Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Running or walking on uneven surfaces

If you've done any significant training on a road, you probably noticed that your hips, back, and knees don't like it after a while. The problem isn't the running (unless you've increased your mileage too quickly). The real problem is the uneven level of the road itself. It seems flat, but roads are actually sloped just enough to allow for drainage when it rains. So long story short - unless you're running in the very middle of the road, which is a death wish, then you're running on an uneven surface.

I run/walk on the left side of the road, which allows me to see oncoming traffic (and leap out of the way if necessary). This causes my right leg to be slightly higher than the left. A handful of times doesn't mean much. Since I've been walking around the neighborhood exclusively for the past couple of weeks almost every day, I think it's beginning to cause some slight pain in my right knee. It's not runner's knee. I know running has a reputation for being hard on the knees, but it's always been my belief that if you train properly you can avoid that issue (assuming you don't have a previous knee injury).

What's the next step? I will try the greenway again, however I will be out of luck once the sun starts setting early. I'm not sure what I'll do then but I have a few more weeks before it gets really dark too early. If only my neighborhood had sidewalks...

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