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Howdy guys--newcommer here...

Here's the short story: I'm 20 years old. Back before high-school, I was really active in sports (basketball, baseball, soccer) and, of all the things I might have been weak in (i.e. scoring points :p ), I *never* had any trouble outrunning people. High school comes along, and I go from playing several sports to being a couch potato (didn't do any sports). Now I'm in college, and I feel like I've fallen so far physically to the extent that I decided to take this running "course" in college to try to get back in the saddle. Anyway, the point of all of that was just to show that I haven't always been a lazy bum--just for the past 5 or 6 years.

So this class I joined in college--called "Beginning Jogging"--is less a class than just something which requires me to run about 10 miles a week, log it, and turn in the log on a weekly basis. So the way I figure it, I ought to be running about 1.5 miles a day, give or take. That's what I set out to do, and it worked just fine for like the first two days. I can't run the whole distance without alternating my pace between walking and running--but I expect that's natural for a beginner. The bigger problem is, after my jog--and *especially* the next day--my legs are so sore that I don't even want to think about running again. And it's not like this lasts for just a day and it's gone--this is like for several days. I especially notice the soreness when squatting down (as my job requires me to do from time to time), which is painful.

Yes, I do stretch for a bit before running (although nobody showed me the right way to do it, I was able to imitate other runners). But when the sorness is severe enough to make even walking painful, I don't see how I'm going to be able to carry on an effective running program. I didn't even turn in my running log this week (which is a "no-no"), as I took the whole past week off to recover.

Any words of wisdom for a beginner who's getting really burned-out even on the first few weeks? I'm tired of my couch-potato jiggle!

Thanks for ANY help. I look forward to conversing with you guys.

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You're going to have *some* soreness for a little while when your body adjusts to the new physical demands you are putting on it.

Remember to scretch AFTER you run. That is very important.

How are your shoes? Running-specific shoes really go a long way towards reducing pain/injuries. If you can, get into some as soon as possible.
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Things will get easier and less sorer as you adjust. Definitely recommend before and after stretching.
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Welcome! :wavey: What MastrBrewr said about shoes and stretching (AFTER your run) is very true. Check out the link below for some recommended stretches: I've recently started running again after a long break (6 yrs) and I find that by taking stretching seriously I have really reduced the tightness/soreness the day after my runs. Not only is it important to stretch but you need to stretch properly. Stretch each muscle until you feel a gentle pulling sensation and then hold the stretch at that intensity for approx 30 seconds. Avoid the fast jarring motions that are more likely to tear your muscle than properly stretch it. 30 seconds per stretch will feel like a long time at first but do this regularily and you will start to see the benefits. Good luck!
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Ain't it a good soreness though?! :o Really, though, I won't try to make light of it too much, but that's part and parcel of running. It's a process of "tearing down" and "building up"..stronger. And especially when starting from stratch, you're legs are lacking any fitness, that the tearing down part of the process is deep. We've all been there and as you get out there day after day and keep plugging through, the recovery between runs will be more complete and the actual muscular micro-tears of training will be less and less. Stretching is one element mentioned already. Let me add a few more. In my training, I add cross-training to my running. Alternative workouts are good from working some different muscles and giving those calves and hammies a break from working so hard. Toss in a couple times a week of cycling, rowing or elliptical. Also, another good way to work out the aches is simply walking. If you run in the morning, go for an evening hike or alternatively, if you run later in the day, get out the door early for a walk to work out the stiffness and aches. And lastly, let me mention that you need to have good running shoes and be wary of the surfaces you run on. Be sure to have 'fresh' shoes. Literally, keep track of the miles you put on a pair of shoes and when you get around 400, buy another pair to have ready and don't try to push it much beyond 500. Odds are, the "spring back" of the foam is gone and your legs will absorb all the impact. And the same goes for the running surfaces you choose. If you're running around campus there on the sidewalk, ouch, cement is nasty, nasty for giving your legs a hard jarring. If you can get on asphalt, that's a little better. Treadmills or a rubberized track are even more better. And if you can find grass, dirt or a woodchip trail to run on, that's the best. Believe you me, your legs will thank you profusely for running on trails if you can. There a few things to ponder. You say you've only been at it a few days. What I like to pinpoint for a new runner is day 10. Once you can get to day 10, then you'll start to turn a corner and feel better. And once you get to 3-weeks, that's the real corner. From there on, the aches will be much less and the highs will start to kick in. I've long said that probably the hardest miles to run aren't the 75-mile weeks or the last miles of a marathon or the uphill parts of race, but really, some of the hardest miles you'll log as a runner are those first handful of days when you start from a layoff. Whether it be 5-months from injuries or 5-years from "lazy bumming", like you say, either way, getting back on the running wagon is one tough road to run. You'll do it though.
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