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Hi, i've just started running and whilst I am really enjoying it, my kneecaps have begun to ache.
Initially I was training on the footpaths around town. Last week I went to the local sports arena twice (hilly with gravel paths). Now my kneecaps are aching - they feel bruised on the inside if that makes sense?!
Any tips or advice - i've given training a miss tonight in the hope my knees recover.
Consider running on a padded track or softer surface. Also, re-evaluate your shoes to make certain you have enough cushion and support. You may also benefit from high leg-lifts and stretching before your workouts. Try exercises focusing on raising your legs towards the chest, for example. There is one routine where you march forward with a short stride while raising the knees straight upward as far as possible with every step. (holding the position briefly before the next step). I have tried this and it does seem to help prepare/warm-up the knees and lower legs.
Wishing you all the best!
Hi, I've been thru it...it isn't fun! As a beginner you should first evaluate your footfall. This can be done by taking a running clinic/class and finding out your gait and seeing how your foot actually lands when you run. Typically when you have knee issues its because you may be landing on your heels and leaning too far back. Over-cushioned shoes have "trained" people to land on their heels and roll forward to their toes when they run. Even though this seems to make running easier because you are using your momentum instead of propelling yourself forward after each step, your ankles arent taking any of the impact shock recieved the way they should and your knees are absorbing it all. This impact and vibration can cause the kind of "bruising" feeling that you described. When your foot hits the ground your mid-foot/ball of the foot should be touching first. This means that as you run your body should be in a forward position, not leaning back. You should feel like you're running the way most kids run, leaning slightly forward.
If it becomes more than a slight discomfort and escalates into pain it could be something more sever. Some knee pains can be caused by IT Band inflammation. This is common in beginners because the IT band isnt familiar with the constant back and forth motion and rubbing on the femur. This band is used to stabilize the knee during running and is a common player in knee issues associated with running.
My recommendation: See a dr before continuing your program/workouts. Start slowly after that and try to pay attention to how you run. If needed, change it slowly by monitoring your landing and making sure you're running correctly after every 1/2 mile or so. After a while it'll become natural, but you may relapse to your old way of running at times of exhaustion/fatigue. I would personally stick to low-impact methods (i.e. elliptical) for the meantime so that you can still get the cardio benefit without injuring your knee more, until its fully healed. Good luck! Hope this helped.
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Hi Guys, thanks for the responses.
I've been to see my physio and it turns out I have a problem with my feet and pelvis that must be rectified before I can continue. What Running Sgt has described is exactly what is happening so I need orthodics for my shoes before I can continue. As soon as i'm sroted i'll be right back at it.