Ask the Coach: Altitude, Cramps and Running Flats - Page 3
FLATS FOR RECOVERY?
After a meniscus injury, I am slowly building up to running again with a combination of run-walking on both grass and pavement. But should I train on only flat surfaces during my recovery?
—Mimi Hart, Cedar Rapids, IA
The meniscus is the padding that lies in your knee between your femur and tibia. It disperses the impact when you run or walk, and lessens the friction of knee movement. It can be damaged in several ways; a meniscus tear usually accompanies an MCL or ACL tear. For runners an inappropriate training load—too many miles too fast—can be the culprit.
Meniscus tears usually present as catching, popping or general pain in the knee. The meniscus receives very little blood flow, and won’t heal without surgery. So if you’ve been dealing with this injury for more than six months without improvement, see a specialist.
During recovery, says U.S. Ski Team physician and orthopedic surgeon Mark D. Scholl, “I prefer the variety that running hills and trails provide over a flat workout. Flat roads tend to keep a runner at the same cadence and stride, loading and stressing the same tissues without spreading the work.”
This article originally appeared in our September 2013 issue.