long term damage caused by running

13 messages
02/01/2013 at 17:26


I was watching a program late last night on Channel 5 about health and exercise (I can't remember the name of the program but it had a number in it because it was one of those top x countdown shows).  They were rubbishing lots of things, for example fitness trainers with no real qualifications and sports drinks, which are no real big worries but then they talked about the damage you can do to your knees by running.  Relatively quickly you can make your knees look like they've had many years more wear, which is a concern, if there is real evidence/truth behind this.  I enjoy my running (which I only took up 2 years ago at the relatively old age of 45) and wouldn't want to stop as I know I wouldn't enjoy other forms of exercise, such as cycling. swimming or going to the gym, as much.  But I could try to avoid tarmac more and combine my preparations for races with other cardio-vascular exercising if it means I spare my knees more and future trouble with them.

Any thoughts from the community of runners out there?

cougie    pirate
02/01/2013 at 17:29

Its a sad fact that there are no runners over the age of 40.  Its just like that Carousel from Logans Run.   Your knees start glowing red and there you go......... 

02/01/2013 at 17:39

+1 with cougs - I died 19 years ago but am still running without any knee problems 

02/01/2013 at 18:34
Runnings obviously a young mans sport then?

'Cough' 'cough' Ron hill
'Cough' 'cough' Fauja Singh
02/01/2013 at 19:31

I gave up after about 2 minutes viewing as I found it banal and irritating.  Glad I did as I will be able to take my 63 year old knees for yet another run without worrying.

(Though perhaps as I am a woman the strictures don't apply to me).


Edited: 02/01/2013 at 19:32
02/01/2013 at 19:44

My 52-year-old knees took me for a pleasant 14.5-mile jaunt today, up and down hills and along tarmac roads and muddy paths. So they're clearly up for it still.

Rest of me is a bit of a wreck though ...

02/01/2013 at 21:40

I think if you're taking a Channel 5 documentary seriously your brain's already had it, you needn't worry about your knees.


03/01/2013 at 09:03

There's also research indicating positive effects of running on knee health - I can dig out some citations if you want them...

03/01/2013 at 09:53

You do get certain sources that like to scaremonger, but I wasn't aware that Channel 5 or the makers of this programme were one of them.  That's why I threw the issue over to this forum because I wanted to hear what everybody else thinks.  And it sounds if most think its rubbish.  Running isn't a new thing, so if the likes of Brendan Foster and Alberto Salazar are now wheel chair bound and crippled with arthritis then it would be a good indication that this is par for the course for somebody who runs a lot.  Some people might encounter problems of course and that might be why these programme makers have a story on their hands but is this because of an individual's stupidity or bad luck?  Over-doing it, not using decent shoes, or have a weak knee in the first place?

03/01/2013 at 10:15

I didn't see the Channel 5 programme but my Twitter and Facebook feeds were full of outraged people spluttering about how terrible it was. Is it available online anywhere? I'd like to see what the fuss was about  

cougie    pirate
03/01/2013 at 10:29

I think theres no milage in a documentary that says 'exercise IS good for you'.

Who would watch that ?  But put in some scare stories - and people will watch. 

Its easy to find a few people that say got injured doing whatever sport it is you want to show. The vast majority of people would be fine with it - but thats just not a story. 


I think Channel 5 have a 5 on demand app/website if your're keen xine ?

03/01/2013 at 11:27
Mr Puffy wrote (see)

I think if you're taking a Channel 5 documentary seriously your brain's already had it, you needn't worry about your knees.


Good point Mr Puffy!

03/01/2013 at 12:10

Thanks Cougie, will check it out this weekend. I could do with a laugh!

Their series about the gym last year was hilarious, it put me off ever visiting Gymbox but was great car-crash tv.

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