Exercise challenges in the media

October 24, 2017

I have just stopped doing a running / jogging challenge that I took on this October.  The challenge was to run or jog daily for everyday of October 2017.  I have never been a fan of running.  The last time I did any significant running was over 30 years ago when I spent a short time in the military.  Since that time I have found it to be pretty hard and often boring.  Well, I managed 22 days of consecutive jogging, out of 31, of various distances between 2 kilometres and fifteen!

As a Sports Osteopath, if a patient asked me if it would have been a good idea to attempt this kind of challenge without regular jogging in the past, I would have advised them that it would probably not been a great idea.  Your body needs time to recover and strengthen whenever you undertake any form exercise.  However, I don’t know why I thought it might be ok for me?!

I have learnt several lessons from this experience so far.  My personal mantra is “NEVER STOP LEARNING”, in all experiences in life. My first lesson;

  • It’s hard to run/jog every day if you work and have a busy social life.  I have learnt a new respect for professional and recreational runners.  It takes dedication and discipline to run every day.  In all weathers and when you just don’t feel like it or you are having a busy working day.
  • You definitely do need a training plan in order to improve and to recover.  I started jogging a regular 8km on a daily basis (I’d done it intermittently over the last few months, but we no regularity).  I soon tired and had to drop to 2 km on some days, just so I could manage my fatigue from my other daily activities – work for example!
  • I actually started to look forward to the jog each day! I anticipated how the first few minutes of running was to be difficult and then imagined that great feeling that you start to get after a week or two of joogging where you feel you could run for an hour without to much trouble and actually enjoy it!  It helps running in Snowdonia, there are some stunning views here!
  • I directly lost weight because of this daily, consistent exercise. I went from about 100 kg to 92 kg in 3 weeks.  I felt fitter and more awake (exercise releases a hormone that wakes you up! A bit like caffeine).
  • I knew that the increased load (jogging), carried out daily (too often) and without much conditioning for it beforehand (too soon) might cause an issue (injury). There are no guarantees that a person will get injured, but there are likelihoods.
  • Overuse injuries = Too much, too soon, too often.
  • 2 days ago after 22 consecutive days of jogging (I would not dare say it was running!), my left knee started to ‘complain’.
  • I chose my jogging routes.  I jogged on trails, uneven ground, so that the normal ‘hard repetitive loading’ of joints and muscles that you get on road running, would be reduced on softer ground. However, I think my lack of running conditioning prior to this challenge has caught up with me.
  • 2 days ago I started getting pain when I ‘ran’ uphill, everytime my left foot planted and drove me up a slope.  Every time I took a step up on a stair, I’d get the briefest sharp pain inside my knee. This then happened again when I depressed the clutch in the car.  I knew something was up……..well it is my job!
  • I’m booked in to see my physiotherapist tomorrow.  I shall keep you up to date!