I have to say that I just love these questions. I relate to them so well. You may not believe it, but I have asked these questions before also.
This particular question asked by a wonderful visitor is one that I have worried about and asked myself. I was so worried that I contacted a coach for ultra-marathoners to get his advice. Here is a link to the question that I asked. It was posted on the coachs’ blog.
Now to the question that I was asked:
“Hi Jason, I wonder if you think about the long term wear and tear of running on your joints?”
Yes, I have wondered about my joints/body and the impact running has on them for the long term. I have agonized over it to the point of my wife getting upset with me for stressing her out. After some research, I feel confident that I am not hurting myself. I think that I am producing a stronger, healthier body by running. Exercise that produces impact (like running) is good for your joints and helps them to build up stronger than before. Of course, I have at times had sore or painful joints, but this is just common for all exercise. I got it when I lifted weights also.
The other important thing is that everyone is different. Each of us has our own “injury points”. It is genetics, running form, and predispositions all mixed up into our own person little bodies. Understanding these injury prone areas on our bodies is very important. This is why journalling our running and its effects is important. We need to discover our “soft spots” and monitor them constantly. If they flare up, we ease back. We take a day or two off from the activity. We make sure we heal. If we do get injured. It is of utmost importance that we take the time off that we need to appropriately heal. FYI, my “soft spots” are my hips and the sides of the bottoms of my feet.
Here are some links to a lot of info. on this subject. Medical research, interviews with Docs, etc. Jeff Galloway is the first link and Runner’s World is the second.