Beginner with bad knees

Discussion in 'General Fitness' started by Ellarco, Dec 30, 2005.

  1. Ellarco

    Ellarco Guest

    Hi,

    --- Background ---

    Last Summer I finally tried to start jogging. I did plenty of research before
    hand and decided to follow a simple training plan:

    * Run 3 days a week
    * Week 1: 60 seconds of jogging followed by 90 seconds of walking, for 20 minutes
    * Subsequent weeks: increase jogging time and decrease walking (never actually
    got this far!)

    I would begin with some stretching at home, I would then walk briskly for 10
    minutes, stretch again briefly, run, 10 minutes brisk walk, and finally stretch
    again.

    At this time I wasn't sure how committed I was going to be so I didn't invest in
    proper pair of running shoes. Instead I just used some old trainers that weren't
    really suitable. Furthermore, I run on a riverbank, where the ground is somewhat
    uneven.

    Anyway, on the third run my knees and ankles began to hurt. I tried to go out a
    fourth time but just couldn't do it. The pain lasted for weeks to the point
    where walking was hard, and it kept getting worse so eventually I went to a
    physio. He said the ankles were sprains and the knees were bruised cartilage.

    I had to wait a long time until I felt I might be able to put some pressure on
    my knees again. In the meantime I bought myself some proper running shoes. When
    eventually I did go back out I think I managed two sessions before my knees
    stopped me again. Even now, some 6 months after the initial problem, I can still
    (occasionally) feel the twinge under my kneecap when I press in the right spot.

    --- Question ---

    So eventually I get to my question ... what can I do? I want to run. I have no
    interest in going to the gym, I just want to run recreationally. Is there
    anything that I can do? Is it just a case of taking it very easy for a while
    until my body adjusts to the new strains, or is strength training the only hope
    (like I said, I just don't want to start going to the gym, its too far and too
    expensive)?

    Thanks for your thoughts.
     
    Tags:



  2. > So eventually I get to my question ... what can I do? I want to run. I have no
    > interest in going to the gym, I just want to run recreationally.


    You could try several things:

    - First, getting THE RIGHT SHOES is an absolute requirement. Don't buy
    from a sporting goods chain, but go to a specialty running store.
    Explain your background, get someone who will work with you, and see if
    you can take the shoes for a short "test drive" first.

    - Keep up with the walk-run...increase the running in maybe 15 second
    increments after a couple weeks (or more) of your "base" plan.
    Increase VEEEEEEEEERRRRY SLOOOOOOOOOOOOOWLY! (C:

    - Try water-running. You run in the shallow end of a pool...it
    decreases the stress on your joints but still provides aerobic
    benefits, and gets your body conditioned.

    - I know you said you don't have interest in going to the gym, but
    maybe you should do some strengthening first...maybe try a low impact
    exercise like an elliptical machine or a stair stepper, something like
    that, just to build strength/tolerance for the activity.

    - And lastly, never lose sight of your goal. I started running (off
    and on) about 11 years ago, and I tore my ACL playing tennis about 9
    months after I started. I was in love with running, even though I was
    a newbie. I couldn't wait to get back to it. It took more than a
    year, and it was many years after that before I ran my first 5K, but I
    knew I wanted to get back into running.

    So get the right equipment, take it slow, get stronger, look for lower
    impact methods, but most of all...don't ever stop pursuing your dream.
    :-D

    jim
     
  3. Ellarco wrote:
    > Hi,
    >
    > --- Background ---
    >
    > Last Summer I finally tried to start jogging. I did plenty of research before
    > hand and decided to follow a simple training plan:
    >
    > * Run 3 days a week
    > * Week 1: 60 seconds of jogging followed by 90 seconds of walking, for 20 minutes
    > * Subsequent weeks: increase jogging time and decrease walking (never actually
    > got this far!)
    >
    > I would begin with some stretching at home, I would then walk briskly for 10
    > minutes, stretch again briefly, run, 10 minutes brisk walk, and finally stretch
    > again.
    >
    > At this time I wasn't sure how committed I was going to be so I didn't invest in
    > proper pair of running shoes. Instead I just used some old trainers that weren't
    > really suitable. Furthermore, I run on a riverbank, where the ground is somewhat
    > uneven.
    >
    > Anyway, on the third run my knees and ankles began to hurt. I tried to go out a
    > fourth time but just couldn't do it. The pain lasted for weeks to the point
    > where walking was hard, and it kept getting worse so eventually I went to a
    > physio. He said the ankles were sprains and the knees were bruised cartilage.
    >
    > I had to wait a long time until I felt I might be able to put some pressure on
    > my knees again. In the meantime I bought myself some proper running shoes. When
    > eventually I did go back out I think I managed two sessions before my knees
    > stopped me again. Even now, some 6 months after the initial problem, I can still
    > (occasionally) feel the twinge under my kneecap when I press in the right spot.
    >
    > --- Question ---
    >
    > So eventually I get to my question ... what can I do? I want to run. I have no
    > interest in going to the gym, I just want to run recreationally. Is there
    > anything that I can do? Is it just a case of taking it very easy for a while
    > until my body adjusts to the new strains, or is strength training the only hope
    > (like I said, I just don't want to start going to the gym, its too far and too
    > expensive)?
    >
    > Thanks for your thoughts.


    Greetings!

    I am a returning runner, I've been running for a few months now, after
    a long break. After years of previous running and lots of downhill
    skiing, my knees have taken abuse. There are a number of ways I get
    them strong enough to take the steeps of Squaw and the streets of San
    Francisco.

    First, get a checkup and make sure there's nothing serious wrong with
    your knees. If you get a green light from your doctor, I find
    glucosamine helps A LOT. It takes 30 days for the effects to happen.

    Run on grass or soft surfaces.

    Wall sits are great. Skiers have been doing wall sits for ages because
    they strengthen the knees and the thighs. Stand with your back against
    a wall, slowly lower yourself into a sitting position and time
    yourself, starting with 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times. Each time you do,
    add 1 second. It sounds easy, but they ar tough.

    The most important thing is you get your knees checked out by your
    doctor and/or a sports injury doctor. That will determine what course
    you take.

    Martha
    finally, fresh pow in the Sierras!
     
  4. 1) You are still in the wrong shoes. Go to a good running shop, and let
    them watch you run, then go with their recommendation (except nikes,
    they suck).
    2) Stop counting time, just run until you are out of breath, then
    resume as soon as you catch it, ignore the formula you've been using.
    3)NEVER stretch before running, this is your likely problem. Only
    stretch after you are done, or at least warmed up. Check that you are
    stretching properly, I bet you're not.
     
  5. rick++

    rick++ Guest

    New running shoes are an absolute requirement.
    Much cheaper than visiting a doctor in the USA.

    You didnt mention your age. People can start running
    programs into their 70s. But if one is over 30 they
    are going to have to build up more slowly than a
    teenager.
     
  6. Ellarco

    Ellarco Guest

    Thanks for all your replies and the encouragement and advice. Ill take it all on
    board.

    Regarding my running shoes, they are Asics Gel Verdict DS II. I live in Ireland.
    Although Im sure there must be a couple of decent shops where the staff are
    knowledgeable on these matters, every sports shop I can think of is manned by
    greasy teenagers who's training consists solely of watching American tv to
    figure out which rappers are wearing which brands. The idea of walking into
    Footlocker of Champion Sports and asking Deco or Jono about suppination and
    pronation is hilarious.

    I picked these shoes after doing several 'tests' I found on running websites. My
    conclusion was that I show no particular suppination or over-pronation and I
    that I have regular arches. I took a chance and bought them online from the US
    (availability and price). Fortunately I got the size spot on and they felt
    great. These days however they are just gathering dust.

    Finally Im in my mid-twenties.
     
  7. Steve Hansen

    Steve Hansen Guest

    Ellarco,

    A lot of beginners don't actually know _how_ to run. Running can be
    learned, just like any other physical skill. If you learn to do it
    right, you can avoid injury and greatly improve your enjoyment. If
    you do it wrong, you can injure yourself.

    Every landing makes an impact on your knee and ankle. If you bounce
    up and down a lot, that landing impact will be hard enough to cause
    harm to knees and/or ankles. Repetitive landing impact is what
    causes the injuries. It is important to minimize the landing
    impact. There are several ways to do this.

    Soft surfaces absorb impact. Avoid running on hard concrete. Avoid
    blacktop roads if you can (though blacktop isn't as hard as
    concrete). Look for a route on dirt trails.

    Soft ("cushioned") shoes are thought to be helpful by many people.
    You may want to try a pair. Expert advise on shoe selection, from a
    person who can actually watch you running, can be very helpful.

    But the main thing you can to do minimize landing impact is to
    understand what causes landing impact, so you can learn to refrain
    from doing those things. Soft surfaces and cushion shoes help to
    absorb impact, but the better solution is to make less impact in the
    first place.

    To avoid landing impact, you need to minimize the up-and-down
    motions. To avoid coming down hard, you need to avoid going up at
    the beginning of each step. Each unit of up-force causes your body
    to rise, and then it has to come down with the same amount of force.
    If you do it right, your head barely moves up-and-down at all.

    Up-and-down motion is also wasted energy. Every unit if energy that
    pushes you up is a unit of energy that is not contributing to
    forward motion.

    Steve
     
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