Is Running Bad for your Knees?

Running Myth Busting #1 - Does running knacker your knees?


The simple answer… NO running is not bad for your knees!


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Many times when I talk to patients I often hear the phrases, ‘well I used to play football’ or ‘I used to run, that’s why my knees are knackered’. I’m happy to report as a Physiotherapist and a runner, that it’s just not true!

That is not to say that people who run will never get osteoarthritis of the knees. But of course, people who have never run in their life also suffer with arthritis and knee problems. There are strong links in research between metabolic disease and having a high BMI with the prevalence of knee arthritis. Therefore, eating well, being a healthy weight and keeping active all reduce the risk of knee arthritis considerably.

You are much more likely to have knee problems if you are overweight and inactive, than if you run 4 times per week. 

So should I run?

 Yes! If you want to.  

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The key thing with exercise is that you enjoy it. If you want to run, by all means run. If you hate running, do something else.

How much should I run?

The most important thing to remember with running is progress slowly. Don’t rush into 10km runs if you’ve never run a day in your life. Don’t progress from 2 miles three times a week to 10 miles four times a week in four weeks. That’s not going to end well and could result in injury.

Progress your running slowly. Increase your pace and/or distance little by little (10% each week is a good ballpark figure) and listen to your body.


For example:

Week 1 – 2 x 5 km runs

Week 2 – 1 x 5km run & 1 x 6km run

Week 3 – 1 x 5km run & 1 x 7 km run

Week 4 – 1 x 6 km run & 1 x 7km run


The other key thing to remember is…


 If you have knee pain and are finding it difficult to run or you are unsure whether you should give it a go, feel free to get advice from one of our Physiotherapists who will advise you appropriately. Equally if you want to discuss diet, your nutritional requirements and how to stay fit and healthy, feel free to book in with our Nutritionist to discuss your requirements.

 Alternatively, come along to one of our Andra Running Group sessions and chat to the team to get some advice. You don’t need to run, just come and have a chat and we can guide you along the way.