How to run without wrecking my knees

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    How to run without wrecking my knees

    I've never been a runner and one of the reasons is because the impact of running has caused me knee problems the few times I've tried in the past. I've been working on correcting the way I walk in the last few months and this seems to be strengthening the muscles round my knees and I'm having far few problems. I'm considering maybe trying running again to see if my knees could cope now. (Maybe. This is only maybe. I'm mostly curious to see if I could actually enjoy running.)

    So my question is, what can I do to lessen the impact on my knees, either during a run or before I try it again?

    #2
    Grins as I actually started running /after/ a knee injury, and on encouragement of my kinesitherapist

    First thing is to have proper running shoes. Actually, they do cost a bit, but it helps a lot. I personally discussed with the seller in the specialty running shop, and then showed the shoes to my sports doc, before running. There are also exercises you can do to protect / strengthen / adapt your posture. When I started running, someone here (drat, can't remember who! One of the american guys here...) recommended reading "anatomy for runners" by Jay Dicharry - one of the best advices ever. It explains a lot about running anatomy, and has a comprehensive set of tests to see what you should work on for safe running, and exercises recommendation for each problem that can be pinpointed by the tests. It's just a one person review, but for me it worked very well, and running hasn't hurt my knee again at all.

    NB : for full disclosure, my own knee issue was a significant tear in the meniscus of my right knee. There are many different type of issues a knee can have, and of course a sample of one is never very relevant, but at least here's my little tale!

    ETA : and it was Azercord who recommended Dicharry's book, back then. Gotta give credit where credit is due!

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      #3
      Thanks PetiteSheWolf, it's good to know you were able to run after your injury. I'll definitely look up that book, that sounds really useful and is probably exactly what I need I have trainers that I'd probably stick with until I knew it'd be worth buying proper running shoes but I'll definitely look into them in the future if I like running. I can't afford to buy new ones and then have them sit unused for the next five years if I do my usual thing of running a few times then giving up. Until then, I wouldn't be running long distances so hopefully they'll be ok.

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        #4
        Zastria Cycling is a good option too as it has less impact on your knees, you just need to remember is a 3:1 ratio for example you cycle for 3 miles is equivalent to running 1 mile Hope that helps

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          #5
          And progress slowly with your running. Too much too soon becomes a problem fast.

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            #6
            Another thing to look into is the way you strike the ground: heel, mid foot, or front. The heel strike usually puts the highest load on the knees, so one of the other two would probably be better for you.

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              #7
              You could also consider where you run, since running on softer surfaces puts less impact on your joints.

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                #8
                I would love to cycle BlackButler! I wanted to start a couple of years back but unfortunately I have nowhere to store a bike. Maybe I should look into second-hand folding bikes.

                Progressing slowly will not be a problem dynamomelano! Physically anyway, mentally I'll probably have to work on not feeling judged by other people for going slow.

                I'll keep that in mind thanks BusyBumbleBee. I think I hit the ground with my toes first but I'll pay attention to that when I get started.

                That's going to one of my biggest problems Silent Wolf. There's a park a 10 minute walk away where I can run on grass, is that soft enough to be less impact? I'd planned to start off doing a loop round the streets but the pavement is going to be hard on my knees I think.

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by Zastria View Post
                  .
                  That's going to one of my biggest problems Silent Wolf. There's a park a 10 minute walk away where I can run on grass, is that soft enough to be less impact? I'd planned to start off doing a loop round the streets but the pavement is going to be hard on my knees I think.
                  I am not a runner, never really was, if I ever will be?... I don't know that...

                  ...but a 10min walk sounds like a good warmup and cooldown to me...

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                    #10
                    look up the stick on google. i would not be able to run without it. it is an invaluable tool.

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                      #11
                      Originally posted by Zastria View Post

                      That's going to one of my biggest problems Silent Wolf. There's a park a 10 minute walk away where I can run on grass, is that soft enough to be less impact? I'd planned to start off doing a loop round the streets but the pavement is going to be hard on my knees I think.
                      Personally, if I had the choice between grass and concrete/pavement, I'd pick grass every time. I also agree with what HellYeah said, that sounds like an ideal warm up/ cool down walk.

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                        #12
                        I run on a mix of dirt trail and concrete sidewalk when I go from trail to trail (about half a mile apart) and oh boy can I feel it when I hit the concrete. I would choose the grass IF it is well maintained. Try it out and make sure theres no random holes to sprain your ankle on. I would take concrete over sprained ankle. If you can find a dirt path or a bark trail I like those the most and you can tell if the ground is uneven. Also 10 min is a great warmup. My warmup is the 5 min walk from my house to my running trail and the cooldown is that stretch on the way back. When I lived further away I would walk 10 min through city to a bike path that connected to my running trail and it worked great.

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                          #13
                          That's a good point HellYeah.

                          I'll check it out, thanks KalePower.

                          The park is well-maintained generally thething213 so I think the grass there should be ok. It's big enough that I'm sure I can find a decent bit anyway. I'd have to drive to find dirt trails so I'll probably stick with the park for now.

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by Zastria View Post
                            Progressing slowly will not be a problem dynamomelano! Physically anyway, mentally I'll probably have to work on not feeling judged by other people for going slow.
                            Remember that nobody needs to give a damn. Rock on!

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                              #15
                              Originally posted by Silent Wolf View Post

                              Personally, if I had the choice between grass and concrete/pavement, I'd pick grass every time. I also agree with what HellYeah said, that sounds like an ideal warm up/ cool down walk.
                              I agree, as long as the grass is short enough not to impede movement (changes your biomechanics, increases the energy you spend for the same amount of work).

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