I posted this question in another forum, so I apologize for cross-posting....
I recently added trail running and hiking up hill, then running downhill to my regular running routine. I alternate trail running/hiking with road running every day. Anyhow, the hills I run are very steep. After a week or so of doing this, my knees are absolutely KILLING me. I am fairly confident that I am wearing the appropriate shoes and I have had my feet casted for running orthotics.
My question is, Is this normal to experience when first adding hills to my training, and will this pain ever go away with time? Or is this a sign that I shouls stop doing hills completely? I LOVE trail running, but I have been injured much of my running life and would like to stay as healthy as possible!!
Yes! I can relate. I've had a bum knee for years. But after running a lot of hills for very long distances, the other knee joined the club. At that point I decided I wanted to keep my knees. So I saw a physical therapist. He recommended exercises designed to strengthen the supporting muscles. My problems was that one of my quad muscles was weaker than the other 3.
I recommend you see a physical therapist for an evaluation and advice. Then do exactly what they tell you. Good luck!
The quad strengthening exercises i did with that first physical therapist did not help. However, I changed therapists and within 4 weeks of doing exactly what I was told by the new therapist, I started seeing big improvements. Evidently, some PTs don't really know what they're doing...like that first one I saw. You'll want to find one that is either a runner themselves or treats lots of runners. If they don't actually measure your flexibility with their fancy little rulers, if they don't watch you walk and run, if they don't look closely at your feet with socks off ....then you've got a bad one.
If i had tried to strengthen my quads and knee supporting muscles on my own, I would not have hit the weakest muscles and would not have seen this kind of improvement. I'm doing some seriously weird exercises to target muscles I didn't know I had. So go see a therapist. If you get a good one, you'll never regret doing it.