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my dad's knees hurt regularly (he's fifty) and it's part of the reason he doesn't like to run too far. But he did something the other day I couldn't figure out. He's a pilot, and for some reason or another was in a hurry, so he had to jump out of a (parked) airplane and run over to another one. The drop was 8 feet! He said it hurt a bit when he hit, but he was fine and kept running. How can he not run 3 miles without hurting, but goes bailing out of planes? I thought I'd ask to see if anyone else if like that.
Here's to old man strength, may I have it when I age.
PS: I'm 17 and MY feet and knees hurt when I fall from that high.
Well, he does FLY for a living, so it would make sense that he could manage a soft landing.
Seriously, it may be that his pain is from repetitive motion rather than shock. As we get older, sometimes the "padding" between joints gets worn out and the joint hurts because of friction between the bones.
So running 3 miles would cause pain because of thousands of tiny grinding motions from striding. Jumping down 8 feet wouldn't, particularly if he cushioned his landing by crouching.
jeff19 - way to look out for the "dad". There are a myriad of reasons for knee pain. ptbrown gave a good reason. You didn't say how much experience or how often your dad runs or tries to run. Problems could include wore out shoes, wrong shoes, an imbalance in leg muscle strength (corrected by specific exercise), poor stretching before and after a run, and etc. More info could narrow it down but if he's serious he should see a sports doc and let him get a eyeball on him.
The repetitive stress thing makes sense. As far as running experience, the most he ever did was about six miles on sundays to cut weight for wrestling (and it took forever, because he was tired and cutting) and so he usually hates to run. And he has running shoes, good ones I think, but forgets to wear them when he runs (which is typically 2-5 times a week, depending on the mood he's in). He does like to jog whenever he's in a foreign city, though, so see stuff. He doesn't stretch, that I know of, unless something hurts, like his back. He stretches that once or twice a day. He's not particularly serious, just likes being in decent shape.
He likes to run on asphalt because he goes a bit faster, and I like running in the ditch because it's softer and more challenging, depending on the grass height. It's pretty uneven, but would the cushioning offset that enough to make it worth his while to run in the ditch also?