NCAA runner turned high school coach Hillary Kigar has an answer for all things training!
Q: Is running bad for my knees? Some older people have told me their knees are shot, because they used to run a lot.
A: While anecdotally that might make sense, scientifically it’s false. A study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise looked at nearly 75,000 runners and found that people who ran regularly had a lower (not higher!) risk of developing degenerative knee issues, including arthritis. That said, regular repetitive movement and physical stress can feel hard on the body. The key to staying healthy and pain-free is preventative measures.
Just like your ergonomic keyboard and mouse pad help prevent wrist problems, proper running shoes and soft surfaces help prevent joint issues. While some pain with age is likely inevitable, taking care of all the little things will give you a better chance of getting through more years without having any part of your body feeling “shot.”
Have a question for Coach Kigar? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @womensrunning with the hashtag #AsktheCoach.