Monday, March 3, 2008

Runner's Knee

So...among the many recent successes I've had in my training so far this season, I have been dealing with some pretty painful knee tendinitis for the past week. More specifically, I have Runner's Knee. I took off from running all last week and gave some time to ice multiple times daily, while continuing to swim and bike (which does not bother my knee). The knee was feeling better by Saturday and I decided to give it a test run on Sunday. The first mile felt good, but then the next couple were kind of painful, so I decided to turn around about 3.5 miles into the run and not risk further injury by running to far (hoping for 10 miles) on a bad knee. After the first 5 miles, my knee started feeling better and I finished my 7 mile run strong, with an average pace in line with my typical training runs. I could still feel the pain, but I felt much better than I had been. Not sure where that puts me.

Walking into work today, I can feel some pretty painful knee movement. So I guess that means I really need to cut back on all running and give running a rest for longer than a week to see how my knee responds. The troubling part is that I am in the final month countdown till the National Marathon. I believe I have done all the hard work I need to succeed in the marathon (including one 20 miler), but I had planned on doing another. Given this knee pain, I'm not going to risk further injury before the race. I'd rather go into the race being under trained, than over trained. The pain comes and goes. Some points during the day, I forget I am having knee issues. Other times, its pretty painful. The truth is that I can deal with the pain while running (it actually hurts less if it is acting up when running than it does when it acts up while walking). I'm definitely not going to run on it in the short term in the hopes that it all clears up sooner rather than later. Either way, I think I am starting my marathon taper a bit earlier than planned.

So that leads me to my next question - I plan to keep cross training with less impactful sports (ie swimming and biking) that don't irritate my knee. But do I even bother trying to run on my knee before the marathon?


Audrey said...

hey, i think you do have to try and run SOMETIME before the marathon. just to try it out, ya know? but i think you're on the right track by taking more than a week off.

i had Runner's Knee for a year. i got it before an unrelated toe surgery, took 4 months off from running, and STILL had it when i tried to start running again. the only thing that helped me (a sample size of one) was PT. the very next day after my first PT session I was better after a year of pain.

the key for me was to strengthen my quad on the injured knee. the best exercise for that doesn't require any equipment. sit with your injured leg straight out on the ground. tighten your quad for 10 seconds. repeat 10 times. do two-three sets/day. every other day. now whenever my knee acts up or feels funny i do this exercise and wall sits and it wards off injury. if you're still in the acute stage, and it sounds like you are, ice afterwards.

anyway, such a bummer :( i can't run up here in boston so i'm feeling your pain :(

Rainmaker said...

Like Audrey, I also suffered (still slightly suffering) from runners knee.

Also like Audrey, I do the same tighten loosen thing.

Here's the details on all of the things my doctor has me do:

Btw, my same doctor is actually presenting Weds night at Pacers (Old Town) on running injuries with the leg. It's free. Shoot me an e-mail if you want more details.

Good luck! Rest is key, but so is icing.

Paul said...


bummer about the knee. I just went through the same thing. I took two months off with no improvement. I had some Physical therapy and ART done and it turned out to be my tight hips causing the knee issues. I bounced back to 40 miles weeks with in a month. Get checked out by an expert if you can!

Best of luck.

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