Thursday, February 28, 2008

Questions for the Mommies

Hi all - I'm new to the group and have a couple of questions I wonder if you might offer some advice on. First, I have been doing all of my running in the morning - immediately after I wake up. I love running in the morning but I realize I definitely don't do as well as when I run later in the day. I'm just starting out but it doesn't seem to be getting much easier. I don't eat anything before I go and I'm wondering if that might have something to do with it. I don't want to eat a full breakfast, what do you do to fuel yourself or even warm up your muscles for those early morning runs? I've also thought about walking for 10 or 15 minutes first too, just to loosen up the legs a little.

Second, I just started training about 6 weeks ago and I've had two separate bouts with severe calf pain. They are not cramps just extreme muscle tightness/soreness/pain. Tonight it was so bad I couldn't run at all, could hardly walk. Am I just going through the motions of a novice runner or could it be my shoes or something? Anyway, thought I'd just throw it out there. Thanks for any feedback/experiences! You are all amazing!


foxontherun said...

My suggestion to you is to get a rolling pin and roll in on your calves to work out the knots in your muscles. It will be painful but it should help release the knot you have.

poky girl said...

If I'm doing a run longer than 5 miles I'll try to wake up a little earlier and have a bagel or cereal, something a little more substantial, but if it's just 5 or less I'll eat one of those fruit leathers.(I think they're stretch island brand)a handful of raisins or a glass of juice. It feels like my blood sugar is usually pretty low in the mornings and I feel better if I get a little sugar in my system. Just try a few different things. Everyone is so different. I know the "experts" say you should work out with a full stomach but that always makes me suck(oops! I meant "sick" but "suck" works too!)Hang in there and just go the speed that feels comfortable for you. For years I was trying to run too fast and didn't really enjoy it.

Ang said...

I get up and have toast with peanut butter. Seems to work out great. (I only run in the mornings on sat.) I think you really should have something in your stomach.

The rolling pin sounds like a good idea! Are you doing hils? That's when my calves get me.

Roxanne said...

Morning time for me seems to be when I run my best but my husband is the opposite. He thinks it is much harder to run first thing in the morning. I usually get up a little eary to eat a banana if I am running more that 5 or 6 miles. Drinking a lot of water the day/night before is always helpful. If you are not getting enough fluids you will feel it while running. Everyone is different so do some experimenting and find what works for you. Your body may just need some time to adjust to running in the mornings. Good Luck!

Will Run For Designer Jeans said...

I like toasted whole wheat bread with peanut butter and bananas. I usually can't eat more than one slice in the morning, but it kick starts my day, and gives me energy to finish my run. I also chug a water bottle before I go.

As far as the calf muscles, I like to stand on the edge of a stair, and press one heel down at a time, bending the opposite knee. Just make sure to hold on to something for balance.

Hope this helps!


Charity said...


I have a problem with calf pain after I cross country ski and am not hydrated and haven't stretched enough. However, there are a few factors that might contribute to your calf muscle problem.... Have you changed your running shoes recently? Are you stretching enough before and after you run? Are you properly hydrated before and after you run? Running dehydrated will make you more prone to muscle injury. Consuming low-GI carbohydrates soon after exercise will help recovery as well – foods such as fruit, oats, rye bread and some nuts fall into this category...just some suggestions.

I like to run in the mornings as well, and find that if I eat a banana and drink a glass of juice or even sometimes carnation instant breakfast if I need some extra protein that helps as well. I'm with Roxanne and WRFDJ when mentioning that you should also stay well hydrated before, during and after your run...good luck.

Suzie Petunia said...

Water, water, water!

And bananas are my pre-running food of choice. I eat one before a long run with some kind of bread and water. Everyone is different... for me eating nuts of any kind before running gives me a stomach ache.

Warming up is a great idea to get into the groove in the morning. Walk briskly to get your heart rate up. Maybe even jog a bit and then stop and stretch before really getting into your running part of your workout.

I've had many bouts with calf pain. I know that severe muscle tightness feeling in that area all too well. Stretch really well before and after running. I've found that the lunge-type stretch is better for that kind of soreness than the standing on the stair (or curb) stretch. I've been doing that one for years, but recently started focusing more on the lunge kind of stretch and it seems to help. Also, downward facing dog pose in yoga is perfect. Hold these stretches for 15-30 seconds.

If it hurts too much to roll out the muscles yourself, get a loved one to do it. Or better yet, pay a massage therapist to do it. It hurts, but it really helps!

So much advice! I guess that is what we're good at here!

Suzie Petunia said...

Are you lisasco? Or is that another lisa?

lisamarie said...

Thanks everyone for so much great advice! I've been rolling and stretching and drinking in prep for my long run tomorrow. I really appreciate the pointers- exactly what I needed. Suziepetunia - Yes, I am lisasco. Hopefully you got my email ezplaining the confusion.

Thanks everyone!

Team Hanni said...


Welcome and good for you! I prefer running first thing in the morning, but I always eat 1/2 a marathon or access bar. Bananas are great too! I have to be careful about how much water I drink right before. The swishing of water up and down while running tends to make me a little sick. I do drink a ton the day before a long run, and then during the run I drink every couple of miles.

Stretch, stretch, stretch - It takes so much time but I have had my problems when I just skip this because of time. Downward dog is great for the calves. A great yoga routine is just the right cure for an aching body.

Good luck. There are awesome ideas here - hopefully some of these tricks will help!