New York is something of a runner’s haven. We have Central Park which is a beautiful area to run in and running helps us keep and stay fit. Of course there is a down side, risk of injury is relatively high with runners with one of the most popular injuries being runners knee (or patellofemoral pain syndrome as is its technical term). There are many reasons for this occurrence but one of the most underlooked reasons of its cause is the speed the runner runs at. Is it better to run faster or slower?
A few years ago, a published article in the Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Therapy looked at this. A study group of runners ran at various speeds over 1000 meters. The speeds were 5, 7 and 10 mph.
Looking at the results, the researchers said that runners could suffer injuries to the knee at slow running speeds.
Why is this? One possible answer is that the faster a person runs, the less steps are needed to run the same distance. While extra load may be applied to the knee at faster speeds, this load is still less than that of the extra steps required to run the same distance at slower speeeds. Moreover, the running style between the two speeds changes with the faster run utilizing a more fore front foot style which again reduces stress on the knee.
At Back and Body in midtown Manhattan, we look to identify many other potential training errors and help to correct them to reduce risk of injury later on. Change of pace may be one solution, but this must be done gradually especially if runners who have structural damage like sprains etc, increasing pace may not be beneficial to them.
Other considerations may include starting up with a graded running program, avoiding running on hard or uneven surfaces on the early stages of recovery and even considering the shoes worn.
We aim to provide our patients with the training program most beneficial to an individual patient’s case as we want them out of pain and injury free. This is why our collaborative approach to treatment is so successful rather than relying on one treatment program alone.
If you train regularly and have injury troubles, get in touch with us today so that we can get you up and running again properly with less risk of injury in the future.