Challenges: Running is Hard (on the knees)

Running is tough.  For a number of different reasons.

I really don’t mind running.  I have actually gotten to the point where I can run a straight 30 minutes at 4-4.2 mph.  It always starts off pretty tough but by about 7 1/2 minutes I am in the groove and feel like I can keep on keeping on.  I ran a 14 minute mile this morning.  Not too bad for an over 300 pounder.  I think I could probably bump it up to 4.5 mph now. What I have started to notice, though, is that my knees are feeling a little more sore than I would have thought.  Nothing serious, but I figured I would do a little world wide web recognizance to see if there was something that would help me out to make sure I didn’t hurt my knees.  I wanted to see if anyone else out there was having the same issue and what they are doing to prevent hurting themselves.

Here is what I found out.

Treadmills are great for runners who can’t run outside all of the time.  They are great for help build endurance.  But they are sort of one dimensional.  According to a lot of fancy schmancy health websites, including the Mayo Clinic, the elliptical trainer is a better cardio workout device for a number of reasons.  One of which is that it is low impact and better for your back, neck, legs, and knees.  Another being that it is more of a total body workout with less impact.

This will sound really horrible, but I guess I always thought of the elliptical machine as less of a workout or maybe a “lady’s” machine.  I was proven wrong in this regard considering my friend Shawn ( lost more than 100 pounds using the elliptical for cardio almost exclusively.

A friend of mine let me have an old elliptical trainer that they had in storage this past week, so I have given it a shot.  I like the way it works.  I burned more calories in less time.  My knees don’t hurt.  It is a bit of an old machine so I am thinking about going ahead and getting a new one. I am not giving up on the treadmill.  I like it too much.  I have decided to switch it up and do treadmill for some workouts and elliptical for others.  I think that is a good way to go about it anyway.

I will keep you guys posted on how things go with it.


6 comments to Challenges: Running is Hard (on the knees)

  • How old is the elliptical? We might be interested in it if you are going to be getting rid of it.

    PS. I’m so proud of you!

  • your wife

    I love elliptical machines! That’s what I used the one and only time in my life I consistently exercised…

  • Yea man, running is really hard on the body, even at ideal BMI …you have to be really careful while carrying the extra weight.

  • Robert

    Hank, have you heard about Body for Life? It’s a book and an annual competition for people trying to get into shape. The grand prize is big.

    Of course they sell tons of protein bars and drinks to the participants, but the plan is efficient and effective. Cardio is 20 minutes, weights about 45. The shorter time works because you reach several points of high intensity during the workouts.The high points are based on your own fitness level so you don’t wear yourself out but you do get maximum results.

    The nutrition plan is based on eating six time a day, smaller, preplanned portions. This is good cause if you like to eat(J do), you are never more than a couple of hours from your next meal or snack.

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