It’s a process..

It’s a process..

So, a lot of people I speak to who do not run, or at least do not run those (from their perspective-)ridiculous distances, often ask if all those long distances aren’t bad for your knees?! There are a variety of articles and conclusions to be found in the interwebs but the overall answer (and I agree with that one) is a firm NO. This is NOT bad for your knees (or any body part). It’s even very good for your brain, the muscles and your general health. All within common sense boundaries, I don’t go running an ultra every week.

Your body will complain, especially during the early first km’s, towards your first 10km, towards your first 1 consecutive hour run, the first run beating that damn 10km/h bitch speed and so on 🙂

Of course an important part of making this a good thing for your knees (let’s stick with the term knees, but in fact I am referring to the other parts also) is to take things easy. I also started with the basic 1 minute run, 30 seconds walk, up till I was able to run 45 mins consecutively and managed to work my way up to the marathons and (ultra-)trails over the course of the last 8 years. Your body will complain, especially during the early first km’s, towards your first 10km, towards your first 1 consecutive hour run, the first run beating that damn 10km/h bitch speed and so on 🙂 The runners-knee will come by, the sore muscles after your first interval session(you DID include those in your schedule, right?) and maybe you will also be lucky to experience a nice shint-split, let’s hope you will stay away from plantar fasciitis. It’s a lot of give and takes, a lot of discipline but especially a lot of not giving up and setting new goals for yourself. In general, listen to your body; it will always win (and not always in your advantage).

Improvements to be made.

Now, I did this 55km ultra-trail in Iceland and went through it without any injuries, just exhausted legs and thus also kind of painful knees (because the muscles should be doing the work when going downhill, not the knees). The knees were fine again after a day or two and I had no sore muscles at all (so I could’ve run faster maybe…) I also have some lessons learned from that experience. I need to strengthen my legs and core, since they seem to be unable to keep up during the long runs and I need to check my own limits on the long runs with regard to speed and stamina, since during the 55km’s I did ask myself several times if I should speed up or save energy for the last km’s..

It’s within the details.

So just before going to Iceland it was also time to buy a new pair of shoes for the non-offroad-runs. My good old (2nd-pair of-)Saucony Ride 8’s had a rough 1200km’s on them and the cushioning was pretty much gone (even though they still looked fine, including the soles). In between the two Ride 8’s, I bought the Ride 9’s, somehow we did not become good friends. I started getting weird pains in my heel, my achilles’ tendon and basically I was on the look for a set of ‘old’ Ride8’s. The old Ride8’s both gave me a pretty smooth ride of approximately 1200km’s, but then I had to shop for new shoes…. then the search begins. I did not trust the Ride10’s, given my 9-experience so I was open for a new brand. The Amsterdam based all4running-shop experts (who deliver a very great service and expertise) proposed New Balance 880v7’s. Tried them on, felt great, immediately appreciated the cushioning again and I gave them a go, bought them. A big difference also with the NB’s is the drop of 10mm, where the 8’s (and 9) had an 8mm drop, but I appreciated the (extra-)cushioning so considered it to be fine.

it’s a mental thing, if I see other people running outside, I also HAVE to go…

I did not run a lot on the new shoes before going to Iceland. When returning I was looking forward to my first run again (hey, it’s a mental thing, if you see other people running outside, I also HAVE to go). Did an easy short 5Km run and it was still in getting-used-to mode on the new 880v7’s. Few days later I was in for a longer-weekend run and did a 18Km, and that’s where things started to happen. I felt a pain on the top of my right foot (in Dutch we call that ‘de wreef’) during running but figured it still being part of getting used, so I lowered the pace and continued. After running, the pain got worse up till limping level and the foot showed a sore bump. That’s not good.

To be sure there was no fracture or something I went to see the doctor who confirmed nothing bad to be wrong, but I had to take rest and (at least-)half the training distances for the coming weeks… ehhr.. say what? NO RUNNING FOR WEEKS?? I am a technical guy as a profession so I started doing an assessment myself also and went through the things which had changed since I started feeling this issue. Same route, same paths, even (about the-)same temperature, same pace, same distances…. Different shoes, Different drop(!)… My conclusion for now is these shoes are not becoming friends with me either, also because I have experienced about exactly the same issue some years back when I went from Nike Lunarglide 6’s to 7’s, that was the start of my Ride8 (and neutral running) period. I will go back to the store and explain the issues to them and see if we can come to a solution, pretty sure we will, maybe even I will give the Ride 10’s a go.. I will write an update either in this post or within a new post how things went after this.

the Breakthru 3, being much more responsive and the test runs felt much better.

Update; I got myself a new pair of shoes, back to Saucony but no Ride’s, we chose the Breakthru 3, being much more responsive and the test runs felt much better.. let’s hope these will solve the issues, will give my foot some additional rest and do a 10K next Saturday..





Long story short… listen to your body and accept the fact it may take some time to get to know it. It might also take some annoyances to find the right gear, where the right shoes really, for me, are the base of your running and the joy of doing so.

ps. this post is a pure reflection of my personal thoughts and experiences on things, I am in no way a medical professional and do not claim to say you should do things how I did or currently do them. Every body(space intended) is different and may need specific care. Do, however, feel free take notice of the stories I write 🙂