A midfoot strike will reduce stress on you knees. I got terrible shin splints with heel striking, when I changed to midfoot it reduced greatly.
I started running last year and have been working up to half mara distance which I'm due to be running at the beginning of March. I've done a 10 mile race with no problems a couple of weeks back and a 10K at the weekend. I've been primal pretty much since November time and recently started LHTs.
IN a training run the other week I noticed a pain in my left knee at about 4 miles. It was fairly painful and felt as though it was behind the kneecap. I walked the rest of the way and it was sore when I squatted but after a day or so went away. At the weekend during my race the same thing happened at around the same distance and it has recovered 2 days after again.
I think maybe the problem is that as I strike fairly heal heavy when running and over time it's gradually done some harm in my left knee. I've been looking around and found some info on hittting the floor more on the balls of the feet to cushion the heel (and knee). Would this help or am I on completely the wrong track?? I definately think if I didn't push it at all on a run I would last longer and the pain would start later which makes me think it's just the constant bang of my heel into the floor. What do you think?? Any suggestions gratefully accepted!!!!
Vibram five fingers might help, as they essentially eliminate your ability to heel strike.
The real answer is to stop running so much.
vibram ff's will teach your body how to run without hurting your knees.
Pre-vibrams i had knee pain after only 1/4 mile, now the limiting factor is my lungs. Try them and you won't be disappointed.
If you don't like the VFFs or they don't work for you, you might want to try one of the new Merrell minimal running shoes. I bought a pair of the Merrill Pace Glove for women and even though I haven't done much running in them, I like them. They also have the Vibram soles.
Get out on a gravel bike path or on a road with sharp chip seal. Take off your shoes and socks. Run barefoot. Then run just like that all the time and your knees will be fine.
Check out the 'Beginning' section for more specific advice.
Forget the VFFs until you fix your stride. They insulate your feet from the ground too much when you're changing your form. It will take 10 times as long to get it.
Thanks for the advice. To be honest Gordo, I can't thnk of anywhere near my house I would be comfortable running barefoot!! How about Converse Allstars (if that's what they're called over the pond) They're very flat, no cushioning. Good enough for Rocky. I'd like some Vibrams but can't afford them yet whereas I have some Converse already.
What is it about the places around you that you don't think will work for barefooting? I went to Santiago Chile and stayed in a very poor part of town. Glass bottles broken in places on the street, rocks all over the place, etc, and ran barefoot just fine. You're feet will get tougher, and you will get better at avoiding the sharp things. Even if you do step on them, its unlikely they will cut your feet. Try to place your foot down on the ground and push off. Don't drag or scrape your feet on the ground. I agree with Gordo. All shoes insulate your feet from the sensations of the ground and make it nearly impossible to feel how hard your foot is striking. Though, thinner shoes are better than thicker shoes if you really don't think you can run barefoot.
I hope you get it figured out. I love running too and injuries really get me down. Best of luck to you
I used to have sore knees from running too much pre-paleo and using shoes with way too much insulation. Now I use either Nike Free's which have helped me run on the balls of my feet. I also cut my running drastically to one 3 mile interval run, and 1 sprint session. The other days I just walk for 45-60 minutes. I no longer have any knee pain and my 5k race times have dropped much lower. I think a lower inflammation diet like the one advocated by the paleo diet probably helps quite a bit compared to how I used to eat.
"If man made it, don't eat it" - Jack Lallane
People say I am on a "crazy" diet. What is so crazy about eating veggies, fruits, seafood and organ meats? Just because I don't eat whole wheat and processed food doesn't make my diet "crazy". Maybe everyone else with a SAD are the "crazy" ones for putting that junk in their system.
Just an update. Since my last post I've been working on landing on the balls of my feet more and it's helped to some degree but the problem is still there. I did my half marathon at the weekend which went really well although i've been suffering since then. It's most painful going down stairs. The pain is on the inside of the left knee cap. It'll go in the next day or so but if I do any kind of excercise (cycling/running) it will come back.
I've decided the best course of action now is to stop any excercising on it completely for a full 2 weeks to give it complete rest and in the meantime I'm going to see the doctor. I'm gutted. I've been making great progress so far. Ah well, I can work on pullups & pushups till then. Not quite as enjoyable or as satisfying but needs must.