How I’m keeping my knees healthy for distance running

The way I’m preparing is simple, but I recently ran into a problem..

I need to make sure my knees are strong enough to run 26.2 miles and handle the hammering.

How?

The goal is to make the tendons surrounding my knee as strong as possible.

Look at the 3 knee anatomy photos below.

  1. knee (1).jpg
  2.  knee.jpg
  3. knee-joint.jpg

See, there are many ligaments around the knee joint that hold the bones firmly in place and help to support the bones.

While I’m no doctor, it seems reasonable to me that a joint held more tightly in place by stronger ligaments will be less prone to injury.

A bicycle with a well build frame, strong tires and bearings, and a tight well lubricated chain will last longer and ultimately ride better than a bicycle that is not so.

I’m treating my body like a machine and want all the different parts to work as well as possible.

Everything that lasts a long time requires proper care and maintenance.

Let’s compare the body to a car.

I hate car trouble. Likewise, I hate getting sick. The exact same solution is used to solve those two problems. How?

Prevent your car from breaking down. Change your oil regularly. Get your car inspected. Put higher quality gas in your car. Replace your breaks as needed. Keep your tires inflated. Don’t let your car overheat. Monitor your dashboard for signs of possible issues.

Its the same with your body. Put good food in your body. Get nutrition. Keep your body strong. Exercise. Practice good hygiene.

I’ve lately been dedicating special care to my knees. My knees have been giving me a bit of pain when jogging.

I’m planning to visit a doctor if it continues to be a problem, but before doing so, I’m going back to basics and trying to keep my knees in ultimate physical fitness.

I’ve been working on doing a combination of strength and endurance exercises to keep by knees healthy.

This includes squats, leg curls, leg extensions, lunges, stair climbers, jogging, bicycle, rubber band strengthening, etc.

Part of me worries that spending all of my workouts focused only on running will prevent me from actually optimizing what needs to be at its best, which is my muscles.

This is why I think a combination of strength and endurance is so important for my training in distance running.

The below picture shows exactly WHY I’m strengthening my ligaments/tendons surrounding my knee joint.

bones-adult-knee.jpeg

See that white stuff where the bones connect? The cartilage between the knee provides a type of cushion and support.

The bones don’t move and rub against each other, but against the soft cartilage.

I think of my knee cartilage like the shock absorbers on a car. If the shock absorbers on a car are well built, they allow you to have a smoother ride.

Having something there to allow that repetitive hammering to have something smooth to rub against is important… the cartilage prevents the actual bone from injury.

I want to minimize the hard banging and pounding that my knees take from a run.

But I want to keep running as much as I can because it just feels so good to put some time aside during the day to physically exert myself and move around.

If there are more experienced runners out there reading this, I’d love your critiques and recommendations.. because you only learn more as you gain experience.

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