This week, the Runner's Lounge turned the tables on us bloggers. We needed to both ask a question and provide the answer.
Q: I've just started running and my knees (back, hips, etc.) hurt. What do you think it is?
Q: I've been running for a while, but I just started to have problems with my knees (back, hips, etc.). What could it be?
A: More than likely, it's your sneakers. While the pain may be an indication of other, more serious things, make the life of your sneakers the first thing you check.
When most people just start out running, either at the gym on a treadmill or outside, they use sneakers that they've had for quite a while. In many cases, they're a couple of years old and they've worn them while running errands, etc.
Change your shoes. You wouldn't drive your car with tires that are bald or wearing unevenly. That's just what you're doing when you wear sneakers that have outworn their life.
I know the day that I need new sneakers. While I'm running or afterward, my lower back starts to hurt. Without fail, it's my sneakers. I go out that day and pick up a new pair, and voila, back no longer hurts.
I can use my sneakers for no more than 400 miles. That's probably at the lower end, as I know some people can wear them as long as 500 or 600 miles. A sneaker's life varies based on weight, running style and shoe quality.
Try to keep up on how many miles you've put on the sneakers. And only use those sneakers for running.
Your feet and body will thank you.