I'm too old to run and my knees hurt! 3 myths we use to avoid running

Running coach John O’Regan says there’s never been a better time to get out and pound the pavements.

THE ANNUAL RUN in the Dark event is taking place on Wednesday 16 November in Dublin, Cork, Belfast and 52 other cities around the world.

Ahead of this year’s edition, coach John O’Regan will be bringing us some advice running advice in the build-up. This week, we take a look at three running myths. 

every age

There’s never been a better time to start running so what’s stopping you? Is it because you read somewhere or were told, it’s bad for your knees?

You’re too old to start or you think that you can’t run. Well the truth is there are more reasons to run than there are not to run and a lot of these myths that prevent you from running started from a lack of information and it can sometimes be an easy option to believe them.

Let’s look at a few of the most common running myths that might be preventing you from starting and see if we can debunk them and get you thinking differently.

‘Running is bad for your knees’

Running isn’t bad for your knees but the way you run might be. Go to a specialist running shop and get yourself checked out for the correct footwear.

Don’t do too much too soon and introduce running into your daily life gradually. Allow your body to adapt to the new activity and don’t increase your weekly distance too quickly.

If you follow a simple couch to 5km programme and don’t try to jump ahead then you should be setting yourself up for some pain free running and some new found fitness.

‘I can’t run’

You can’t run until you need to run. If you had to run for a bus or were chased by a dog then you’d soon realise that you can. It’s as simple as walking except you put the one foot in front of the other at a faster pace.


Again I’ll reference the couch to 5km type plan which starts with a run-walk combination and within a very short space of time you’ll realise that you can do a lot more than you thought you could.

‘I’m too old to start’

As a running coach that’s also actively involved with the ‘Athletics Ireland Fit 4 life’ programme, I’ve seen adults of all ages starting to run for the first time.

Using my own example, I started at age 31 and have been running ever since, progressing from struggling to run 3km non-stop to coaching athletes starting on their own journey.

Sign up to Run In The Dark on Wednesday 16 November to run 5km or 10km and support The Mark Pollock Trust to find and connect people worldwide to fast-track a cure for paralysis.

Watch: Getting the fitness basics right can make all the difference

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