I am participating in the No Boundaries program on Monday evenings and I have been suffering from Patellofemoral pain syndrome. My question for the coach, besides strengthening hip and thigh muscles, I have been told that my running form can contribute to the pain as well. What part of the foot should strike the pavement as we run? I have received mixed responses from the coaches at the training and am striving to succeed in the run training without further irritating my knee.
Sorry to hear you're having "potato formal" pain. DISCLAIMER: for those who are about to Google potato formal it's most likely a catered affair for potatoes but "patellofemoral pain syndrome" is the damage to the cartilage in the knee due to injury or overuse.
Overuse, does that happen in running?
Absolutely! Your body is repeatedly taking impact forces up to 300 percent of your body weight with every stride. Your stride could be "impacting" (sorry had to) the pain you feel but one thing I've learned over the years is that each person has his or her own signature when it comes to stride. With that, each person has their own ideal foot strike. Mine is mid-foot, my friend Stogs has a forefoot strike, our friend Nick heel strikes. The most important thing is that your contact happens when your foot is as close to directly underneath your body. Landing before will greatly exacerbate those forces.
Along with figuring out YOUR ideal landing is having good shoes and insoles that work with your body to provide proper cushioning but also to make you efficient in your own range. In the meantime some good ole R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression and elevation). Plus rice is a lot better than potatoes...IMO!