When your feet land in front of your knees, you putting on the brakes with every foot strike, sending a major impact to your knees, which were never designed to be shock absorbers.
Can You Run Through Shin Splints?
Eventually, all of this impact to your knees leads to either joint pain or soreness in your muscles. If this happens to you, listen to what your body is trying to tell you, and change your stride mechanics, or you could end up on the bench. What to do: Always lean from your ankles and let your stride open up behind you. Let your feet land beneath you instead of in front of you.
Pay no attention to the advice of all those running magazines that tell you to lift your knees and reach forward for a longer stride. What to do: Keep your knees swinging low. At the back end of each stride, bend your knees and let your heels float up behind you. What to do: Always try to land in a midfoot strike.
Many runners over-stride and then straighten their knees as they land. This creates an incredible amount of impact to the heel and the knee. What to do: Make a pact with yourself that you will never again straighten your legs when you run. Problem solved.
Imagine someone grabbing your ankle and twisting it to the outside times every 10 minutes!
Rotate your entire leg inward towards your centerline until your feet are parallel and pointing forward. This can permanently fix your problem by strengthening your adductors to realign your legs.
Then, your knees will hinge in the direction they were designed to, instead of twisting as they bend. Foot splay can create inflammation in the iliotibial band which, at its lower end, attaches to the tibia just below your knee. The misalignment of your legs can often be mistaken for a knee problem.
More to do: Increase the amount of medial rotation of your legs over a number of weeks to give your legs time to adjust to their new direction of movement. What to do: Go for low-profile neutral shoes and run with a shorter stride to reduce impact. Once you improve your tissue quality, you can advance to tennis balls, lacrosse balls and PVC pipes. Before you start, make sure you warm up correctly.
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When people run, they often land on their heels, which increases the amount of force on your joints and ligaments. But when you land mid-foot, the tendons and muscles in your ankles act as shock absorbers, which minimize stress on your body. If your runs cause issues, you might be running too slow.
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Many people run too slow, which creates longer, less-efficient strides, poor technique and more stress on your knees. No thanks! For your next run, shorten your stride and aim for three steps per second steps per minute. Turn on MapMyRun desktop notifications and stay up to date on the latest running advice.
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