Many people associate running with long, thin legs, and long legs do offer an advantage by increasing your speed and running strength. This doesn't mean that all long-legged people are natural runners, however, and people with unusually long legs must take precautions to ensure that they do not injure their joints.
Buy a pair of running shoes that feel comfortable to you. The shoes should fit snugly but should not be so tight that they pinch your feet. You may need to walk around in the shoes for a day or two to fully break them in. If you suffer from joint pain, try adding gel insoles to the shoes. These can cushion the force running places on your bones, according to a study published in "Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research" in 1995.
Build up to running gradually, particularly if you are out of shape or new to running. Start by walking briskly until you are able to walk longer distances. Then incorporate brief periods of jogging into your routine. Replace jogging with running and add more and more running to your routine until you are spending your entire workout running. Finally, focus on increasing your running distance and running at an even, regular pace throughout your run.
Shorten your running stride. Long-legged people take larger steps, but this can lead to joint discomfort over time. Focus on taking shorter steps and increasing the frequency of your steps. This will help ensure that you retain your running speed while preventing long-term joint and bone injury, according to a study published in the January 2011 issue of "Clinical Biomechanics."
- Long-legged people frequently have big feet, which hit the pavement more forcefully, making it especially important to focus on establishing a proper gait that prevents injury.