With the Ath-Half coming up, we’ve seen many of you slogging up and down Milledge Ave and Lumpkin St. in preparation. Running is fun and healthy, but can also be rough on your knees. Here are a few tips to keep running for the Ath-Half 2050!

-Gradually increase your distance and intensity. The cartilage in your knee is no different than any other tissue in your body. It will adapt to stress, but if you don’t give it time and adequate rest to toughen-up, then it can become irreparably damaged.

-Hills: If you need breaks, run uphill and walk down. This is counter intuitive, but running down hill tears up your knees more than running up. This is because of the way your quads contract (eccentric going down and concentric going up), as well as the fact that there is more impact as your body falls a greater distance.

-Proper running shoes: Good cushioning under your feet decreases the impact felt by your joints

-Running surfaces ranked best to worst for your knees: Grass>clay>asphalt>concrete

-Proper mechanics: Try to land with the forefoot hitting the ground first instead of the heel. This softens the impact on your knees

William Ashford, MD

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