Hey guys! I'm getting ready to begin Week 3 of the C25K program. My last workout was Thursday. I was supposed to workout today but put it off because my knees are still hurting.
It's bilateral in the same place on each knee. I did go to a The Runners Forum to get fitted for appropriate shoes...Adidas Supernove Glide. I love them, very lightweight, not bulky but with
enough cushion. I just had a baby back in November and I haven' exercised for at least a year...and I've never been a runner. At 36 years old (and done having kids) I decided I needed
to make healthier choices and stay active. I'm 5'5 and weigh 135lbs. I'm really bummed about my knees. They've been achy since Thursday. I suspect that I need to strengthen the muscles
around my knees but I don't know any appropriate exercises I can do without gym equipment. I do tend to have high expectations of myself. I hate it that I'm a day behind now on the program.
Any advice about the knee pain? Should I run through it or will that totally mess up my knees? I don't want to be a super serious runner, I just want to be able to prove to myself that I can run a 5k
without dying. And hopefully it's an activity I can do weekly to stay fit. Darn sore knees!
Joint pain is never fun and can be so discouraging! My suggestion is to keep going, but do not push it! Your body has to make all kinds of adjustments when starting to run.
I don't know the specifics of the couch to 5k, so what does your training week look like right now?
My next scheduled day to run is Tuesday morning. I plan to rest my knees until then...hopefully I'll be ready to go by then but that still doesn't solve the problem of strengthening my muscles. I ate way too much of my mom and mother-in-laws home cooking this weekend, so I'm feeling extra bad about not being able to run.
You may want to try incorporating a light walk day in between to help keep your knees going. Rest days are really important, but I find if I don't do something my next run doesn't feel nearly as strong. It's like my body forgets we are being a runner again!
Treating your knees depends to a great extent on what hurts. Generalized pain behind the kneecap is most common and known as patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS, used to be called runners knee or chondromalacia). Next most common is Iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS), with pain on the lateral (outside) side of the leg at the knee. Check this site for an overview: http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_5/194.shtml. If it is runners knee, strengthening the muscles (quads particularly) will help. Here are some exercises: http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_5/183.shtml#quads.
Another thing to pay attention to is form. Make sure your feet plant directly under your hips with a slightly flexed knee. Planting your feet out in front of your body and/or with a straight leg could be contributing to your problem. Running a little slower may make it easier to improve form.
You may have to back off for a while.
There is generalized achiness. But I can also pinpoint of each knee; the bottom, inner part of my knee. Sort of just above the top/inner part of my shins. Kind of a knobby area of the knee. This is very medical terminology, of course
The specific pain sounds like a strained tendon. One that I have done myself (while bowling). Though doing it on both knees would be a bit unusual. I found that gentle massage of the area seems to help healing by encouraging blood flow. I found it annoying, but it didn't stop me from running. Th general achiness sounds more like runners knee and I would treat it as such.
I'm fairly new to this community (and running in general) but I experienced the same issue early on. I've been running for about 3 months now, strictly 5Ks but I too noticed my knees and the areas just below my knees would hurt often. If there's any suggestions as to what we can do other than rest longer in between runs, I'm happy to hear them.
I'm supplementing my diet w/ protein and glutamine, which I'm sure helps in the long run. thanks!
Remember that an injured muscle will not be strengthened no matter how much you exercise it, if you don't let it heal. My guess is your competitive nature has driven you to attempt a pace or intensity that is not appropriate for your prior conditioning. Your quads will get stronger if you don't tear them up faster than they can rebuild, and rebuilding due to athletic training is something new for these quads. You may not have known what to expect from them before, but you do now.
Have a seat and straighten your leg in front of you, looking down at the quads just above the knee. Toward the inside, the largest bulge there is the Vastus Medialis (inner quad). About an inch or so above the knee cap and to the inside, there is a trigger point that affects pain in the kneecap and below where the tendon attaches. Yes tendons are important, but any muscle that can pull hard enough on a tendon to make it hurt deserves to be respected. It is the 800 pound gorilla that needs to be appeased, and your tendon will be spared.
Working a quad with self trigger point massage is not hard. You just need to know what locations cause what problems, and go to work. Mild cases will respond to gentle repeated pressure on the hypertonic "point" of tissue in spasm. Sometimes the pressure needs to be held long enough to slow circulation in the area. It's like waterboarding a trigger point. When the pressure is released, it responds by opening the arterial blood flow to the area to let oxygen back in. The effect is release of the tension and more healing blood flow to the instigating injury.
Yes, you should keep moving, but at decreased intensity. It's not because you are wimping out, but because you know when this thing is allowed to heal properly, you will be much stronger for it. Take a little time out for this strategic TLC, while not dropping out of the program altogether. Your legs are more important than your schedule. Then you can come roaring back for more punishment. Welcome to the sport. I think you have the right attitude, and will do fine with a little more patience.
If working the VMO does not help, there are other possibiities. That's just the most likely one. Meanwhile, avoid the strengthening exercises like squats, etc. It's too late for those, which should be done before you start running to prepare, not after. Continuing to overwork them will make them worse. Just stick with easy running or walking for now.
Welcome to being 35, and welcome to being active. Any athlete is always balancing activity and pain. The truth is being inactive will cause more pain in the long run. So, how does one stay active, and handle pain. Stretching, deep tissue massage, ice, ibuprofen, heat. All these modalities are necessary as we fight the good fight. The phrase "use it or lose it" is a universal truth. I have had 4 knee surgeries, and as a result I daily push through pain to stay mobile.
Stretching--get down on the floor on both knees as if praying, and you should feel tightness in the front of your knees. Move your butt from side to side, and this should bring on a whole nother level of hurt. Then sit flat on the floor and touch your head to your knees, and hold it. Repeat these a couple of times. Find a suitable height table of level surface to put your foot on. Tough your head to the inside of your knee to stretch the IT band, and the out side of your knee to stretch medial ligaments, and groin area.
Deep Tissue- use oil or lotion, and find out where the pain is, and dig, and dig. This should really hurt, but it feels so good when you stop.
Ice-I do this before and after a run. Stretch and deep tissue after you take the Ice off. Ice hurts bad, so the pain has to be worse than the ice, or you won't do it.
Ibuprofen--take two an hour before the run...I have done 3 Marathons, and I carry some on me to take during.
The most important thing to remember, is just signing up and participating in the event is the important thing. The last place finisher, is still a finisher. Don't be a spectator, when you can participate in life.
I started running almost a year ago. I started with the C25k too ... I am 35 and began exercising after years off due to having babies. I faced knee pain initially as well. Mine was related to my shoes. I went to one store where an associate watched me walk and advised me towards a particular shoe and I did not experience much improvement. I visited another store where they evaluated my foot strike by video camera while running on a tredmill. That was it! It very clearly showed my problem. I am a pretty decent overpronator. I got into a supportive pair of shoes and had to add inserts ... And that did the trick. The associate who did the tredmill evaluation also noted some form mistakes I was making that could be contributing to knee pain. I was allowing my arm swing to cross the midline of my body when running. That could cause force to my knees as they try to compensate for the force acting against them (does that make sense?). So I set out with my new shoes and inserts and kept my arm swing tighter and I have been pain free ever since. I have also had to pay attention that I stretch carefully and completely after my runs. That keeps me free of posterior shin splints and tight thigh muscles.
I would advise you to visit a running store where they use tredmills to evaluate your foot strike. Don't give up even though you are having to face this hurdle.
After 1 yr of running I am running 15-18 miles a week (3-5) mile runs 4-5 days a week. I feel great!
Try working some bike rides into your routine instead of taking a day off. Or go swimming. Both of theses will help strengthen your knee, with out putting the stress of running on it. Search the active website for articles on runners knee and how to strengthen your knee. But most importantly is do not push it. If it starts hurting stop running and finish walking it in. I ran though a hurt knee on a race last year and had to be done with running for almost 3 months because I pushed it to hard. Remember that you know your body better then anyone else, and if it doesn't feel right then stop and rest for a while.