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Running conditioning help please

I come from a mountainbiking background and have been riding singlespeeds mostly for the last year or so. I've just started running training and while I can easily run 4miles in sub 40mins I am struggling with hyper extension of my lower leg, culminating in really doing some damage this week am virtually crippled with pain from my knee. Have had lots of conflicting advice. What would you guys suggest? Cheers.


  • HarryDHarryD Posts: 425
    Obviously without seeing you run there is only so much than can be suggested.

    By hyper extension do you mean straightening?

    There is no need to straigten your legs during running. At full extension expect your knee to be bent by approx 10 dgree and about 50 at flexion.

    If you have knee damage go & see your GP ASAP for possible referal to an orthopaedic surgeon (try and find one who specialises in knees - most general hospitals have a team of orthopods who specialise in different joints) to rule/sort out any damage.

    If OK to restart training consider doing regular stretching especially hip flexors, quads, hamstrings & glutes. Remember that riding a bike requires leg extension to only around 30 degrees. Also your body is also bent forward whereas in running you need a straight body. Some strengthening work on your vastus medialis should be considered - bending to 30 degrees does not develop this muscle and it is need to keep your knee cap tracking correctly in it's groove.

    As for running. Seriously consider forefoot running rather than heel striking- that is running with your weight on the balls of the feet not running on your toes. You will probably have to increase your running cadence too. Have a look at the Pose method - there are some interesting ideas and drills in there to get you forefoot running even if you don't go the whole hog.
  • ShaggyShaggy Posts: 140
    This clip isn't brilliant but it does a reasonable job of looking at run mechanics. Has anyone got better?


    Does show landing on mid/ fore foot underneath body. i.e. no forward extension below the knee. Relax below the knee, drive the knee from the hip and lift it as fast as possible as you land. Don't think about pushing off the feet, just imagine picking it back up. Run with a metronome track or try podrunner.com for a 180 bPM track (dance, but good for running) and turnover fast.

    No running until pain goes though.

  • HarryDHarryD Posts: 425
    Shaggy, spot on video and advice.

    Practice the leg lift and much of the high cadence will develop at the same time.

    Craig Alexander this year at Kona was running at 177-180 strides per minute (sad I know but a bit of analysis helps pass the time) whereas Seb Coe ran at around 220spm when he won his first 800m international title.

  • Hi,

    All the other advice is spot on but might I suggest leaning forward slightly when you run ( but keep your back straight engaging the core). This way your less likely to over extend at the knee and will land on forefoot rolling through to heel in each strike.

    Hope pain gets better.

  • Cheers for the advice all, much appreciated.
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