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I have been running (on treadmills/trails/roads) for several years but have finally signed up for my first marathon in Jan '13.
As such, I am running more frequently and longer distances (as per the Beginner Maratho Program) and have started feeling some knee pain mostly after the runs - both on the sides and on the front of the knee. I don't know if that is expected/normal, but wary of this becoming a big problem. I have also been doing a few sprints (on the treadmill) - is that a concern?
Any tips on what I can do to prevent the knee pain? What are the recommended warm-ups/stretching? I have got new shoes recently and they seem comfortable.
Thanks in advance for the responses!
Without knowing any previous medical, it can only be assumed that you are somewhat healthy. With that being said, I have found that my knees seem to give me a problem when using the treadmill. Once I stopped using the treadmill and went strictly to road or track, I have not had as many aches in my knees. I know everyone is different but you may want to monitor the situation a bit to see if running primarily on the trails and roads help the situation any.
I don't know if this will help, especially with you training for a marathon in four months, but I would recommend strenghthening the muscles around your knee (and legs in general) to prevent knee injuries/pain. I can't say how you would work it into your program. Only you can figure that out, and now might not be the best time, but in the long run it would help.
I've always had strong legs, so when I began running a couple years ago, I kept working my legs with squats, presses, extensions, curls and calf work. I still work legs three days a week, and currently run 5 to 6 miles each time, five or six days a week. It was a gradual process, so like I said, this might be more likely to succeed over a longer period of time than four months. But you could get started now, (assuming you're not using weights now). If there is no gym you would have to improvise.
I had shin splints and plantar faciitus when I started running, but have never had knee pain or soreness. The shin splints and plantar faciitus never came back.
I too had some trouble with treadmill running, so I only run outdoors now. I guess my treadmill doesn't absorb the impact that well. Before running do some foam roller exercise on the quads, hamstrings and particularly the IT track (lateral side of upper leg, hip to knee). This is a common area of tightness. Walk for 5 minute, then jog till warm, stretch your quads,hams, hip flexors and calves then run. Stretch more vigorously post exercise. Ice knees. Because of the physiology of the knee you need to develope your VMO muscle (inner quad head also called the tear drop) this muscle and the anterior tibialis tend to require additional strengthening.
One of these myriad "running blog / magazine / etc" sites I subscribe to had a simple input on impact-related stuff (knees, shins, hips - that sort of stuff). Increase cadence.
The "optimal" cadence of 180+ steps per minute swaps the impact-per-strike for number-of-strikes. In theory, more steps (thus of shorter distance, all other things being equal) means less impact. The image that works best for me is the idea that there is less up-and-down moementum as the legs more more toward the Looney-Tunes road-runner look. It proves out when I'm running next to someone with a more loping gait: you can see their shadow go up and down more than those with a faster gait.
Less impact seems to result in less shin and knee issues for some folks. (All? Dunno.)
Caveat emptor: this strike pattern is also associated with the minimalist / barefoot lunacy (of which I'm a practitioner); so it may result in less heel-strike as well, which may put stress on calves and achilles until they strengthen up. Or not. Changing stride type and cadence took me over a year and required some pain to get to the side with no pain and injuries. YMMV.
< minimalist focus; 40-50 miles in 4-6 days per week; train on trails and tracks >
Results - at 44-years-old:
8/2012 - Mile 4:47
5/2012 - 5K 17:12
10/2011 - 10K 36:58
5/2012 - Half Marathon 1:24:58
(I kinda feel silly posting this stuff - but I realize when I read posts that it helps me understand who's posting.)
I do almost all of my running on a treadmill and I used to get some pain (mostly just in one knee).
I finally forced myself to slow down while on the treadmill (from about 8.5 min/mile to about 10 min/mile) and I now rarely get knee pain.
Without the forced pacing of the treadmill my outdoor running pace is still faster.
Maybe if you cut back on sprinting on the treadmill it would help.
I started having a lot of pain in my knees as I moved to longer runs. A couple initial suggestions were helpful (good shoes, stretching and good form). But the best advice was from a physical therapist friend who explained the make-up of your legs including muscles, tendons and ligaments. I can't go into the details of it all, but the bottom line was to massage the legs as follows. Start on the top of the muscle and work your thumbs down the leg, applying pressure into and down the muscle. Then repeat but move your starting point over a little so you eventually work the whole muscle. I do this on the front thigh, shin and calf. It has to do with stretching the tendons that can pull the knee slightly off center, and same for pain that started in my heel as well. It definitely helps me.