One of the most common running ailments is runner’s knee, which can negatively affect your training, or even worse, leave you completely unable to run! We have put together a list of our top tips to protect your knees, however all cases may vary and if you have any on-going issues please consult a professional.
- Maintain a healthy weight –Being overweight can increase the pressure on your joints when running, so maintaining a healthy weight is key. One study reported that losing about 1 pound of weight delivers almost a 4 pound reduction in knee joint load for each step.
- Warm up/cool down properly – It is extremely important to invest some time before and after your workout to warm up and cool down. Warming up preps your body for exercise and the cool-down will help you to reduce muscle tension and aid recovery and repair.
- Avoid a heel strike when running – Don’t over-stride and let your feet get ahead of you. Make a point of staying ahead of your feet, letting your legs swing to the rear, not forward. Lean forward from your ankles and land on your midfoot, keeping your knees soft and bent during the landing and support phases of your stride. This will help reduce the level of shock going up through your legs to your knees.
- Strengthen muscles and increase flexibility – When joints are subjected to increased intensity, outside their comfortable range of motion, they are prone to injury. Incorporate strength and flexibility training into your workouts to build on these areas as well as your stamina, these types of workouts will greatly improve your overall performance and help to reduce risk of injury.
- Allow time for recovery – In case you do suffer from knee injury, rest well and give yourself sufficient time to recover from. Running with an injury can increase your chances of developing and aggravatingosteoarthritis. Listen to your body and if something hurts, rest! If pain persists, seek professional advice.
- Eat healthy – Eating a balanced diet is essential for maintaining good health and aiding quality workouts. Include calcium and Vitamin Drich foods in your diet. If you’re suffering from knee pain, then increase the intake of fish/fish oil which can help to reduce inflammation and maintain healthy joints.
- Wear the right shoes – Running is a physical activity having minimal requirements. And, the kind of footwear you choose for running is the most important thing that will impact your speed, comfort and your chances of suffering from an injury. In fact, in most runners the knee pain disappears after they change their shoes.Here are some key signals to look out for if you think you may need a new pair of kicks!
We hope these help!