After a lifetime of running, hips, knees or ankles can become painful with the accumulation of pounding the pavement. But what can you do when you want to maintain your fitness and don’t want to stop running?
Your body will respond in different ways to impact over time:
The good news is there are a number of options available to modify your training that are really effective in reducing the impact on your body. This way you can keep on running and stay fit.
Modify your running
Shortening your stride length can reduce joint impact by 20%. You can still keep up the same speed but just take shorter steps. Running to music with beats > 180 per minute can help to keep an optimal speed.
Change your surface and instead of running on hard road, run on softer grass.
Use Interval running – by combining running with walking breaks, it allows you to build up your running tolerance in a way that avoids fatigue and poor biomechanics.
Ensure your shoes are not > 12 months old and are comfortable.
Fix Training Errors
Don’t run junk miles. If you are training for an event, don’t waste your impact exercise with short runs. Use non-impact exercise for the cardio workout.
Instead of just running, incorporate exercise with reduced impact into your training program. This way you get the same cardiovascular workout but with less impact on your hips, knees and ankles.
As a multiple of body weight (BW), the forces through the legs with different exercise are:
By understanding the forces with different types of exercise and sport, you can manipulate your running style and training habits to reduce the impact on your body.
At Active Solutions Physiotherapy our priority is to help you keep doing what you love doing – which for a huge number of our patients, is to run!