Thanks in advance to anyone who replies.
I started running late last year after I finished a weight management program. I've lost around 65 lbs since last August. I have been running 3-4 miles most days in my very hilly neighborhood, I ran in my first ever 10k, and have been considering training for a half marathon. I have grown quite dependant on running these days. So the weekend before last I was up in Arlington VA and I ran on some paved trails that have small but steep hills. About halfway through the run my left knee started bothering me, just below the kneecap in the front...is that the patella? It bothered me particularly on hills, particularly ascending. So far it hasn't gone away. I can run on a treadmill. Lateral motion doesn't seem to bother me, I played tennis for a long time this past week and didn't feel a thing. But when I try to run in my hilly neighborhood, I can't go a mile without feeling pretty major discomfort just below the kneecap in the front. Not being able to run is absolutely killing me. I'm gonna line up a doctor appt. but I'm very interested if anyone on here has anything to say.
Patrick Young, 47
I will defer to the other experts in this group because it could be any number of issues. I can only suggest that cross-training exercises to strengthen different areas might be of benefit for the future. For example, the quads and hamstrings assist with supporting overall stability. It could be runner's knee, which is basically an imbalance in the legs and feet, but again, you should discuss the location and nature of the pain with those specializing in this type of situation.
Have you increased your overall mileage recently? It could also be just an overuse of tendons/ligaments from running hills. I would see a good ortho doctor to be on the safe side and avoid the inclines until you have a clear answer. Hopefully, it is just a situation of making your legs stronger to take pressure off the knees. You might also ask about stretching exercises..they are of benefit for some and recommended at times.
Of course, there are also a variety of different braces for running (a patella brace or IT band come to mind), but again ask the professionals.
Hope you are feeling better soon and best wishes.
Thanks for the reply, Jasko. I haven't really increased mileage but I have taken to sprinting up some of the hills. I looked around the Internet for runners knee and I really think you are on to something. We'll see what the doc says but I'm really optimistic that leg strengthening exercises along with maybe stretching will really improve things. This has brightened my mood greatly.
Just a couple of quick things: When was the last time you change out your shoes, they last for most people 300-500 miles. Are you in the correct shoe?
Adding speed work/sprints is just like adding additional miles do it slowly and don't add miles and speed together.
Yeah, it sounds like you increased your pace on the hills a bit abruptly and the knee is registering it's objection.
The good news is that if you are patient, and more gradually increase your pace on the hills, the knee should give you no further trouble. The other advice is good; make sure your shoes are new(ish).
Give your knee a rest and don't let it bother you too much. This is what happens to all of us when we increase our pace or distance more than 10% every two weeks. It's just part of being a runner.
I admire your ambition and desire to tackle those hills in preparation for your half marathon. Give your knee total rest for a week and come back using a knee brace. If that feels ok for a few days, you can experiment with taking it off. No hills for now, though.
Interestingly, when this happens to me, I find that it is not the knee that is the problem at all. The knee is just where the pain is registering. I put some cooking oil on my hands and find the knot...usually somewhere up in my quads.
Spenco insoles help my knees stay healthy