Cardio: How to Run Faster While Reducing Knee Pain

By on May 9, 2015 and steady may seem like the best way to minimize impact and avoid injury on a run, but speeding up may save your knees. A new study in the Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy found that running at a faster speed reduces the overall stress to your knee by 30 percent—a massive difference for any runner with knee woes (about 13 percent of you, according to a Runner’s World poll). (Check out these tips on Knee Pain and Running from Marisa D’Adamo.)

Researchers looked at runners logging 1,000 meters at 5, 7.3, and 9.8 miles per hour. For each individual stride, they found that the faster people ran, the more stress was put on the knee. However, the faster you run, the fewer strides you make to cover the same distance. That means speeding up actually allows your knees to absorb less impact over your whole run.

But don’t start the stopwatch just yet. Previous Danish research shows that increasing your speed can actually add load to your lower leg and foot, putting your Achilles and plantar fascia at risk. “You’re going faster, but it’s actually causing you to land with more force with each stride. Those intense forces in a short amount of time can be damaging to your body if you don’t train properly,” says Scott Weiss, a New York-based exercise physiologist and athletic trainer. See more…

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