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So I started out on the Couch to 5K program last month and noticed a twinge just below the inside of my knee after Week 1 Day 2. I didn't stretch at all before or after running that day and due to a situation with needing to keep an eye on my kid, I was running around a pretty small area with lots of twists and turns. I was doing fine keeping up with the program from a cardiovascular sense, so I figured the pain was just my body getting used to running and I really, really didn't want to take a break, so I kept going. I stuck to the program, so I ran/walked through the pain 3 times a week for the next couple of weeks. I showed my knee to someone I know who is a physical therapist and she took one look and said it's tendinitis of the pes anserinus and that I shouldn't run on it for 3-4 weeks. Bummer! I'm now supposed to be on week 4 of my training and I feel up to snuff cardiovascularly, but my knee just can't take more of a beating. I'd already signed up to run my first 5k on June 2nd - just 4 weeks away (and a week or so shy of the 9 weeks for the full Couch to 5k program). I've been working out on the elliptical this week instead of running to prevent further damage to my knee. I'm icing the holy heck out of it and have been wearing a neoprene knee sleeve while exercising. I'm also trying to get in to see a trainer at my local Y to help figure out a plan to keep me as close to running shape as possible while also working toward increasing strength and flexibility to prevent reinjury.
That said, I have some questions. 1. Has anyone else had this injury? 2. How long did it take to heal and get back to running? 3. Did you just RICE it or did you go to PT too? 4. Should I even try to run that 5k if I've healed enough to run again or is it a lofty goal?
I am so disappointed that I got injured so early on in my running career. Lesson learned - stretching and strengthening are important! Any advice you more experienced folks can give would be greatly appreciated.
I had this problem shortly after I started running also. I didn't let mine get too bad, but I did ease up on my training for a week or two to help get over it. I certainly didn't need 3-4 weeks off. I iced twice a day, took ibuprofen, but most importantly, I paid attention to when it hurt. For me, it actually hurt more to walk than run. If I stayed off the hills and took it slow, it didn't irritate it. Most importantly, I found that if I really paid attention when I ran, I could change how I landed on my foot just a bit, and it would hurt less. I have also used the same strategy with a little posterior tibial tendinitis. I also found it helpful to change shoes--you don't have to get rid of your current pair, just get a different brand with a slightly different fit and alternate them.
If its pretty bad and you don't want to be down too long, you can consider having it injected. That will settle down the inflammation, but it won't keep you from hurting it again. For that, I say pay attention to your gait, and don't get too over zealous on the hills or the squats. Stretch your hamstrings (gently!) and build your strength gradually.
Good luck for a quick return!
I may not be good, but I'm slow!
Thanks for the advice. It's starting to feel better. In fact, it no longer hurts at all when I walk or apply pressure to it. Hopefully those are both good signs. I'll probably wait until next week before I try to run on the treadmill. I'm looking forward to getting back outside!
I read somewhere that I shouldn't run on concrete sidewalks or paths due to increased risk of injury. Should I find a quiet neighborhood and run on the street there instead?
I run most of the time on concrete sidewalks. I actually find I'm more likely to hurt something on the treadmill, probably because I don't vary my pace or my footfall much, so it compounds the problem over the course of the run. When I was first starting out on the Couch to 5k, my friend and I ran at the local high school or community college track. Nice and cushy, just make sure to turn around half way through your workout. But I think the pes anserine tendinitis happened after tackling some steep hills that I probably wasn't quite ready for. The biggest problem with the streets are that they are sloped on the edge to allow the water to drain off. If you stick only to one side, you will be running on the same slant the whole way. Again, if you're going to do that, make sure you change sides. In a quiet neighborhood, you could probably also run closer to the middle of the street.
Glad to hear that you're feeling better so quickly!
I may not be good, but I'm slow!
There is a high school track just down the street. Maybe doing that one run a week or as needed to give my joints a little bit of a rest and doing the rest on the road, weather permitting, would be a good way to prevent reinjury. Thanks for helping a newbie out. I was feeling pretty discouraged about getting hurt so early, but I'm becoming more optimistic that I can do this!!! I may have to walk part of my 5k due to a lack of actual running in my training, but I can go across that finish line. There is no question about that.