't help, then ask a Dr. It could be sciatica, it could be an issue o one leg long er then another, it could be any number of things - many of which are easily treatable.

* Please don't underplay your walking as training. It absolutely is. Yes its a beginners training regimen, but its a great way to enter training, and it really IS training. There are plenty of people who have problems walking 5k (aka 3.1 miles), especially doing with a good "time" or without stopping to rest. And once you have a few walking 5k's under the belt you might want to try jogging 5k (many, many, many people walk/jog/walk/jog their first few 5k's as "runners") or walking 10k. Or even just stick with 5k - its a very healthful amount of regular exercise! Always self-praise, please don't downplay your awesomeness!


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Re: For the walkers out there
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2013, 12:14:18 PM »
I agree thoroughly with WillyNilly.  Getting out there and moving the body IS training.

  Walking isn't just training the body, it's also training the mind and the soul. The rhythm of the walk, the good feeling that moving through nature gives, the sense of accomplishment when you've met a goal, are all important for well-being.  When you walk, your mind also becomes more free.  You're concentrating on the walk.  There's no technology to bog you down.  When you walk you often find yourself thinking in new and creative ways. All of these things are good.

In the late 1970s I was a competitive Race-Walker.  Our walking club had a free Saturday morning clinic.  We didn't teach newcomers the mechanics of the sport.  Our immediate goal was to get them moving.

  Many of our more devoted visitors were larger ladies.  They didn't want to become skinny-minis. 
They didn't want to train to competitive levels.   They just wanted to feel a bit more comfortable with their own bodies and walking helped them do that. After a few sessions it was obvious that although these ladies weren't training for a race, they were enjoying themselves and training for a happier life. 



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Re: For the walkers out there
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2013, 01:09:23 PM »
We are also training for a 5K race that has obstacles along the way. I have one leg that is shorter than the other, a hip that is 2" higher, sciatica, and degenerative disc disease. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions. I have found that stretching and walking are the best movements for me. Being sedentary or standing is the worst.

ďAll that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost."
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Re: For the walkers out there
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2013, 06:14:44 PM »
I would second getting a good pair of shoes for walking, but go to a specialty running shoe store (not Footlocker or a place where you fit yourself).  They will analyze your gait and determine your pronation (such as overpronation, neutral, supronation).  It will go a long way to knowThese types of stores will have walking as well as running shoes, but I've found that walking my running shoes has been fine.  They might even have classes and clinics to help you.


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Re: For the walkers out there
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2013, 09:31:51 PM »
Several years ago, when I first retired, I walked off a lot of weight.  This is some of what I learned.

Absolutely, you need quality shoes, and should analyze your gait.  There are a number of websites online that will help you do this.  If you google up overpronation and underpronation you will find them.  I found the websites more helpful than going to the running shoe stores, where the teenage clerks made quick judgments after I had walked only 12 feet or so. 

I have been wearing Asics running shoes, and even though they are pricey my foot problems are gone.  The website tells which shoes are helpful for which conditions.  I bought some for my husband, after analyzing his gait by the wear of his decrepit old shoes, and his back pain was immediately gone.

Posture seems to be important for me, too.  Don't just throw your shoulders back, as that can be unnatural.  Think of your head being suspended by a string or whatever from above, and your posture should be correct.

When I first started walking I was swiveling my hips a bit in a girly way, and that made my joints sore.  Be sure to keep your hips straight as you walk.

When I was heavy I found myself lumbering from side to side, which is bound to be hard on body joints somewhere.  It might be a good idea to watch yourself walk in a full length mirror or store window, and make sure that you aren't doing this.

I also tried to keep my core muscles of my abdomen tight as I walked, too.  It helped.

It really did help me to think about my gait when I walked  -  the things that I have mentioned.  After awhile my mind would drift, but then I'd remember and do it again.  Good habits take a bit of practice.

As far as your specific complaint goes, it wouldn't hurt to google it up and see what you can find as a corrective exercise.  Years ago I had a knee area problem.  I found a specific exercise in a magazine, and could actually feel something move back into place when I first did the exercise.

Good luck with your training,  shadowfox, you will be amazed at how good you will start to feel!  Let us know how you do in October.


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Re: For the walkers out there
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2013, 04:32:56 AM »
Thanks everyone - as soon as I started reading the replies I thought "What an idiot" because I do already have a heel raise for a shorter leg. I haven't been wearing it because it doesn't easily fit in my running shoes.

So I'll just have to get a pair of shoes it fits in!


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Re: For the walkers out there
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2013, 11:27:17 AM »
YAY for starting the walking! It's something I'm working on with my boyfriend. We're not training for anything specifically, but we're trying to get more active, and this is the best way.

I agree with the advice of get good shoes. You should be able to find a local shoe store that will measure your feet and fit things speficially for you. When I originally started, years ago, I went and found out that my feet were a full size smaller than I had originally thought, but they were much wider and I needed special inserts in addition to the super-wide shoes. I thought it was just normal that there was two inches of space between the end of my toe and the end of the shoe. When I got a pair of shoes that fit me, it was a miracle. Now they're wearing out and I've got to go find some more. It's expensive to get specialty shoes like that, but it makes a HUGE difference.