Archive for March 18th, 2008

Knee pain

Given the impact forces that will transmit from the foot to the knee while running, some knee pain is expected after any long distance.  What you don’t want is for the knee pain to persist for a number of days after the race.

If the ground is hard, try to run on softer more yielding surfaces.  Asphalt is preferable to concrete sidewalks, and sometimes dirt is preferable to asphalt.  Running on grass actually exposes you to hidden dangers, because the ground underneath is sometimes uneven.

Don’t open your stride too far forward.  The foot strike moves to other zones transmitting a different sort of force on the knee.  If you have to open your stride, move your trunk forward and try to open your stride towards the back.  What this does is to put your body over your knees so that the impact will remain as consistent as you can make it.

If you are experiencing knee pain during the run, try to change something.  It’s perfectly fine to slow down and massage the area.  Try a stretch.

Some weight loss would actually help.  You have to remember that your knees are carrying your weight over the long distance.  Either lose some, or slow down.

I’m not a fan of devices that artificially prop up the knees, such as pads, wraps, tapes, etcetera.  I think these serve to weaken the knees by not giving it full motion.  Orthotics are a better solution because the cushioning disperses some of the impact forces so that the transfer to the knees is not as bad.

Know your body, and don’t push too hard.  Give your legs time to respond to the demands of distance running.

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