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Want To Start Running? Tips to Get Started and Protect Your Knees

Thursday, March 7th, 2024

Posted in Active Life,physiotherapy for knee pain,physiotherapy solihull | Posted by harman

Are you considering taking up running to improve your fitness and overall health? Then these running tips are a must read!

Running can be a fantastic way to stay active, but it’s essential to approach it with caution, especially as we age. So if you are thinking about about transitioning from walking to running or just getting started with running – here are some valuable tips from us on how to start running safely and protect your knees along the way.

1. Invest in Quality Footwear

Choosing the right footwear is essential on your running journey. The right footwear will provide adequate support and cushioning for your feet and help absorb shock and reduce the strain on your knees while running.

2. Warm-Up and Cool Down

One vital thing you can do to prepare yourself for running is to stretch before you go. Dynamic stretches and movements are always a good idea to prepare your muscles and joints for activity. After your run, cool down with static stretches to improve flexibility and prevent muscle tightness.

3. Start Slow and Gradual

Begin your running journey with a walk/run approach. Start with short intervals of running interspersed with walking to allow your body to adapt gradually. As you build strength and endurance, you can gradually increase the duration and intensity of your runs

4. Focus on Proper Form

Pay attention to your running technique to minimise the impact on your knees. Maintain an upright posture, engage your core muscles, and land softly on your feet with a midfoot strike rather than a heavy heel strike. Avoid overstriding, which can increase stress on your knees.

5. Strength Train

Incorporate strength training exercises into your routine to build muscle strength and support around your knees. Focus on exercises that target the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and glutes to provide stability and protection for your knees.

6. Consider Your Terrain

Not an obvious one but you would be wise to mix it up a little and alternative between grassland and a nice flat tarmac surface and occasionally, hills or woodland is fine, too. Be wary of gravel and uneven surfaces, these can test your balance and cause unnecessary stress on your vital joints, especially the calf muscles that keep you up-right.  

7. Mix It Up

Mix up your exercise routine with other low-impact activities such as swimming, cycling, or yoga to give your knees a break from the repetitive impact of running while still maintaining your fitness level.

8. Consider Orthotics

If you are running and getting foot or knee pain, you might need custom orthotics. Orthotics have been proven effective in treating common running conditions such as Plantar Fasciitis, Runners knee or Shin Splints. Custom Orthotics will offer extra support exactly where you need it and the additional cushioning will reduce the impact on joints such as your knees. To see if you would benefit from custom orthotics for running or walking and/or hiking, simply give us a call to book in a Orthotics Assessment.

Final Thoughts

Remember, it’s never too late to start running, but it’s essential to approach it mindfully and with proper preparation, especially as we age. By following these running tips and listening to your body, you can enjoy the many benefits of running while protecting your knees and promoting long-term joint health. If you have any concerns or questions about starting a running program, don’t hesitate to reach out to a physiotherapist for guidance and support.

Happy running!

Contact us

If you are experience knee pain or discomfort before, whilst or after running, contact us on 0121 270 6045. Coming to see us early can prevent injury or help you get started with running when you didn’t think you could.


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