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I am training for my first marathon in November and I am having terrible knee pains - like my knees are going to explode. It doesn't happen all the time, but when it does, I can hardly walk the next couple days. I HAVE to do this marathon! Help!
Is the pain on the inside of leg/knee or the outside? Outside is IT band. Inside, well, I dont know that one. IT band issues actually start up in your hip area. There are some good stretches out there to help. But as youll see with many posts on here regarding IT band issues. It's not something to risk. Yeah, Yeah, you paid the money for the marathon. But if your IT flares up during the race, you might as well walk the rest or risk having lifelong issues.
"Never assume anything"; outside of the knee pain is a symptom of IT Band injury, yes, but not exclusively that. It could be strained muscles or ligaments. If you're a middle-aged runner and/or have years and years of mileage on your knees, the cartilage could be starting to compress. Do they swell up? I wonder why it's random. Is it only during intense runs? Do you always wear the same shoes?
I hate to tell you this, but I had right knee pain back in June, and I didn't want to consult a doctor and didn't want to stop running, so I tried to run through it, icing after each run. Didn't cut it. I was limping. I didn't want to screw up MY November marathon (my first too; Richmond), so I decided I'd better take 3 weeks off. I never knew the origin for sure, but the time off fixed it. Hard to do, yes, but better than not making it to the starting line.
Can you budget for a professional consultation? I'd recommend it. Or at least take time off. That's just my experience.
since you've got a month, I suggest switching to a different type of shoe. I had aweful knee problems too when I was training in Mizzunos - switched to Brooks and my second marathon was a breeze!
Is it a "tight" feeling or is it a "sharp" feeling? Does it feel like your knee is swollen and stiff or does it feel like a pinched nerve and has a sharp shooting feeling? You have a good question. I get a "tight" feeling in my knees some times. I've learned if I soak my legs after stressful runs, it helps a little. Good luck because I know first hand how discomforting it can be.
Knee pain when running can be related to IT band tendinitis, patellar tendinitis, and also from inflammation of the the under surface of the knee cap. In more serious cases damage to the meniscus is the cause of pain. With less serious inflammatory problems sometimes the correct pair of sneakers and a good stretching program is what works. I found a good article on foot wear here http://www.newsmicks.com/2013/05/23/best-running-shoes-for-high-arches/