Some phrases are meant to be together.
“This is a great beer,” and “Let’s get another beer.”
“I’m not racist,” and “(something incredibly racist).”
“I want to run,” and “but my knees are bad.”
It’s true. Running is hard on your joints.
But it may not be as bad as you think. And that risk damn sure shouldn’t prevent you from giving it a try.
I’ve been running for about five years now. I’ve had two injuries that required medical attention.
The first were serious shin splints, due mostly to bad shoes.
Don’t run in cheap shoes. You can get away with cheap everything else (I run in old basketball shorts and t-shirts left over from high school), but don’t skimp on the shoes.
Protip: Go to a running store and try on as many pairs of shoes as it takes to find The Pair. Take each pair on a quick spin on a treadmill. If the pair you wind up with is too expensive, remember the brand and model and see if you can find them cheaper online.
If the pair you feel great in is $100 or less, spend it. It’s worth it.
The second injury is one I’m dealing with right now: IT band. It’s common in runners, but I’m going to see a doctor because mine has lingered for five weeks and I have my eyes on an upcoming triathlon.
Why am I talking about my injuries?
Because my body is beat up like everyone else’s. I had trouble getting out of bed in the morning due to creaky knees. To this day I can tell when rain is coming because of pain in my elbows and shoulders.
And I won’t lie: my knees hurt like hell the first week I was running on pavement.
It wasn’t the pavement, though. It was because I hadn’t done anything to work my knees out in 10 years.
After a week of pushing through it, and running on grass, it felt fine. I actually prefer pavement now.
The other thing that helped a great deal was dropping weight. I haven’t felt my tendinitis in a year.
What I’m saying is to give yourself a chance. Running is an efficient workout, helping you burn hundreds of calories in a short time. It’s far safer than some of the current fitness trends, and you can probably do it well into old age.
You’re capable of doing more than your brain wants you to believe.
If not running, then vigorous walking. Just get outside and fill your lungs.
Just please don’t allow fear to keep you from ever trying.
Don’t prohibit yourself.
My commitment to try running came when I decided the risks of being injured outweighed the embarrassment of not being able to chase my kids around the yard.
If your doctor says to not run, then don’t run. Otherwise, give it a shot.
Go download a Couch to 5K app. Get a partner.
Make a playlist, download a favorite podcast or pull up a talk stream. I prefer podcasts because they keep my brain occupied.
Then reward yourself after. Reasonably. Don’t take down that entire box of donuts.
For me the biggest reward is seeing those 700+ calories pop into MyFitnessPal.
Those are my beer and liquor calories for the weekend. That’s my reward.
Plus, I can walk up stairs and not start wheezing. I can outlast my kids in games of tag, too.
And it’s worth fighting through a few injuries to get here.