What a spectacular performance this past weekend by marathon runner Albert Korir at the New York Marathon 2021.
I was in awe that he was able to motor to victory despite an apparent asymmetrical running pattern (L hip and knee collapsing in adduction/internal rotation.)
I guess we don’t have to be perfect to run great times. I do think though, that Korir is likely to develop an injury and that with the right help he could possibly go even faster!
We love running for many reasons: just getting out there, being with friends and getting healthy!
And yes, too much of a good thing is a bad thing – research shows that running in moderation is more beneficial for your knees than not running at all.
How can we run safely to avoid the risk of injury?
We can’t control everything, but it will help to apply the basic rules, like:
- Not too much too soon
- Correct shoes
- Manage surfaces
- Manage load
Running style matters – the more symmetrical the better.
Styles like over-striding, collapsing (at the hips), weaving, bouncing and running too upright all increase the load through the joints and increase the risk of injury.
It is okay if your knee makes cracking sounds (crepitus) as long as it does not cause excessive pain. It’s also okay if you have a bit of pain while running (3/10) and it settles down again by the next day.
In my experience as an athlete, prevention is better than cure. We hate being injured and having to sit on the sideline while everyone else is out there having fun.
All of the above-mentioned risk factors set runners up for potential anterior knee and ITB pain.
If you are struggling with any kind of knee pain, we can help by:
- Helping you identify the possible cause of the problem
- Analyzing your specific body mechanics and running pattern
- Treating/ calming down the pain
- Corrective exercises
We can also help you prevent injury by testing your muscle strength and giving you the appropriate exercises and advice.
Here are a few tips to help keep you injury free:
- Increase your step rate: the ideal is 180 strides per minute
- Land softly!
Cathy and Team here at Cathy Carstens Physiotherapy