Protect Your Knees

If you have decided to run for charity you need to look after you knees. Knee pain is surprisingly common and if you've not experienced it before, it can be very painful. We've put together some top tips on avoiding and dealing with knee pain. If you are in severe pain or discomfort - you should always consult your GP for medical advice.

It's fairly common to strain tendons or cause tears to ligaments and supporting tissues in your knee. Key signs of this include severe pain and swelling of your knee. The right shoes are really important for protecting your knees, whether you are pounding the pavements on a run or just out and about. Try to avoid really high heels ladies, as these can put your knees under strain. Shoes with cushioning are ideal to minimise impact. The key to any new training programme is progressive overload! Increase the distance of your runs by no more than 10% per week.

Running trainers should also be replaced regularly, so get those old battered pair out and give them an assessment. The soles shouldn't be too flexible, if they have become too bendy you may not be getting the support you need. A typical pair should last you 500 miles of running as a rough guide.

Health supplements do not have conclusive evidence to back up their use, but many people swear by taking glucosamine, and cod liver oil to help your joints get everything they need to stay healthy. Diet and living healthy is normally all that is required but if you feel like you need an extra dose of vitamin C or D take what you feel you need.

Stretching! It's as important as exercising, ensure you stretch your calves and hamstrings properly before and after running and add in strength training focussing on your quads and other supporting muscles to give your knees maximum support and strength.

Finally, If you are particularly worried about your knees we recommend consulting a GP and personal trainer to put together a personalised knee protection plan.