Running anyone

Hi all,

I've been running for almost ten years, during the whole of which time I have had some illness which has been recently christened Parkinson's (June 2009). I've been very lucky with the disease progressing quite slowly. My running proceeds quite slowly too, but training for the Lowe Alpine Mountain Marathon last year has really made me wonder. I was quite surprise how much running with a pack and up hills did for leg strength and general ability.

Any other Parkie distance runners out there? What has your experience been?

Hi all...ran a couple of times a week for the past few years and belonged the mad running group Aberdeen Hash House Harriers. I was diagnosed August 2011. Since parkinsons symptoms appeared the running stopped as it affected not only my dexterity but my walking too. The past 6 mths have been really hard, but I'm on meds now and I'm going to attempt running again. My only concern is if the meds won't be adequate and I end up with the toe cramps I used to get....anyway still going to give it a go and get back up that hill with the dog too!

I think that's wonderful that you're a runner and an encouragement to us all to exercise. When I was diagnosed two months ago my consultant gave me 3 bits of advice: keep positive,listen to music and do exercise. I said yoga and he said, 'aerobic exercise is best'. Since I'd had the symptoms [and we all know what they are]I'd got to staying in and I missed so much the fell walking I used to do. He said to 'just do it' so now I've started walking, not for long, but it increases my confidence in my potential. Maybe I'm not so disabled as I fear but we don't know until we try.

Hi everyone,

I am 72 have never been much good at running (looked like a penguin) but do a lot of walking. Dx two and half years ago I finally booked a fornight's rambling holiday for last May by myself (with Ramblers holidays) which was based on the Lycian way long distance coastal route in Turkey. I thought if I can't manage the walks I'll have a good holiday anyway based on two main centres. In the event, the holiday turned to be a lot more strenuous than described (not just my impression but that of the fighting fit people mostly younger than me that were on it). However, with the help of one extra sinemet tablet a day for the duration (neuro's advice) I managed nearly all the walks in 35 degrees of heat most days and the boost to my confidence and physical has been wonderful. I would have been quite pleased anyway to have gone at all on my own even without the walking as I had lost confidence. Think of it as rehab back to where you would have been had Mr. P not stuck his oar in. Some friends said yesterday that I looked better than I had for years. When I was 50 I wouldn't have thought I would have been capable of this holiday with or without PD. Also I understand that most people find running (and cycling) easier than walking. So onwards and upwards or at least if not that keep on an even keel for as long as possible by means of the extra input.

Good luck

I think you're all fantastic and a wonderful inspiration to the rest of us.

Well done, and good luck!

Dear All,

Diagnosed with Parkinson when I was 42 in January 2002. I didn't expect to be able to seriously sport for the rest of my life. In February 2010 I decided to try to start playing field hockey. Initially I had to improve my condition so I started running. My condition was terrible but it improved very quickly. After 6 weeks I started playing hockey. I am now still playing hockey (twice a week)and running (3-4 times a week). Two weeks ago I ran my 1st marathon. I cannot prove this but I am convinced that intense aerobic exercise is important for P patients to keep their body fit. I also have the feeling that it slows down the progress of the disease. Running marathons might not be possible for everybody but I am convinced that exercise is useful for a number of P. Patients.

Teus (Dutch)

Been running since 1973. Diagnosed this year but sure I've been suffering for at least 3 years.

Still running but only 3/4 times a week. Mostly 3 mile courses. Find hills very tough. 9 min miles are my best.

IS there a PD running club? If not could we use web-site and or forum to promote it?

What do you think.

Went running with the AH3 today! Didn't manage it all but still ran :)

Thanks all,

Sorry for having gone awol just after posting this. Life is like that sometimes.

I don't know that there is a Parkies' running club. I guess I was thinking of some subset of people here. Nice to see that there are others here who do run!

I have avoided sinemet and the like so far. I sort of wondered to what extent the running actually deserved the credit for staying free of the need for it.

I can identify with the cramp problems. My worst experiences usually follow long or hard runs, typically occurring during the first sleep/rest following the run. Simultaneous, savage bilateral adductor cramps which are enough to make me scream. Oddly, the Mr. doesn't much care for this involuntary commentary on the situation. If anyone knows any way to prevent them, please let me know. I think it probablyToes hands, calfs and stomach muscles also cramp frequently, whether I've been running or not, but those cramps for some reason are not as painful as the adductors.

Now I can see both what I'm writing and what other's have written. This is better!

Teus - fantastic!! Which marathon? What time? Time doesn't matter, and if it encourages, you, let me say that my last marathon took 7hr. 30 minutes, or thereabouts. It was also the one I enjoyed the most.

Eilleen Patricia - that achievement, heading off on your own is also very impressive, and a challenge that I will need to take up if I go ahead with Plan A this year - running a part of the Camino Santiago.

Englishness - my son and daughter-out-law frequented the hash here in Cambridge, and I went with them a few times. It was a very nice group to run with, as the front runners could tire themselves out and I could just almost keep up! Did the LAMM with d-o-l. We came in five hours after the previous finisher, but heck, we finished!

Zatopec - I'm lucky if I can manage 11 minute miling. I'm not sure what would happen if I tried training specifically to improve speed. For the last year I have been working on leg strength, running with a pack (up to 7kg), with the LAMM in mind, and now continuing to do so with Camino Santiago in mind. I have rather given up intervals in favour of hills. I'm not sure exactly what the limitation is, whether it is a real limitation in speed, or just the way I have been training.

maryowen - sounds good. I started with run/walking. The thing I learned was that most of us try to run too fast. For getting going, the principle is to adopt a jog that isn't much faster than a walk, and definitely not fast enough to get out of breath. Endurance grows. Speed, if it comes, comes later. I'm not much bothered about speed these days, although it would be fun to run another marathon if I could find one that didn't mind someone finishing in over 7 hours. A little hard on the marshalls to expect them to hang around that long.

Let's see if we can use this space to start a running group here. I may not be able to post on a daily basis, but perhaps we can have a weekend round-up, when we post what running/walking or other training we have been doing.

Finally - I have enjoyed this website -

you might too!

Dear Stickless,

The marathon I ran is called "Bosmarathon" and is held in the forests around Soest. It is a relatively small and unknown marathon (app. 50 runners for the whole 42 km). I ran it in 4 hr. and 34 min. As I am convinced that aerobic exercise has done a lot for my health I want to share this with as much as possible other Parkinson patients. Although traveling to the UK to run might not become a regular activity for me, I am still interested in contacts with others who have the same experience.



P.S. One of my dreams is to walk coast to coast along the Hadrian's wall. It would be a challenge to do this with a group of Parkinson's patients.

Got back to the AH3 week past sunday and ran about 1.5 mls but had to stop because of toes cramping..turned up again this Sunday (meds increased by neuro) and did 7.5 mls run/walk cross country. Delighted or what! Will not give up :) and while the goings good will keep running.