An Ounce of Prevention

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!

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