Impact of interval running on joints

One week on from graduation, I tried my first interval run, mixing bursts of fast (for me) running with walking until I got my breathing back under control. It was noticeable how much harder this was on knees, hips, ankle. At 58 years old I have regularly noticed transient stiffness after running (wears off after you move a bit) before but have not experienced anything like this before. Will see how I am tomorrow before deciding if/when to repeat the idea.


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13 Replies

  • Be careful, trying run faster didn't work for me. Now waiting get over injury

  • I had the same trouble. As I'm never going to be entering races, I have decided my bod is not built for speed but distance, so will not be doing speed intervals again!

  • Thanks both of you, I will try again (carefully), but may decide to stick with gentle pootling

  • Was this with Laura? I tried this on Tues and found it alright - don't think I can have been doing it properly. Will try a longer, slower run tomorrow - see if I can still run for 30 mins or 5k. Wind from Siberia they say for the next week Brrrrrr. Hope you recover. :)

  • I warmed up, then used W1 format substituting a gentle run for the 5 minute brisk walk at the start and then fast runs / brisk walks.

  • At 59, I have experienced similar effects. The main thing with trying to run faster, especially for us more mature runners, is to not lengthen the stride too much, as this puts a lot more strain on just about everything. Try to increase your cadence, ie. the number of strides per minute and keep your footfall under your body, not out in front. I still ache after a hard run, but this will lessen as your body gets used to it. Keep it up, it is worth it, but don't push too hard.

  • That's very helpful. I had assumed the key (as I have short legs for my height and am only 5'4" anyway) was to try to lengthen stride as well as cadence. Thankfully no long lasting nasty after effects.

  • I've been trying this too. Walk/running a bit faster and when I reach 5k, doing a slow run for another few minutes. I've had the same niggles - aching calfs - aching thighs, but they go after a day and don't recur. So be careful, but carry on.

  • I think 5k and faster running are not good bed fellows for me. Today was the shortest total distance I have run since about week 3!

  • try running a little further, rather than faster then? I think it was Ian who said running further will automatically allow you to run faster anyway.

  • It takes a while for your body to get used to the new level of exertion being placed on it. You can expect to feel it after a tough session. you will usually recover by the following day. You may feel stiff legged the following morning though. It takes quite some time to to build yourself up which is why so many folks start circuit training and such

  • You may get on better with the NHS C25K+ sessions, or I particularly like Audiofuel's short Pyramid 180 session (that was where I first got the 'take shorter steps' tip)

    I agree with Misswobble. After one session of doing something different it is probably unwise to draw definitive conclusions. However, I certainly do find it rather hard on my body and especially joints. That will partly be about surfaces (finding yourself in dense wood when you are supposed to be in a fast section doesn't work BTDT) Some strength and flexibility work of your choice will help

    Bear in mind that early C25K *is* intervals and we know what magic they work. I do feel that for me they give a real boost to weight loss, and although my stats look as though nothing is happpening, I do think they helped edge up my speed. But I don't do them often!

  • Thank you

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