Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Run On Softer Surfaces Or Improve Running Technique?

I read with interest two recent letters written to the Forum page in the Straits Times in the past month. One writer suggested making softer surfaces for runners at park connector paths to take care of runners' knees.

Another writer said it's not the running surface but a runner's poor running technique that causes the knee joints to wear out.

In today's Forum page, another two writers wrote in with their comments. The first writer acknowledged that both running surfaces and running technique may be the cause of knee problems. However, he thinks that excess weight may be a contributing factor too since 30 percent of 500 respondents in a survey said they had gained 5kg during the pandemic (of course there were many others who lost weight too).

The second writer, a medical doctor suggested brisk walking rather than running for joint longevity. He also said that his heathiest octogenarian patients maintain a healthy weight by being active through walking rather than pursuing 'exercise achievement goals'.

Running definitely does not wear out your knees. I've written about this before and there is so much research supporting this.

If anyone should be paranoid about running wearing out the knee joints, it should be me after 3 knee operations. The following are my personal views, backed by published articles. 

Although research has shown that there is no difference between running on the road versus grass in terms of leg inflammation, I personally feel it is much softer to run on grass or the soft sand on the beach compared to running on the pavement or road.

If you're heavier, that can put more load on the joints definitely, but running does not wear out the joints. By all means improve your running technique or do deep water running if you have to.

Be patientincrease your training load gradually, have at least one rest day a week and don't do too much too soon.

*Have a look at page A17 in today's Straits Times (270121)

No comments:

Post a Comment