Running on the pavement

If I mention to people that I am doing the c25k program (which I do alot because I am proud of myself!) I mostly get met with 'what for?' 'Running on the roads will knacker your joints' I realise it's high impact but thought as humans we were designed to run what with having cartilage etc and also today's trainers are so well designed I sort of think that this probably makes any running surface the equivalent of grass. Is this right?


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9 Replies

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  • ...and your mates sitting on their a***s will have higher chance of cardiac disease, metabolic disorders and premature death.

    Hmmm, knackered knees or foreshortened life? Let me have a think about that....

  • It may impact you joints, but your joints and your bones will become stronger as a result of the running. A good pair of trainers will stand you in good stead. Follow the program, listen to your body and take the minimum rest days and more if you need it.

  • Concrete or tarmac is never going to be as kind to your joints as running on grass or dirt tracks. Many people suffer knackered joints by being overweight and having poor circulation. If you run several marathons a year then you will have statistically higher risk of joint damage from running, but gentle recreational running can strengthen bones and joints.

    Whoever 'designed' us made quite a few fundamental flaws and certainly didn't have concrete in mind.

  • As a GP I can tell you that without exception, all my patients with premature knee problems are overweight and unfit. Then as their knees hurt more they do less and gain even more weight.

    I was also overweight and unfit, so I see running as a way to save my knees and improve my quality of life as I get older.

  • Thanks for all the replies. I will tune out the negatives from my mates and keep going!

  • I am nearly 63 and overweight. My knees have been bothering me for years particularly walking upstairs. Half way through week 5 and the knees hurt a LOT less. I think you need the muscles above and below your knees to ne strong to support them.

  • This article was in many papers this weekend -

  • I saw this too ziggy. And pointed it out to a friend who's always going on about what I'm doing to my knees...... ūüôā

  • I do know many active people of healthy weight with knackered knees and other joints, although when they have replacement surgery they often do very well afterwards because they are in otherwise good condition and also do the appropriate recovery exercises. This may be about my social circle (I can only think of one person with a dicky knee who is overweight which I think must be unusual)...and we're not talking in general about people who go out for a 30 minute run 3 times a week (which is all the NHS C25K is designed to do) who also do some strength and flexibility work on a regular basis. These are people who have played other sports at international level, athletes who are really pushing their bodes, footballers... and also runners who run on hard surfaces every day.

    I once asked my Dad (who is now in his 80s and still competing in his running sport with rheumatoid arthritis and prostate cancer) whether he'd never fancied doing a marathon and his response was that he liked his joints too much (ie the hard surfaces in the majority of marathons)

    So...I don't run on roads and pavements, being fortunate that I have access to much better places to run and although some of those places are quite hard, I don't do more than a couple of runs in succession on such surfaces. Even then you'll find me at the edge of those unless the camber's awkward. I also don't wear highly padded shoes so it doesn't allow me to have a 'slamming my feet down' style.

    So my feeling is that this is not an imaginary issue... but we're a lot better at replacing knees and hips than we are at replacing damaged brains...

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