As I touched on in the last installment of Jeff Galloway Blogger Tips (Osteoarthritis and Running: What Are the Facts?) for decades the medical community has approached long distance running with caution. I know this first-hand from my internship at New York City’s Hospital for Special Surgery in 1978. The prevailing thinking was that knees and marathons were a bad mix. Don’t forget, the “running craze” was just taking root. Running for recreation only became popular as Steve Prefontaine and Nike became household names. In short, it took these many decades to understand the impact of running on the general, and then aging population. Man has been running for tens of thousands of years, but this science is just now catching up!
Jeff Galloway seems to have instinctively known better. By developing his run-walk-run technique, he has avoided the many soft tissue pitfalls that often plague runners (ITB Syndrome, Runner’s Knee, shin splints, etc.) We now are beginning to understand that the joint forces and microtrauma associated with running DOES NOT lead to osteoarthritis in hips, knees or ankles. This is groundbreaking information in the medical field folks! I guess “Doctor” Jeff knew it all along…
Training and Motivation Tips
– Most injuries experienced by my runners are due to:
#1 Pacing long runs too fast
#2 Increasing the weekly mileage too quickly
#3 Lengthening stride
– The principle of staying injury free is to balance gentle stress with the right recovery periods to allow for rebuilding. (For more information, see Jeff’s book RUNNING INJURIES.)
– Finding the right run-walk-run strategy from the beginning of a run has been the best way I’ve found to stay injury free, come back from an injury, and in some cases, continue to run while the injury heals. (See Jeff’s book RUN WALK RUN.)
– Are you concerned that running will damage joints or other body parts? Jeff was told this regularly, from his first week or running over 50 years ago! Research now shows the opposite result; as the decades go by, runners have healthier joints and fewer orthopedic issues than non-runners.
– A respected and large population study out of Stanford followed thousands of runners over 50 who had run for more than 20 years and concluded that these runners had 25% fewer orthopedic issues as compared to non-runners of the same age.
– While researching for the book RUNNING UNTIL YOU’RE 100, Jeff reviewed dozens of studies and could not find one showing that running harms legs, feet, joints, etc.
– As long as you stay below the threshold of irritation you can often continue to run while the injury heals.
Taking Jeff’s lead, I am on The Road to a Marathon at 60; my patellofemoral joints have never felt better!
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