Dear Dr. Ruth,
I’m a 54-year old male who has started running again I am training for the Vegas Marathon next month and pulled my iliotibial band in November. I am now only doing the half marathon, because I was set back.
I would like to push harder, but now I fear any injury. I now stretch after my runs; should I stretch before? How can I save my knees and any leg injury in the future?
Congratulations on getting back to running! I believe that is one of the best things you can do for your knees! Did you know that runners have fewer knee injuries than non-runners and all other athletes? Did you also know that runners have thicker knee cartilage than non-runners? Running does NOT wear out the knees but, in fact, is an example of “use it or lose it.” I would think that stretching once, after when the joints are warm, would be plenty. The ITB injury results from “too much too soon” so don’t increase too fast. I’m also a believer in weight training, both upper, lower, and core.
Most knee injuries occur from twisting. Knee pain occurs most often from arthritis from a bad diet. By “bad diet” I mean eating any animal foods. Animal protein fragments can get into joint capsules and really raise an inflammatory response.
Good luck in your training,