Exercise! - HELP!!! Experienced Runners!

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11-22-2010, 12:04 PM
For the past week and a half my left knee (specifically to the right of the knee cap towards the inner thigh), has been hurting me during my run. I usually only make it for about 25 minutes before I can't stand the pain anymore. Today, I pushed it to 40 mins.

Some history: Normally, when I start my run, I walk for about 3 minutes at about 2.5 mph and then right into my run at about 4.5 mph. I lungs are GOOD TO GO as they could go at least 3-3 1/2 miles with no problems...but it's that darn knee. I used to run on 1-5% incline, but since my knee has been hurting, I don't use the incline function as this makes it worse.

Strange thing...after my run today...I really super stretched my legs and immediately following my stretch, the pain went away...strange?:?:

My question is...is there certain stretches or something different I need to be doing to avoid this annoying pain? Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

Confused and Injured:?:

11-22-2010, 12:24 PM
I'm not aware of any stretches you could do that might stave off the pain, but then again, I belong to the camp of Non-Stretchers and Non-Warm-Uppers -- I step off my driveway or onto the treadmill and just bust into my 6 MPH run.
Now, I have experienced a smiliar type of knee pain, and it's generally been when my running shoes have too high a mileage on them. The shock absorption of the cushioning does wear out. Running is terribly impactful on your joints so it's imperative to wear the correct running shoes that correct for pronation, if necessary, and to replace them at regular intervals.
To address the intermittent knee pain, I purchased an inexpensive knee brace in the form of a tight band that fits directly under the patella. You can pick one up at the drugstore.
Sorry I can't be of more assistance!

11-22-2010, 01:24 PM
I recently went to running store and got fitted for a pair of saucony pro 3...they are wonderful. Otherwise, that would have been an easy fix:( I'm glad you brought that out about how you need to replace your running sneakers at "regular intervals", but how often to you change them? I've had mine so far for 1 1/2 months.

Thanks for your suggestions.:hug:

Shannon in ATL
11-22-2010, 01:39 PM
I believe that running shoes need to be changed every 300-400 miles depending on the shoe. I know that I've had mine since the end of March and I'm suspecting that they need to be switched, even with lower mileage this year.

11-22-2010, 03:21 PM
Does your knee hurt any time when you are not running? A ligament injury I had a few years back gave me the most confusing time-- my knee hurt while running, but not while walking, but hurt when going UP stairs but not Down stairs. The eventual culprit was a specific tear in a certain part of my ligament that was only "activated" during certain motions. I'd be aware of any sensation you feel in that area when not running, write it down, and ask a doctor if this persists. My "Fix" was easy, a few weeks off and occasional ice/heat therapy.

11-22-2010, 04:45 PM
A "few weeks off"??? :eek:

No, my knee doesn't hurt at all when I'm not running. That's what's so weird...after I stretched for about 15 minutest the pain went away...crazy?

Anybody ever experience anything like this?

moon safari
11-22-2010, 06:39 PM
Did the person at the shoe store say you overpronate? It's when you roll your ankle inward as you run. You may need a stability shoe. Overpronating can eventually make your knees and hips hurt.

11-23-2010, 09:28 AM
It's obvious to me that you were not stretching enough, because the pain went away as soon as you stretched :shrug: ... Keep doing those stretches.

Also if you can do some weight training to strengthen your legs, knee pain is often associated with weak muscles and ligaments around the knee. My foot doctor was amazed that I didn't have knee pain, running '' at my age '' (53) as he said :rolleyes:, then during the conversation I mentionned that I weight trained, he had an ah ha moment and said that ''your knees are only as strong as the ligaments and muscles holding it together ....''


11-23-2010, 10:13 AM
I tried running again (outdoors on a soft trail) and about 1 1/4 miles in...I could NO LONGER BARE THE PAIN...and it still HURTS..OUUUUUUUUUCH!:( I had to limp to my car (the walk of shame) and drive home. Also, my knee is now "clicking"?

I think Ilene may be right about the weight training..perhaps building some more muscle around the knee may help? I have a gym, so it's no problem to add some weight bearing exercises to my routine. I tried to stretch out for a couple of minutes before my run, but it didn't help:(

I'm also going to take fatburner's advice and try out a knee brace. What's weird is that when I use my recumbent bike or eliptical, I have no knee pain??? My knee normally doesn't hurt after I stop running...so I hope I haven't done anything too bad.

This REALLY annoys me to no end. I was doing so well...finally getting up to running straight a 5K:( Now I can't run for at least a week, but I will toggle between my elipticle and recumbent bike and throw in some leg work with my pull ups. I'm up to 2 complete unassisted pull ups on my pull up bar btw;)

Thank you all for your help...I'm going to go 'kick rocks' now:(

11-23-2010, 11:36 AM
Ok...just used my recumbent bike for 30 minutes on level 9...knee pain gone..WHAT???? This is very strange...no takers?:(

11-23-2010, 12:16 PM
Ok...just used my recumbent bike for 30 minutes on level 9...knee pain gone..WHAT???? This is very strange...no takers?:(It's not surprising, biking and running is like comparing apples and oranges... The muscles that are used in both are completely different, this is why you will get sore knees with one and not the other... For exambple, I get sore knees from rowing and not with running...

11-23-2010, 05:14 PM
Stretching is SO important. I learned this the hard way when I had to take several months off of running due to tendonitis in my hip. It still flares up if I don't stretch enough.

You should start with dynamic stretches before you run. Here's a suggestion from Runner's World (http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-241-287--13442-0,00.html), but there's lots of different stretches you can do. Try googling dynamic stretches for runners.

After your run, take time to do some static stretches, like this routine from Cool Running. (http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_1/126.shtml). Post-run stretching not only helps prevent injury, but I've found it helps with soreness, making tomorrow's run that much more palatable.

Many years ago I had knee pain during my runs. I hit up a well-known orthopedist for some free advice and his first question was, "Do you stretch?" Nope. "You have to stretch," he said. "It makes all the difference in the world." And he was right -- stretching solved that knee pain.

OP, Fatburner, everyone, please consider adding some quick stretches to your routine. Believe me, the few minutes it takes is well worth it.

11-23-2010, 05:43 PM
Thanks so much for the links thesame7lbs:)

I always stretch for at least a good 10-15 minutes after my run, but my warm up was just to run slowly at first and increase my speed after about 3 minutes.

I really do think it's a stretching issue. When I run or even walk, I feel the muscles in that leg get ROCK HARD...and I can feel the muscles contract...it's weird.

I'm taking off the rest of this week from running...I'll try again on Monday. I'll just do my recumbent bike, elipticle and weights...also, I'm gonna stretch for at least 1/2 hr daily....hopefully loosen up a bit...does this sound like a good idea?

Thanks all for your help.

11-23-2010, 05:45 PM
My sister and I ran a half marathon together and she was having horrendous knee pain a few minutes in to most of her runs. She went to a doctor and they said she might have a stress fracture and may not be able to run at all. She was then referred to a physiotherapist (who works with the athletes at her school) and after having her do a few exercises he said her alignment was off. Something to do with her hips and her legs moving differently when she runs. She had a special massage and was given a bunch of special stretches to do as much as possible. She still had some knee pain during training, but it was much better than it had been and she was able to complete the race.

So in short, go see a doctor/physiotherapist. Get someone professional to look at it and make a judgement. The physiotherapist also suggested taking smaller strides (thinking she might subconsciously be taking longer ones to keep up with me). Take shorter, faster strides. Your time will improve (because you're exerting less energy) and your body stays more aligned when you do.

Also, look up some exercises online for your iliotibial band. You might have IT-band syndrome and there are exercises you can do with a foam roller (or a tennis ball) that might help loosen you up. Your IT-band runs from the outside of your knee to the outside of your hip. It's a very common area of tension in runners.

Don't give up!

11-23-2010, 05:50 PM
Stretching sounds great. Be sure to hold your stretches for at least 20 seconds (it takes that long for the stretch receptors to engage) and no longer than 2 minutes (there's no point beyond that). Relax and repeat this with each muscle a few times a day :)

11-24-2010, 09:29 AM
I think I might know what you mean. I had a similar experience from using the elliptical. I think the incline on the cross-trainers at my gym is too high and so they made my knees start to hurt (during runs and other exercises) and so I stopped with the incline and the cross-trainer ad now just run on the treadmill flat. It's taken a few weeks and I now work on my leg and thigh muscles a lot more, but the pain is gone. I think from a little online research, what the problem seemed to be for me was a "knee tracking disorder" or "runner's knee." It didn't hurt enough that I was bed-ridden but just enough to make me take stairs very carefully and be wary about crawling into bed or kneeling to get something or do something. I'm no orthopedic specialist but I suspect the tracking issue was what was wrong in my case. I didn't see a specialist because the pain wasn't tht excruciating and it would have been a big deal to get that organized where I am; but if you have that option, like others have said, you should probably take it. For me the clicking feeling of discomfort in the knee felt like the knee needed to crack or pop to feel better (if that makes sense).

Sorry! And please feel better soon!!!

11-24-2010, 12:24 PM
Thanks "toasted"...I've also did some googling and found the same. Today, I just stuck with 30 minutes (level 11) on my eliptical and 20 minutes weight training on my lower body (quads/hams only). I'm hoping to strenthen the muscles around the knee so as to remove some of the strain off my left knee.

I've considered the fact that it IS my left knee and as such, I most likely have a muscle imbalance (right handed person here!:p). Buoy....when I did my ham curls I could only curl 10 lbs!!!:eek: My hams are so weak in comparison to my quads (which I curl 40 lbs)! I'm going to keep up with this routine until the pain completely goes away before returning to running.

No pain while on eliptical, but a little pain while doing standing hamstring curls on my machine...sooo...stay tuned......:)

11-28-2010, 09:48 AM

I ran yesterday on my treadmill for 3.1 miles and walked an additional 5 minutes pre-workout warm-up and NO KNEE PAIN..YEAHHHHHH!!!!

It appears what I needed was to take a break (3-4 days actually). During my "break" period, I did NOT stop working out...but did non-weight bearing cardio (recumbent bike and elipticle) and I also added in weight training for about 30 min each session 3 times/week.

Thanks for all your helpful advice and tips. I've incorporated more stretching into my routine and will now run 3 times a week (never back to back days) and do non-weight bearing cardio and strength training on alternate days.:)

Alenna 52
11-29-2010, 10:48 PM
Have you tried compression tights? Or one of those knee compression bands? Unfortunately the best ones are very expensive (like CW-X or 2XU for example), but they do stabilize your knees. Also, try to avoid hills if possible, because they will really make knee problems worse.