Can a Fibromite run a 5K...slowly?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 316
   Posted 5/13/2009 6:17 AM (GMT -7)   

Hello my fellow Fibromites!

The weather outside is absolutely beautiful (at least in New England). I hope some of you are able to get out an enjoy it.

Ok....when I first came down w/ Fibro, I was 3 weeks into this beginners' running program. It was to take me 12 weeks, but by the end of it I was promised to be able to run 3.5 miles in about 30 minutes w/o stopping. Fibro struck while I was running one of my laps (extreme dizziness was my first symptom) and, well, I never did reach that goal.

I really want to try again. I wondered if my husband and I signed up now to run a 5K in September (we found one online last night, in the next town over, scheduled for September 17), it would be just the motivation I need to get back onto the track.

Are there any runners on this board (current or former)? Does the Fibromite body eventually adjust to a running program, or am I destined to run head-first into a flare? Have you had to give up running, or have you found a way to persevere through the pain and run anyway? Does it end up helping with the pain?

Btw, a 5K is approx. 3.1 miles.

Any advice would be great. Thanks! :)


Fibromyalgia since 2007

"Tragedy is a tool for the living to gain wisdom, not a guide by which to live."
Robert F. Kennedy 


Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 278
   Posted 5/13/2009 6:27 AM (GMT -7)   
Good question Kerri!

I do not enjoy running but have often wondered if a Fibromite would be able to gradually build up stamina. My FM hit the same year I gave up softball. I used to play all year long and have wondered if my decrease in physical activity has resulted in the increase of FM symptoms.
You would have to expect to hit that wall each time you run....and hope that each time you are able to run farther before hitting that wall. I am interested in seeing how this goes for you.
I think you should go for it!
Our attitude towards life determines life's attitude towards us. {Earl Nightingale} 
Fibro since 2005

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 5/13/2009 7:17 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Kerri -
I'm a runner. After a few years of not running, I was able to build a 'base' of 3 miles which took me about 6 months. I used to think my aches/pains/cramps etc was more mental than physical, so I gave myself a break and built back up slowly. I did 30 mins walking for a week, then 1 min running/3 walking for the whole 30 mins.....etc until I was running 3 miles. I wanted a firm base to start a half marathon program. When I started the half marathon program and started building mileage weekly - I had a major flare which was soooo painful I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with fibro and had to stop running to get myself out of this flair.

Do I think you can do a 5k? Absolutely!!! Are you going to be able to follow a standard program? Probably not. My advise - build slowly and listen to your body. Your goal for your first 5k should be to finish it!! If you have to take a few breaks to walk, so what? My new goal is to run a 5k in September as well. Next year 5 and 10k's. One other piece of advise if you haven't already....go to a running store and get proper shoes. The people who run the stores are EXTREMELY knowledgeable and VERY supportive of beginning runners.

Best of Luck!

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17501
   Posted 5/13/2009 7:23 AM (GMT -7)   
You will never know unless you try!  The worst that can happen is you can't go the entire distance.  There is no shame in that.  At least you would be trying.  You have time to try to build yourself up to that. 
I'm not a runner but I was able to build up my walking further distances so that might hold true for running.  Plus, you are young and those muscles just might cooperate!
Forum Moderator/ Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Diabetes, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Osteoporosis
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.    2 Timothy 1:7

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 2858
   Posted 5/13/2009 8:11 AM (GMT -7)   

You go girl!  personally the only way I could run three miles is with me in a wheel barrel and someone else pushing me.  But if you feel as if you want to try it...Go for it!



fibro, menieres disease, RLS, anxiety disorder, disc compression, scoliosis, spinal stenosis TMJ  Meds: Lexapro and valium

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 6067
   Posted 5/13/2009 8:37 AM (GMT -7)   
I think we can do anything, within reason, we want to do but maybe a little slower than normal people. I want to do some painting and I've not heard anyone volunteer to do it so when the weather gets too hot outside I'm going to at least try. If I can't finish it maybe my kids will take pity and finish it for me.
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New Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 5/13/2009 8:54 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Kerri,

There was an article in The National Fibromyalgia Association magazine several months ago that talked about people who have run marathons, done triathalons, etc. I'm not sure which issue it was but maybe you could find it on-line.

Good luck,

Chris turn
~ Fibromyalgia ~   
 On Imovane and Lyrica

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 45
   Posted 5/13/2009 1:03 PM (GMT -7)   

I think that's a fabulous goal, though like others have said, it might take you longer to work up to the distance than someone without fibro. I'd say go slowly, but go for it!

These days I'm not a runner anymore. I've always had hypermobile joints, and after three knee surgeries and fibro, I don't think it's really in my cards, though I still run a little bit here and there when I walk the dog.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 1156
   Posted 5/13/2009 9:23 PM (GMT -7)   
I think it can happen. Speak with your doctor about this and train at 50% for a longer than usual amount of time.

Have fun


Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1522
   Posted 5/13/2009 10:48 PM (GMT -7)   
My goal was to run a 5K in November (it's too hot here in September) but I may have to postpone the running until I lose some more weight. I'm afraid my excess weight (about 35 lbs) might hurt my knees so I am slowing down. I have worked myself up to running for 1 min, walking 2 mins but my knees and shins started bothering me a bit so I stopped running for now.

I started my program in January with a short, slow walk on a treadmill. Now, I go for 45-60 min about 5X/week. I walk at up to 4.2 MPH and up to a 12% incline. I can do a 5K (walking on a treadmill) in less than 50 min. I can't walk for about 10 days/month due to endometriosis but I am still making great progress.

I've noticed that I have less fibro pain and less fatigue but it hasn't helped with the brain fog at all. It's been about 4 months and I haven't had a flair so I'm hoping it continues. I also started taking malic acid around the same time I started the exercise program. I am a lot more sore when I forget to take the full dose.

Good Luck

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 241
   Posted 5/16/2009 9:29 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Kerri

I am new here and haven't even introduced myself yet, but I wanted to reply. One of the many things I have had to give up due to fibro is running - my hips would just not cooperate.:) I loved it, ran a half marathon and a bunch of 5K's! I hope you will be able to start back up with no increase in pain!

Look into the Jeff Galloway training program, it is a program that combines running with walk breaks. He says by taking walk breaks before you are tired your muscles recover and you are able to run further. His theories might be interesting to non-runners too - it reminds me of the scheduled rests recommended for us on a daily basis.

Good luck - keep us updated!

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 316
   Posted 5/18/2009 11:40 AM (GMT -7)   
First, I want to say "Thank you" to everyone who replied.  Your encouragement is just what I needed.  :-)
I am going to try it and see how it goes.  I will let you know what goes well and what obstacles come my way.
Dana & Dagger, your advice was really helpful.  I will tailor the training program, so that my 12 week program is a 24 week one (repeat each week twice).  From what you both said, this will be my best bet. 
Chris, I will definately check out that article - thank you.
Upbeat, I will also check out the Jeff Galloway program.  Thanks for responding!
And, congratulations to all of you who are keeping up with your exercise programs - either running, walking, or any other sport.  Good for you!  You are an inspiration.  yeah


Fibromyalgia since 2007

"Tragedy is a tool for the living to gain wisdom, not a guide by which to live."
Robert F. Kennedy 


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