If you have ever suffered knee pain when running, you will know how annoying it can be to get locked to bed or simply unable to exercise for a long time. If you want to protect your knees while running you should know that this can’t be a one day job and that you will have to be very careful with the exercises regularly and, in addition, meet certain guidelines to keep injuries away while strengthening the knee area.
Top knee braces for running are easy to be purchased online, but before you go shopping, we will tell you a bit more about the potential problems so you can figure out easily what is the best model for you. Also, we are not going to give you any magic tricks that you will miraculously protect your knees, but you will read some useful tips so you can keep running and protect your knees without worries.
Get Some Proper Running Shoes for the Start
The first step to protect your knees and run without pain is to get good running shoes. It may seem obvious, but not all people who run use the right shoes. Not all the footwear of famous sports brands serves a good purpose for running, and each running shoe has certain characteristics that do not fit all types of runners.
Before choosing running shoes you should evaluate:
Your weight: It is advisable to buy more cushioned shoes if your weight is higher.
Your running technique: this way you will know how you hit the ground and what kind of shoe suits you.
The distance that you will compete and the rhythms: you will not need the same running shoes if you are going to compete in a short and long marathon since shoes used for short and long distances do not have similarities.
To protect your knees, do not skimp on time or money when it comes to finding the shoe that best suits you.
Do Not Abuse the Asphalt
If you run 5 days a week, do not do all the running on the tarmac and try to change the surface whenever you can (grass, dirt or clay). This way, you will avoid the high impact that the hard asphalt gives back to your knees. The continuous impact that your knees receive when running on asphalt is the result of multiplying your weight several times.
Ideally, never run on this type of surface and train on softer terrain. Under no circumstances do series or changes the pace on asphalt. Run on this surface only for the slow shootings of short duration.
You must be also aware that running on the asphalt causes different injuries at the joint level.
Strengthen Your Muscles
The muscles of the leg do the job of cushioning the impacts that the joints receive, in this case, your knees. Therefore, you should not spend a week without strengthening your muscles, with the intention that these are strong enough to withstand the impacts.
If you want to protect your knees to run without injuries, you will have to work hard muscle strength very hard while paying special attention to quadriceps. A weak muscle does not have any use at the time of running since it does not help to advance in the race nor is it able to withstand the stress that is caused by the impacts on the ground.
You should ideally include 1 or 2 days a week to strengthen the leg muscles and you do not have to lift any heavy weights. Exercises with your own weight as squats are best suited to protect your knees to run without worries.
Run with a Good Technique
Your knees do not suffer the same if the force against the floor occurs with the heel that touches the ground with the middle part of the foot. Protecting your knees to run better is easy if your stride correctly. The impact of the foot against the ground needs to be made with the middle of the foot and in the cleanest and most reactive way possible.
The important thing in this aspect is that the foot should hit just below your body and not an inch further. In this way, you ensure that you hit the ground middle part of the foot. After the impact, quickly lift up the leg so that your body can move quickly.
The Biggest Running Technique Mistakes That Put Your Knees at Risk
Do not hit very hard against the ground
It is not about making a lot of noise while running and hitting the ground without mercy, it is that the movement has to be fast and powerful. Therefore, the impact against the ground is powerful but not hard, a rapid transition is what is asked for high performance. The simple trick is to listen to your footprint, if you make too much noise, then it means that your running technique is wrong.
Spend a lot of time in contact with the ground
The footprint has to be highly reactive and you must avoid spending more time than necessary on the floor. The longer you get in contact with the ground, the greater the risk of injury to your knees, as the impact multiplies.
Ignoring the Heels
Heels can not lose any effectiveness. Since the force of the impact goes directly through your heels to the knees while getting seriously damaged along the way. Also, when running slower you need more strides to make the same route, as the impacts increase.
Do not keep your feet wide open
If your feet open when you run, it can cause knee pain because the knee has a greater impact in each stride. Always run with your feet pointing in the direction you are heading. Turn your entire leg towards your centerline until your feet are parallel and pointing forward. This can prevent your knee injuries by strengthening your knee area to realign your legs. Keeping this line in your legs is of vital importance since knees will not suffer so much impact as they will not turn constantly in the wrong direction.
Separating them improperly can cause inflammation in the iliotibial band – a thick tissue tape that spans from the buttock to the shin bone (tibia). To avoid this, change the medial rotation of your legs for several weeks so that they adapt to your new direction of movement. Changing the biomechanics of your body requires time and persistence, but it’s worth it if you do not want to suffer knee injuries.