Q: I recently started running and my knees are killing me. How can I stop the pain?
“Whenever your foot strikes the ground in front of your hip you'll experience a braking motion in your stride,” says Danny Dreyer, creator of ChiRunning and ChiWalking, two movement techniques influenced by t’ai chi. “This impact sends a shock directly to your knees, causing the pain known as runner's knee.” To avoid this, try tweaking your running technique:
- Shorten your stride and run at a cadence of 170-180 steps/minute. Over-striding is the main cause of knee problems. If you need help setting an efficient cadence, try using a runner’s metronome.
- Allow your entire body to fall forward so that you lean slightly from the ankles.
- Land with knees slightly bent in a midfoot strike, not a heel strike.
- Don't reach forward with your legs when you run. Let your upper body fall forward while your legs swing to the rear.
Got a question? Send it to halfQs@meredith.com.