Supposedly, people often tell runners that they will “ruin their knees” by running. This hasn’t happened to me yet but, as someone who was plagued by knee problems as a teenager and as a heavier runner, I am a bit paranoid when it comes to my knees and joints. I am actively doing several things to prevent any future problems:
1. I wear the right shoes and I buy new ones on a regular basis.
When I first started the Couch to 5K program, I bought a pair of New Balance shoes that were on sale at Amazon and called it good. They worked fine for the program but by the time I ran my first 10K, I knew I needed better support. I went into my local running shop where they analyzed my gate and helped me select the right pair for me. I was super nervous about going the first time because I didn’t really consider myself a runner but I used the high of my first 10K to get me in the door the same day. Of course, my worries were for naught and they were super friendly and helpful. I now wear the Saucony Ride 5. I was a bit surprised that they had me go up an entire shoe size from my street shoes but my toes never rub and I haven’t lost a toenail yet.
2. I do strength exercises.
I do squats, lunges, etc. on a regular basis to help balance out my leg muscles. There are a lot of different leg exercises you can do. You should be able to add this into your cross-training with no problem.
3. I drink bone broth every day.
The gelatin in homemade bone broth is excellent for joints. You can find a whole slew of benefits to bone broth if you just Google around a bit. I swear that I can tell when I miss a couple of days! I also think it greatly aids my recovery.
How I make it:
In a stock pot, I combine
- 1 Organic chicken carcass
- Neck and other “parts”
- Vegetable scraps I save in the freezer during the week (celery, carrot, onion, etc.)
- 3 egg shells
- 1 T or so of apple cinder vinegar (to help draw out the minerals)
- Some whole pepper corns
- A couple of bay leaves
- A tiny bit of sea salt
- Enough water to cover it all (don’t use too much or your broth with be very liquid – you want almost chicken jell-o as the final product)
Set to a low simmer (just a couple of bubbles in the middle) and let it cook for as long as you want. I usually put mine on either first thing in the morning or right before bed and let it go on the #2 setting of my electric cook top for 12 hours.
Strain out the chunks and refrigerate. You can salt and pepper your individual servings as desired.
I may not be able to hide from knee problems forever but I plan to avoid it as long as possible!