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Posts: 13,648
3/25/13 6:56 A

A Couch to 5K program is definitely the best way to go. These programs work through progressively increasing intervals of running and walking, and not only build your fitness, but give your leg muscles and tendons time to adapt to the stresses and impract of running.

Taking your time and building up gradually can give your body time to adapt to the impact. Also, watch your running form, and aim at a forefoot or midfoot strike. This allows the felxibility of the ankle to absorb a lot of the impact. With a heel strike, the jarring shock travels straight up your shin bones, and is much harder on the knees.

Taking these steps can make things MUCH easier on your knees, and most people should be able to build up to running comfortably. But ultimately, not everybody (especially those with existing knee problems) can handle the impact of running. Take things gradually, and listen to what your own body is telling you.


SparkPoints: (138,629)
Fitness Minutes: (142,237)
Posts: 9,150
3/24/13 9:31 A

I have arthritis in my left knee and I run. Last year, I ran 6 half marathons.

However, if you are concerned about your knees and running, I would encourage you to bring up your concerns with your doctor. I spoke with my primary care doctor, an orthopedist and my dad and sister, both of whom are doctors, to make sure it was okay. Yeah, my knee hurts some days more than others but I know I am okay.

Posts: 270
3/24/13 12:10 A

After walking steady for 2 months, when I take the dogs on their little walk (1/4 mile) I sometimes run with them..about a minute at a time. They are small /older yorkies and do not want to run any more than that during these walks. Which is good because that's all I can do. This is a great thread though!

Posts: 1,550
3/23/13 9:09 P

When I started running I followed C25k, and I highly recommend it!

Posts: 2,349
3/22/13 3:26 P

Your own running program is as personalized as you. Your age, fitness level, excess weight you carry are all part of the entire package when beginning to run. I started at age 15 in cross country track and never quit. That was over 40 years ago.

But someone age 40-50 who is overweight and never run before would not be well advised to just start off by running! Walking is crucial to do for a few months before running (unless you are a teenager as I was when I started!). It is also important to use for a warm-up before runs.

Squats and lunges also help considerably in developing the muscle strength to prepare and continue running. I was shocked at how my running times improved after I incorporated strength training into my weekly routine. I was simply stronger!

As one becomes stronger it is helpful to mix up walking and jogging into one workout. Walk to warm up, jog a little, then walk again, then jog again. Some people do it by minutes (walk one, jog two minutes), other do it by distance. The SP running website and also Couch to 5K website have great information to help you get started.

I highly recommend running for those without back, knee, hip, or lung problems. It is terribly efficient to help one lose weight, and it is fun to be out with others doing the same thing. Fun Runs are a blast.

I have been keeping a log for four decades of the places I have jogged. Fun to see places such as Vancouver, B.C., Juneau, AK, Seattle, WA, Portland, OR, L.A., ;pl New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, Minneapolis, MN, and even some European cities on the list such as Paris, Munich, Frankfurt, Vienna, Venice, and other places on my one and only trip to Europe.

Follow some good advice, get some others to go with you, make running dates, get out there, lose weight, get strong, help your heart and lung be more efficient, and have fun with it all!!! Best to you.....

Posts: 54,079
3/22/13 2:38 P

I'd encourage you to check out SparkPeople's Running Center, which has lots of good information as well as training plans to transition you from walking to running. Here's a link:

Hope that helps,

Coach Jen

Posts: 216
3/22/13 12:47 P

I've never run in my whole life, but I did a 4 mph jog for 1 minute and then walked at 3 mph for 1 minute when I started. I learned that my knees don't like sprinting for long periods of time (more than a minute at a time), and I should only run every other day. I got bored speed walking or using incline on my treadmill so that's why I first started jogging. Good shoes make a difference on your knees, just so you know.

SparkPoints: (2,958)
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
Posts: 897
3/22/13 12:24 P

I don't know how long you've been doing the walking, how intense, or what your overall fitness is. I know that SP will recommend at least six months of a walking program before trying to run; and I know that I went close to two months myself (doing more like 4 or 5 miles a day).

All I can say is if you do start to run, take it really slow. It uses muscles that walking doesn't much stress, and it's a lot more intense. It's not too hard to hurt yourself even if your joints are basically sound. (shin splints or plantar fasciitis, for instance, from weak calf/foot muscles)

There's also other ways to change up an exercise routine, though I don't know which would apply to you. I am feeling incredibly treadmill/house bound at the moment myself and am just dying for some decent weather so I can get outside more and ultimately on some of the local trails, which are awesome. I'm a cardio fiend compared to many here and it's still getting to me, so I feel you.

SparkPoints: (892)
Fitness Minutes: (2,560)
Posts: 2
3/22/13 11:50 A

I need advice on jogging.
A) How should you start?
B) Is it even a good idea to do if you have bad knees?
I've been walking 2 to 3 miles 5 days a week and thought maybe jogging would be a better way for me. My knees are stronger and i'm in better shape but I'm getting a little bored.
Any suggestions would be great, Thanks.

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