If you are experiencing a pain beneath your knee cap after a run then there is a high probability you have runner’s knee. I will give you a few seconds to come to terms with that. I know, I know, it’s hard to imagine. Unfortunately, I am about to say something that will surely make you cry; stop running! Please, don’t shoot the messenger. There’s a silver lining in all of this, I promise. But, first and foremost you need to stop the source of your problem immediately in order to prevent further damage.
As a fellow runner I am completely aware of your pain. In training for a ½ marathon I too encountered the horrid beast that is runner’s knee. The pain began as a bruise-like feeling beneath my left kneecap that was tender only to the touch. I assumed it was nothing and refused to look up information on it so as not to derail my training. With less than a month to go before my second ½ marathon I knew I had no time to stop. But, the harsh reality set in once the pain became more formidable. After researching my symptoms I knew runner’s knee was very much the culprit.
If you are experiencing runner’s knee it is likely a result of over-training; the classic case of too much too soon. In my case I went from running six miles one week for my long run to running ten miles the next. In addition, my runs were filled with concrete laden hills, which is never a great thing. Also, I was not stretching at all before my runs and doing minimal stretching following my runs. Finally, I was not really icing. I thought since I had already run a ½ marathon and knew I was capable of running long distances that my body would simply hold up.
So what’s the silver lining in all of this? Well, I ended up running my ½ marathon with ease and minimal discomfort. However, it wasn’t without taking precautionary measures and changing up my training. Thus, there’s hope for you. I have listed a few things that helped me get over my runner’s knee quickly and sent me on the road to recovery.
Runner’s Knee Recovery Tips
Stop running and rest. After the first symptoms of runner’s knee (which is probably why you are reading this now) stop running for a few days.
Spend as little time on your knee as possible. Avoid stairs or hills, because you will likely feel pain when descending them. If you don’t avoid them or take precautionary measures then you will eventually know what I am talking about.
Ice your knee for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. Make sure you elevate. I iced for the first few days following my symptoms.
You can still do weights in order to train or you can also swim, but I wouldn’t do anything that puts pressure on the knee. If you are doing weights (which I did) try not to do any free weights that will cause you to use your knees to stabilize yourself. Machines would be the best in this case. DO NOT DO ANY MACHINES FOR YOUR LEGS! No Leg press or anything that attempts to strengthen your legs because at this point your knee is still very fragile. And, of course, no lunges!
You will feel pain for probably 5-6 days after your first symptoms. Don’t freak out! I felt pain for about a week after my first symptoms. What this means is do not try to run or even do the elliptical, as it will put major pressure on your knees. Trust me the pain will subside almost overnight. Basically, be patient!
Research stretches that will help strengthen your legs to prevent this from happening again. Stretch when possible, but make sure that pain is not readily apparent.
Sit in a hot bath with Epson salt. I honestly feel like this helped my knee recover quickly. Oh, and by quickly I mean in less than two weeks. Give it time to heal. If you try and run too quickly you will likely suffer from chronic knee pain.
The pain should subside after a week and not be noticeable when you are walking. However, you may still feel pain to the touch. Don’t obsess like I did about this. Get out of the habit of constantly pressing your kneecap. It will just make it worse. If you can walk without feeling pain and maybe even jog for like 20 steps then you are almost ready to start getting back into running exercises. Also, the pain should be a lot more minimal to the touch (don’t touch obsessively.) There has to be a very noticeable difference.
When the pain has diminished do stationary bikes to work your way back up. I would say to do it for about 20-30 minutes to ensure minimal strain. Also, put the seat high enough to allow minimal bending of the knee. Make sure you stretch before and after every single time. Ice immediately afterward as well for 15-20 minutes and elevate, elevate, elevate.
If after a couple of days of biking you feel no significant change in pain then you may be ready to run again. You will know if you are ready. If you are going to run for the first time do not run on concrete or a place with hills. Go to a nice track or get on a treadmill. Run for only 10 minutes. When I say run I really mean jog slowly. If your normal pace is like 8 minutes then run at a 10 minute mile. Do not, and I repeat, DO NOT RUN MORE THAN 10 MINUTES! Remember, this is not a race. You are recovering still.
I suggest buying a runner’s knee brace. You can find one at any sports store, even at Walmart or Target. Here is a picture of what it should look like. Always run with it, especially in the beginning. I ran my ½ marathon with it. It works. It seems like a cheap device but it works. Remember to STRETCH AND ICE!
If there is still no pain then a couple of days later take it up to three miles if possible. Again, do not run for speed. Take your time. You may feel a little bit of pain at the start but it should subside. If the pain does not subside then stop running immediately. You do not want to diminish your progress.
If you can run three miles and the pain does not get any worse you should be good to return to your training. However, I caution you to not run too much. I scaled back on my runs since I only had about two weeks to go before my ½ marathon once I felt about 85%. I never ran more than 8 miles after my injury, but I had already run 10 miles the day my runner’s knee started so I felt comfortable that I could still run 13.1 miles.
I hope this helps ease your mind in dealing with your injury. As in most injuries rest is the most important thing. Be smart about your training and know when to say stop. Many injuries can be kept at a minimum if you are simply proactive in dealing with and preventing them. Remember to always stretch and ice. Good luck in your training. Don’t worry you will be running again very soon.
448 thoughts on “Runner’s Knee: How to deal with it and recover quickly”
I’m a victim of runner’s knee, worst injury ever!! I like your tips & advice for recovery. In my experience the epsom salt bath worked sometimes, but sometimes it triggered pain too. Mine was really wacky, kept me off running for 4 months.
I can’t stand runner’s knee. I hate that every time I run it’s always in the back of my mind that it can flare up again. I’m sorry to hear it lasted so long. It’s the worst!
My situation is unique, in that I have a 25 year old knee/leg injury that was so severe I almost lost my leg. I was told I would never run again (I was in track at the time) and that I was lucky to have my leg. Well, a couple of years ago, I decided at the age of 38, I needed to run. I was tired of the degenerative joint disease pain, and had heard that running could actually help. I have always been very active too, so I thought this would be easy. Oh did I get schooled. Running distance is so hard. Just now am I starting to feel comfortable. So what do I do? I start speed training. My knee swells up like a grape fruit. It hurts incredibly bad. I feel like I am all alone in this. There really
is no advice for people like me. Of course all the doctors I have been to tell me not to run. Running makes me happy, I feel like its part of my identity now. Its 2013, why can’t I get help? So, I’m sad this morning and discouraged. Feeling sorry for myself. MY goal is to run the Indy mini may 4th
Hey Suzie…sorry for the delay in responding. Being that your situation is unique I can understand your frustration. You have every right to feel discouraged and upset. Anyone in your situation would feel the same way. The goal is to not allow it to overtake you to the point that it affects your mood or your overall outlook on life. Running, fortunately, is just a small part of your life, although right now it seems integral to your well-being. Not being able to run is not the end of the world, although I say that with a bit of hesitation. 🙂 I have referred to my back often in my responses because it completely changed my life for the past 8 months. Not only could I not run, I couldn’t sit, lift anything remotely heavy, or even walk for long periods of time. I thought, wow, my life is over. To this day I am still not completely healed. Progress has been slow and I am still not sure I will ever be 100% again. But, it has made me realize something…running, although seemingly a necessity in my life, should not be directly correlated with my happiness. I realize that it’s something I enjoy, but I put too much stock in it making me happy. I’m not trying to say, just because you can’t run doesn’t mean you should get discouraged or be unhappy. What I am saying is you determine what makes you happy. If you choose to let an injury get you down then it will get you down. But, lets look at the positives…you obviously could run and find enjoyment out of it…despite what doctors might think. However, I am not a Dr, nor do I play one online. 🙂 Therefore, I will not encourage you to keep running if a Dr. has adamantly told you to stop. What I will encourage you to do is focus on your health before anything else. Right now you are upset because your knee is inflamed…but as soon as it subsides is everything better? Can you run again? If you can than be patient and in time it will heal and you will be able to run again. Your injury is likely a result of the speed training. Honestly, speed training has always, and I mean always, caused injuries for me. I have no idea why. Whenever I pick up the intensity I suffer some injury that keeps me sidelined for a prolonged period of time. If you were running comfortably before your injury, just know that speed training may have to wait a bit. The important thing is that you are running. Speed doesn’t matter. If you were working your way up in mileage and suddenly started speed training it’s completely understandable that the injury presented itself. It could be as simple as that. You have time to heal before May 4th. No point it getting down. It’s not as though it’s next week and you won’t be ready. You have almost two months to prepare. What you need to focus on is what you can do…ice, stretch, rest…focus on being proactive.
Running is just a small part to getting healthy. There are so many ways to get healthy…bike, weights, swimming, zumba…running is just a part of many things at your disposal. I have had to learn that the hard way. I hate the bike machine with a passion, but I have had to use it often in my recovery. Over time I have seen the benefits. Although running is great I realize now it’s just a small part to the variety of things available.
Suzie, you are going to be fine. 🙂 This is just a small bump in the road. Just keep going and looking ahead. Don’t stop to get out of the car and wonder why there’s a bump in the road. Get back in, put the car in gear and keep moving forward. We’re all on a journey of self discovery with various challenges along the way, but the challenges are there for a reason. They help put things in perspective and allow you to enjoy life to the fullest extent. Maybe the reasons for your injury aren’t clear now, but they will be someday soon. You are going to be fine. I’m sorry to get all zen on you. 🙂 I just know how upsetting an injury can be…especially when you feel all alone in it. We all feel alone sometimes, but we’re really not. There’s always someone out there who hears and understands you. Just be patient and remember that you are going to get better.
Kudos to you for working your way up in mileage. People who don’t have leg injuries and are perfectly capable don’t have the courage, nor the wonderful desire to do what you are doing. Be proud of yourself and take pride in your accomplishments. I think it’s great that you are trying something that many people are too scared to attempt. You’re awesome and inspiring. 🙂
Thank you for the tips. I tried the knee strap for a 15K, but I think I need to get a different size. It was a universal size but I couldn’t make it as tight as I wanted. The strap didn’t seem to reduce the knee pain but think it would have been more helpful if it was a smaller size.
Wow. Thanks so much for this! I am having really bad runners knee issues as a result of upping my distance too quickly and I have my first five miler on Monday. I ran 2 today to see how it would feel and although it loosened up during the run, afterwards it kills! Thanks to your advice, I will be taking off to let it heal, even though I will miss running. I need this to get better!
Thank you for such an informative article. Two days ago I ran 4.5 miles instead of the regular 2 miles on my evening run. That night my knee starting to pain and when I touched just below my knee cap felt like I had bruised it. Just like you mentioned I began to obsess about it and yes that’s why I am on this page. Can’t imagine life without running….so must say I was very relieved to learn about the recovery methods.
Thanks again…been icing and elevating at 15-20 intervals all morn.
Good luck with your running!
Sorry to hear about your runner’s knee, but I am glad you were able to find my page. The main thing you need to do is rest and it will get better very soon. The great thing is that your running days are not over. 🙂
I’m relieved to find out this is not a permanent, debilitating injury. I thought I would never be able to run again and now there is no doubt I will make it to my first half marathon! Thank you for the recovery tips. It was difficult to find specifics that would get me back on track. I cannot wait to get started on my recovery training. Happy running!
No problem. I wrote this because I couldn’t find much information about runner’s knee. I wanted to make sure and ease the mind of anyone out there that had to go through what I had to go through. It is all about making yourself take time off. I didn’t want to so it kind of made it worse. I really thought, especially after reading everything, that it was permanent. I thought it would always flare up on a long run. It got to the point I couldn’t even really bend my knee. But, after taking a little over a week off with no running it healed. Every run after it healed I worried it would come back. I wore the runner’s knee brace for both half marathons following the injury but today I no longer wear it. Every know and then it feels like it is going to flare up but it subsides. Rest is the best!! 🙂 Just remember to ease back into your training. You will be fine for the half marathon and omg you are going to love the feeling. Please come back here and tell me all about it. I would love to hear about your experience. Nothing beats the feeling of running your first half marathon. Good luck with your training and keep it up…you’re doing great!!!
My dilemma is my case of runner’s knee just flared up about a week ago. Nothing horrible (yet) but nagging none the less. Now the truly bad part….my half marathon is NEXT weekend. I have been training so hard for this and to say I’m bummed out is an understatement. I plan on running this race no matter what but I’m afraid of what may happen now. I’m resting and icing… I don’t want to bail out on this race I’ve worked so hard! any advice and if you say don’t run it I may cry! What do you think?
Honestly…I am not going to say don’t run. I know exactly how you feel. There’s a really good chance you are going to be ok to run the half marathon. You should have already done your long runs and in tapering mode…which is great. If not, still, if you have run at least 8 miles I think you will be fine. However, I would not run until Monday or Tuesday of next week. The final week before your half marathon is just tapering so you should be great. I would maybe do the bike or something that doesn’t put any pressure on that knee at all…you do need to keep your stamina up. I wouldn’t do anything for the next three to four days though…I mean nothing! The great thing is that it is just nagging right now. So was mine when it started and I didn’t listen to it and kept trying to run. I made it worse. If I had just rested it when it started for even four straight days I think I would have been good to go. So please, don’t run the next few days because you need to let it get at least a little better. I really want you to be able to run the race. My thing is if you are running the half marathon and it gets so bad you have to stop…so what….at least you tried and there will be other races. You know how many people wouldn’t even try to run a half marathon. I really think you will be fine if you rest. Get a runner’s knee brace for that extra support during the race. It did wonders for me, at least in my head it did. I don’t care…I did whatever worked. It will go away. You have a little over a week which is really a long long time. Let me know of your progress please. You can do it…run it 🙂
Thanks for the speedy response. I’m glad I found your blog. I was feeling really discouraged and just wanted to find someone who ‘got it’. I’ve already gotten my long runs up to 13 miles and I’ve done a few 10 & 11’s as well. This will be my 2nd half marathon and I have another one set for May. So I know I can do the distance although I sort of irrationally fear if I “rest” for even a few days all my hard work and conditioning will be lost. I admitted I knew it was irrational! 🙂 You have convinced me to rest up this weekend. I was due for a 10 miler with my running group tomorrow and I was going to do it just to see if it hurt (duh!) but I think I’ll just pass on it. Resting is NOT easy for me. And I know you are right that while running the race I can always just stop if it hurts too bad but I’m thinking I may go the route of the movie “127” and just take my leg off at the knee and power through! We’ll see. I will get a brace and try it out when I test out my knee in a few days. Seriously, thank you so much for the advice it was really what I needed! I’ll keep you posted! I’ll pass on your awesome blog to my friends too! Good luck with your running and I’ll talk to you soon! Jody
No problem Jody!! If you already got your long runs…you are sooooo ready. I know exactly how you feel. When I got hit with runner’s knee it was also my second half marathon with a 3rd to follow just a month later. But, I made it. Definitely no 10 miler this weekend!!!
I would rather go the “127” route too…Are we crazy? I wrote that blog because I knew there had to be people out there going through what I was going through. I couldn’t find good information anywhere! Try using a heating pad as well. I think it helped me. Good luck!!! Keep me updated 🙂
“Test drove” the knee last night with a little 5 miler. ::sigh:: Did not go so well. Looks like I’ll be bringing a knife to the race on Sunday just in case I need to go “127” on it. Seriously….SERIOUSLY bummed out about this and looking for a bright side. Does everything need a bright side or can some stuff just suck?! 🙂 Well, I guess it could be worse….ummm I could have fallen off a cliff and nobody went looking for me. Brightside? 🙂
Noooooo!!!!! There’s still time!!! Ice and elevate for 15 minutes at a time today. Maybe some heat at night. Try and stay off the knee for a few days. If you are tapering and you did 5 miles yesterday then you are pretty much done with your longest run. I hate that feeling of runner’s knee!! I was doing the elliptical at the gym yesterday and I kind of felt my knee starting to hurt. I had to make myself stop. I would say no more running before Sunday. I would maybe do a bike machine, but only if it doesn’t hurt the knee. You have the next three days off…use it to your advantage. Really be careful with the knee. Act like it’s really really bad. Mine was so bad I could really not walk without feeling pain or even bend my knee. If you aren’t there yet I would say that’s a really good sign. But, be careful. I am surprised you even got through 5 miles. I would have only done 10 minutes just to be sure your knee was in working order and wait till tomorrow to run 3 miles. But, I really don’t blame you because it is hard to work your way back up. I know your mind is telling you that there is no time and that you are losing all of your endurance. You feel like you need to work your way back up…but, I actually think it will make you more fresh. I didn’t train hard for the Dallas rock n roll and I shaved like 8 minutes off of my time. I think it’s because we didn’t go ridiculous on the training. If your knee does get better by then you might find that the rest was much needed. Take it slow…this is a taper week anyway so you should be taking it slow. We have been tapering this week and I feel like we shouldn’t be. I feel like we need to run a lot more to be ready, but, whatever happens is supposed to happen. I really believe everything happens for a reason. I am super bummed your run didn’t go well!!!! I so know what you are feeling!!! You should have seen how mad I was when it happened to me. I kept trying to be calm, but it was hard not to wake up in the middle of the night and pace around the floor to see if it was better. I watched the days pass and my long runs diminish because I could not do them. But, it worked out in the end. My shoes were able to last longer and I was more rested…The Bright Side. Here’s another Bright Side for you….you will get better. Listen to your body. You know what it can handle. There’s still time. I will pray for you, because I know how much this means to you. I really want you to be able to run, but I also want you to get better. I say go “127,” but, whatever you do…please do not drink your own pee. 🙂
Ok, you made me laugh so that’s a definite Bright Side! You totally GET IT and that helps alot too! I knew 5 miles was way too long for a test run but, like you said, I’m just sure every second of my hard training has been lost. I feel this way on a normal taper but being hurt during a taper just doubles the feeling. Unlike yours, mine isn’t REALLY bad. If it was, I would probably pay more attention to resting it and less on figuring out ways to test it. I do the same thing in regards to jumping up and pacing around to see if it’s better. At this point, I’m done. I’m resting and icing and come what may. I really appreciate the encouragement and prayers! I just scrolled up to see what the date of your marathon EEEK! exciting!!! I can’t wait to read how it goes!
As for drinking my own pee….if I end up chopping off my bad leg and I’m hopping the rest of the race and someone yells, “Drink your pee, it will help!!” I’m gonna have to do it! I’m sorta hardcore like that! 🙂
lol…cracking up at the pee comment!!! I always love a big big laugh!!! You get the hardcore award!!!
I LIVED!! I didn’t have to chop of my leg OR pee on myself! It felt pretty good until about mile 7 and then I had to slow it down (but kept running). I didn’t break any world records but I’m glad I was able to do it. Thank YOU for so much support as I was gearing up for it. The fact that you understood really helped! I can’t wait to hear how you and your girl do in your FULL MARATHON! I’ll be cheering you both on from Cali! Now I must ice…and ice….and ice some more! Talk to you soon!
That’s awesome!!!!! So glad to hear you were able to run it!!!! That is all that matters. Remember, the reward of a thing well done is to have done it. I am so happy you were able to make it. I am glad I could help. I know it’s frustrating when everyone is telling you not to run. A lot of times people just don’t understand how much it means to us. I am just really glad you didn’t have to chop off your leg. I would have understood peeing yourself since the lines can get pretty crazy at the marathons. 🙂 We are super nervous about running our first full marathon. We really don’t feel ready. We know if something happens between now and next Sunday then we will just run another race. I know that is much easier said than done. We will have to wait and see what happens. Thanks for letting me know the great news!!! It made my day!! Can’t wait to hear about your next week when you are 100%!! Wait, are we ever really 100%? 🙂
It was a crazy race because it was pouring rain the whole time and COLD. It was high 30’s low 40’s plus pouring rain! The hypothermia probably helped mask the knee pain! I’m stiff today but my knees actually feel pretty good! Going to be a sloth for a few days and recover before I start thinking about what’s next! I do have another half in May but I’d like to do some stuff in between then. Some nice 10k trail runs sound good! You really did help alot because SO many people were saying, “If your knee hurts just don’t run. No biggie!” ACCCK! YES! it is a biggie and just don’t run…well…shut up! haha! Sheesh! So yeah, the fact that you got it helped alot!
I can’t even fathom a full marathon! In the half I just ran, there is this point where the half turns off to head in at mile 12 and the full keep going. The look on some of their faces as we turned off and they continued on kind of said it all! I swear this one girl looked at me like if she wasn’t worried about breaking her pace she would punch me in the face! I wonder if a person EVER feels ready to run a full marathon? Y’know that feeling of Oh yeah, I got this! I can’t imagine. If this one doesn’t work out for you guys then there is always a million more to set your sights on! Are you both feeling ok physically?
As for ever being at 100%….I don’t think I’ve been there since I was in my 20’s! I’m good with a solid 85% at this point! 🙂
I am not sure we can even fathom a full marathon. Still don’t know how we are going to do it. I can’t say we ever felt ready for a half marathon, but we at least felt a little more confident. I can’t say my body has ever been at 100% for any race. I wish I were in my 20’s because I would be interested to see how well my body would have held up. I should have started running sooner!! So far we are doing ok physically. My knee feels like it wants to start hurting and my right foot hasn’t felt great. Not sure between now and then how everything will feel. Nervous just thinking about the run, but I keep saying there’s no use worrying about it until we are actually standing at the starting line. I would give anything to feel that “I got this” feeling during the race. I remember feeling it on my first half marathon and then the next two after that. Not sure if it will be more of a “God help me make it” feeling this time. 🙂
Just wanted to thank you for this informative and encouraging post. I ran my second half marathon three weeks ago, and have been dealing with increasing knee pain ever since. Long story short, I googled the symptoms and I have Runner’s Knee. I’ve been off running for just 5 days now but it feels like 5 weeks. I was supposed to run a 10K this weekend, but won’t be able to because of the pain.
As much of a bummer as this is, I am icing every night and taking Advil and resting the knee as much as possible. I will focus on my upper body and core which get neglected when I’m running, so I suppose that is a small bright spot, but it’s still hard to be sidelined.
Anyway, thanks again for the post and I hope your knee is treating you well these days!
I, as well as Jody (see other comments) know exactly how you feel. With this type of injury it’s important to be patient. If you look at my conversations with Jody you will see that we, unfortunately, know what you are going through. I hate any injury and I hate that you have to suffer with the prospect of not running this weekend. However, you never know what can happen if you just rest. Maybe you will wake up tomorrow and it will feel 50% better and then the next day it will feel 80% better and so on. You never know. It’s important to stay positive and do what you can to make it better. I know nobody likes to be on the sidelines watching the game, but, I don’t know, maybe it’s good in the fact that you can take notes so when you’re out there playing you will be even better!!
THANK YOU all for your honesty! I am a week away from my first HALF and am suffering from some serious knee pain. I’ve rested 5 days so today it the point where it actually starts to feel better.
I’ve come so far training for this and have improved as a runner and an athlete throughout the past 4 months, so up until last week, I’ve felt unstoppable. Unfortunately, I’ve stopped and am freaking out.
I am obviously going to suit up and do it but hoping to not do any serious damage. I’ve bought my brace, am wearing sneakers all week to the office and ice.
I just feel all the same things as all of you and don’t want to even consider NOT doing it! Positive thinking, trying to stay calm.
Yes…stay calm. A week is a lot of time to get better. Just make sure you take it easy like you said. You are more prepared than you think. Just always listen to your body. Injuries are often a way that our bodies tell us to ease up and slow down. There is a great possibility you will be fine. Just remember that each race brings with it it’s own struggles and there are many to run, so don’t worry if you have to walk at time. However, I know your goal is to run and finish it going fast 🙂 Just remember, your first race is always your first PR. The next one is the one where the goal isn’t just to finish, it’s to finish faster. 🙂 Keep your head up and get healthy soon. Sneakers all week…no stairs if possible and rest. Please tell me how it goes. I always love hearing about that first race. Nothing is ever as good as the first one. 🙂 Well, until you get another PR 🙂 Go Get Your Medal!!!!
Hello. My son is 16 and runs cross country. He just noticed his runner’s knee today while starting out wit a run. I told him rest and ice; his first XC meet of the season is August 28th – hope he can make it. Thanks for all your tips.
I have pain on the inside of my left knee. I can’t afford to take off too many days from running because I am training for a PTtest that I need to pass. I have taken 3 days off and my shin splints have gone away but my left knee still hurts. What can I do to? I can’t afford to fail the test or stay off my feet due to my job.
So what if u run… Ignoring the pain… Keep running …. Until u can’t even walk…. And then 6 mos. later ur still sore and can’t run w/o pain…?
That’s exactly why you never ignore the pain. If you ignore it you risk the possibility of it becoming a chronic injury. That has always been my fear so I make sure to stop if I know the pain I am feeling is more than just soreness. I would rather take a couple of weeks off than a much longer amount of time. If I had the pain for two weeks or more I would definitely go to a doctor/specialist to find out exactly what the problem is and how I could remedy it. I know for me sometimes it’s hard to separate pain/injury from just everyday soreness. But, I know if the pain persists for a prolonged period of time and wasn’t present before then something is definitely wrong. You want to do everything you can to fix it so you are able to run pain free.
Ran 11.1 yesterday felt great. Ran 2 today fast and now knees are throbbing. 1/2 marathon is on Sun. Stretched a lot before and after. Just soaked in a bath. What next?
The good thing is that you ran 11.1 miles on Sunday. You are ready for your 1/2 marathon. This is a taper week so you would be scaling back anyway. The thing that didn’t help is that you ran a quick 2 miles. That is always what has hurt my knee the most. I would go from having a long run where I ran at a comfortable pace to a quick run that would always end up upsetting my knee. Take it easy the rest of this week. No need to do anymore quick runs. If possible do a bike machine, but don’t do anything that puts too much pressure on your knee. Usually the Sunday before a 1/2 marathon or marathon you would only run 8 or 9 miles, but it’s okay you ran a little more. It should make you feel more than ready. You need to trust your training. It has more than prepared you. Now just listen to your body. You have a good amount of time for your knee to heal, but rest it, rest it, rest it. Resist the temptation to run again before the race. You don’t need a setback. That has always been my problem. I never want to rest which just makes things worse. Like I said, maybe a bike machine, but wait till tomorrow. If anything, just walk maybe two miles on Thursday and take Friday and Saturday off. Listen to your body though. There are always other races. But, I know you want to run this race and I want you to run it. Make sure you RICE = Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate…at least until tomorrow. Let me know how your run goes!! I am sure you are going to do great!!!!
Thanks so much. After elevating all night, got the info from this article and your previous comments to others, I do feel much better this am. I will lay low and see what happens. I appreciate your response, encouragement and all helpful info!
First 1/2 in Miami!
Super excited to hear that!! That’s awesome!!! Can’t wait to hear how it goes. Miami is going to be grrreeeattttt!!!! Good luck to you!!! Don’t forget to smile for the cameras. 🙂
Just read about Rachel’s Mom. I wish her the best. I am running for kids with cancer and got over 4G in sponsors! I hope to make a donation to your cause when I get back next week!
It has been hard watching Brenda suffer with such a horrible disease. It definitely gives us the motivation to always keep moving forward. I think it’s great you are running for such a great cause. It gives you the strength to keep going when you now you aren’t just doing it for yourself. What is your donation site?
I can’t imagine how hard it must be. Sending all the best to you all.
This is my page. The info is on the site.
Ps. Went for acupuncture this am. I should be good to go.
I’m glad I found this blog. I too was diagnosed with runners knee. I am supposed to be running my first full marathon on 2/19. I am scheduled to run my last long run this Saturday of 23 miles. The last long run I did was on 1/7 which was 21 miles and that was when the pain initially started around mile 17. Since then I have run long runs of 7 miles and 10 miles, but my 10 miler was primarily walking because of the pain. I am really struggling on what to do, I don’t think I could do the marathon even if I was feeling better just because my last long run will then be 45 days prior. This is really depressing, all the hard work training to not be able to run it. I have been walking along with doing quad exercises to build the muscle around the knee, but now I wonder if I should do complete rest instead? I only have until Monday to change to the half marathon instead—if I don’t switch I’ll be locked into the full with a potential to have a DNF. All though I could have that with the half too if I don’t recover.
I am sorry to hear that. But, let’s not get down yet. There is still time. Think positively and continue to hope for the best. It is so much harder to handle when we focus on the negatives. First, let’s remember that you are at least able to run. There are so many people who wish they could do exactly what you are doing. Two, there will be other races. DNF or not, at least you are out there attempting to run a full marathon and that says more than you will ever know. Now, let’s think about what you can do and hope we don’t have to even think about a DNF. As I have said before, remember that your first full marathon is your first PR. It will be easier to beat the next time. My first full marathon was not what I expected. It was hot, we had to walk about two miles of it and a runner died with many others taken to hospitals. I was pissed. I was angry. But, now I am determined to run another one and get a “real PR”. No matter what happens you know the next full will be even better. “Yeah Yeah,” you’re thinking, “but I put in all the training time.” The way I looked at it was, well, at least I am healthier than I have ever been. At least I was pushing toward a goal. You have almost a month to go – almost a month…that’s a long time. The good thing is you already ran 21 miles. We ran 21 miles only once during our training. I am certain had it not been 85 degrees in full sun with almost 100% humidity we would not have stopped. The training was perfect and we still finished under 5 hours. You are more ready than you think. Psychologically speaking, you know you have the ability to finish the race. Your mind is set. Your body, I know, is pushing back. I dealt with a lot of injuries along the way. I started to get a pain in my foot two weeks before the marathon. I thought I might not been able to run at all. But, you know what, I surprisingly healed. Maybe not completely, but close to it and it did not affect me during the run. I even had my runner’s knee flare up about the 9th mile, but luckily subsided. I am telling you this because sometimes we tend to worry too much about things. It’s important to focus on what it is you can do. I think complete rest is your best option at the point. Continuing to run will not make your knee better. It won’t magically get used to the training. It wants rest. Let it heal. Take off at least 6 days if possible. Since it’s your first full don’t worry about speed. Let’s focus on getting across the finish line. You want that knee strong enough to be able to stand up to the whole race. I would stop doing quad exercises, at least for now. You don’t kneed to put any pressure close to the knee. The pain will just flare up again. I know because I tried to do the same thing and it just kept getting worse. You have to take complete rest. My knee got tender to the touch and I could feel it whenever I walked. If you aren’t there yet that’s great. Let it rest and it may feel better in no time. When you do run again try to run on a track. Stay away from hard surfaces and hills, because it will just flare up again. Look into a runner’s knee brace. Luckily, I don’t wear mine anymore, but it was a lifesaver at the time of and after my injury. Also, ice after every single run and look into a foam roller (I love the foam roller). Rest for now so that way you can better asses the pain and make a decision on whether to run the half. Let’s be honest though, you don’t want to switch to the half. I know you don’t want to and I don’t want you to have to. You will know what the right decision is when it comes. Focus on the now and doing what you can do. There is no reason to be depressed because when 2/19 comes around you may be running in that full and thinking, “Man, I remember when I was so worried I wouldn’t be here.” Then, you will get a tear in your eye as you are running and when you see the finish line all of this will be forgotten. I truly believe that every single thing in our lives happens for a reason. It’s how we deal with it that is most important. There is a reason you are going though this. You don’t know what it is, but don’t let the negative thoughts prevent you from seeing the importance of this. Remember, you are a runner no matter what. The beauty of a new day is that it’s a new start and anything can happen. Continue to hope for the best and let life do the rest. I want to hear about how great your marathon experience was. 🙂 Good luck to you and you will do great!!
Wow, you are quite the motivational speaker! I read your response and felt so moved by it—you have no idea. I will definitely hold off on my decision to change to the half marathon until the final day (1/31), you’re right I do not have a PR and if I have to walk a lot of it I can do that and better my time the next time. I am going to stop doing the quadriceps training and just rest until that time. Maybe on 1/31 I’ll do a short run/walk just to see how it feels to help me decide. Thank you for your inspirational words! I will let you know next week what I decide.
I just know exactly what you are going through. I have been there before…too many times. 🙂 I think a short run/walk is perfect to do before making your decision. That will let you really evaluate your knee and give you a better idea of how it feels. If you had a cold today and I was telling you about a wonderful free trip you could take to anywhere in the country…that free trip probably wouldn’t sound that good because you would be thinking about it in terms of how you feel in the moment. I know I have done that plenty of times. Instead of getting excited about the run you are imagining yourself running the race with the pain as it feels now. We have no idea if it will feel like that when the run comes. Resting is hard, but necessary. You got this!! I bet you didn’t think you would ever been training for a full marathon. I also bet you didn’t think you would ever be so pissed you might not be able to run one. Ha…isn’t that crazy!!! I almost think injuries sometimes separate the weak from the strong. The weak will become discouraged and never run again. The strong will do everything they can to get better and eventually finish the race no matter when it is. Stay hungry. Stay Determined. Remember…You Got This!!!
Well I have been struggling with my 2 runs this week, tried alternating using a run/walk and the most I can run is about 30 seconds. I have officially changed my registration to the half marathon. Now the question is whether I can even run that. The marathon dream will need to be another year. Thanks for the support with this!
So disappointed to hear that. 😦 But, I really do think it’s for the best. There are other races to run. Your first full marathon should be something special. You don’t want to be worrying about your knee. At least when you run it in the future you will likely be at full strength. I think it’s best that you really enjoy your first full marathon. You don’t want to simply just get through it. As far as the half marathon, I hope you will be able to run it. Listen to your body and really focus on how your knee feels. Separate the desire to run from the ability to run. You want to make sure you are fully able to run the half marathon without fear that further damage can be done. If you are confident that the knee should hold up than I can understand running. However, if there’s a part of you that knows, without a doubt, that even running the half will be painful then don’t do it. There really are a lot of other races to run and more time than you know to train for them. Your focus should be on getting back to 100%. Injuries are never easy, but it will surely make you appreciate running so much more. In the end it really will make you stronger.
I can’t imagine how hard it must be for all of you. Wishing the best to all of you.
Here is my page, the info is on the site.
Ps. Went for acupuncture this morn, so I should be good for Sun.
Great site! Thanks for all of the information. I have my 3rd Half on March 18th- (9 days) and am laid up with a bad knee. I’ve run a bunch of long runs (slow 13 miles two weeks ago) but my last long run I had to stop at 8 because of my knee. I am still trying to figure out exactly what it is but I’m leaning towards runner’s knee. I’ve been cross training with P90X (I’m on week 10) and was feeling great with everything until this week. I took Tuesday off and ran again yesterday but it was worse. I’ve iced it a bunch today, used the foam roller and have it taped with KT Tape. I’m so bummed because it hurts even when I walk. My Half is now 9 days away and I’m so so SO upset! I’ve worked so hard. I know that it’s only a race- but I was really excited (hoping for a PR) and, now, I am wondering if I can even run it. I seriously feel like crying. Hoping for a little knee miricle. Thanks for all the info and encouraging posts on here.
First, it’s understandable that you feel like crying. You have worked hard and you want it all to pay off so it makes sense that you are upset. You have a right to be. I am sure the only thing that keeps you from crying is hope right? It’s that hope that is allowing you to ward off the negative feelings. That’s the beauty of hope, it really keeps the possibility of running alive. But, it also keeps you positive and that’s the most important thing.
Let’s focus on what you can do…rest. As you have said, you ran 13 miles two weeks ago. In all of my training runs I never once ran 13 miles. If I got close to that it was done two weeks before. My last long run was likely 8 miles a week before. Ok, great, so we’re good there right? 🙂 You know you can run the race mentally – so let’s not even worry about that. Let’s talk physically running now…of course you know rest is the most important thing. It’s not going to magically get better if you keep running. Believe me, I have tried. You will just aggravate it even more and it will definitely bark back. Then, you will be out even longer, which we all know is never ever ever never ever never good!! You have to take more like 4 or 5 days off. The most you should run before running the actual race is maybe 5 miles slowly. Get the PR out of your head for now. Let’s worry about that when you are actually running that race. The point is to heal. I would stop using the foam roller for now, especially if your knee is hurting. Oh, and definitely stop using P90X. I have noticed that when I have done cross training of that magnitude it has lead to injuries. I don’t know if it’s the constant jumping or bending of the knees, but it usually leads to some type of injury. Now that’s just me so I am not speaking for anyone else. I have been doing the Spartacus workout, which is a crazy cross training routine and I feel like it has made me a better runner, but I know if I start training for a half marathon I will likely cut it out. Cross training with something like that is just too much, especially on my knees. I spend enough time pounding the pavement, I don’t want to do too much to make my knees weaker. On my non running days I usually try and just do weights (not circuit training), elliptical, or swim. All of those allow me to not put too much pressure on my knees. The funny thing is, I got my half marathon PR when I had to rest with my runner’s knee and did not try to do too much when training. I almost felt more at ease because my body wasn’t tired from all the grueling training. P90X is something I would do when I am not training for a long run. For now don’t do it since your knee really needs to rest. But, I will say that’s awesome you are on week 10…Keep it up!!! I know people who couldn’t make it past like week 3!!
Again, don’t use the foam roller. It’s great for after a run when your legs are warm, but other than that I wouldn’t really use it. Now, I know it hurts when you walk. Mine did too. The pain almost got worse everyday for like three days. I thought for sure I would not be able to run my race. But, I stayed off it and that made all the difference. I mean I really really stayed off it. It wasn’t easy but well worth it. You are not going to become a slower runner overnight. Really focus on getting better and make sure it is not something worse. You have to be patient and try not to count down the days, hours and minutes to the race. 🙂 I know…we all do that!! Remember to stay positive. Don’t allow the thought of not running the race get you down, because for now it’s just a thought – nothing more. There’s a possibility you are going to be standing at that starting line and remembering when you doubted it. If not, well, remember that everything happens for a reason. I know I know, much easier said…I know. But, it really is true. Look at how far you have come. 10 weeks on P90X – Are you kidding me…are you freakn’ kidding me with that!! You are doing great…Now get better. 🙂 I want to hear about your PR!!!!!
Thanks so much for the quick and detailed reply! Your words of encouragement and advice are so appreciated! Yes, the pain seems worse today. I am hoping there’s still time to heal. It’s so great to know you, and others, have gone through the same thing and it worked out fine.
Also, I have a blog at http://everaevolving.blogspot.com/ I almost referenced your blog because it was SO helpful but didn’t want to without permission. I think it is just wonderful how complete strangers can offer helpful information, encouragement and hope. 7 more days… I’ll write in and let you know how the Half goes if I run it. 😉 Thanks again!
If you want to reference my blog it’s no problem. 🙂 Glad I could help! 7 Days is a long long time. I definitely want to hear how it goes!!
Please help. I read your blog last week when I developed knee pain after a 6.2 mile run. I have been running for a month to train for the Reno-Tahoe Odyssey. The race is a 178 mile relay race on June 1st. I took your advise and iced my knee all day. I sit at a desk all day so this was easy for me to do. I iced so much that I gave myself a freezer burn, no joke! I did go the gym and do my routine spinning class with easy resistance. I decided after one class that I had better just stay away from the gym and let my knee heal. I have purchased a knee strap and wear it all the time now. My knee seemed, at times, to get better. I like to run but it had been a few months since I had been out. But, I go to the gym and attend spinning and sculpting regularly. Yesterday (day 7 without running), I decided I was going to go for a light run on a high school track. My knee was in pain on the first lap but I decided to continue on with the thought that it is just stiff from resting all week. The second lap, I could tolerate the pain and continued on. On the third lap, the pain set in. I decided to finish the mile with a fourth lap in tears. It felt as though my knee cap was rubbing on bone. I could barely walk off of the track to my Jeep. I have a manual transmission and it took everything I had to shift the car. I iced my knee immediately and elevated it all night. I am unable to bend my knee this morning due to the pain it causes. And yes, I had to shift my Jeep today to get to work. This injury has caused a great deal of depression and anxiety as I can’t train for this race. I have a team of 12 depending on me to run my leg of the race (three times in 24 hours) My boyfried told me to thrown in the white towel but I just can’t do it. Please help!
Hey Stephanie!! It’s going to be ok…no matter what happens. Just take some time to relax and refocus your energy. Worrying is not going to make the pain go away. Let’s first put things perspective. It’s useless to sit and think about not running the race when it is not race day. Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow has it’s own things. Sufficient for the day is it’s own worries. My favorite bible verse. Anyway, let’s get real right…You are pissed, angry, upset, and a whole lot of everything. But, in my experience it never makes it better. Don’t worry about everyone counting on you, because you still have time to get better. Plus, it’s your health we are talking about…not theirs. I don’t blame you for not wanting to throw in the towel…that just speaks of your competitive nature and it’s something you should take pride in. But, you never want to push yourself so much so that your body suffers. I can’t give you a timetable as to when your injury will get better. Everyone is different. As you can see from the comments, some are able to run their race and others are not. It just takes time and patience. You have to really take a step back and believe that everything happens for a reason. Then, you have to start doing what you can do. I am not going to say you can’t run your race. I have been in your position before and I know that is not what you want to hear. So, let’s talk about what you can do. Remember, I am not an expert. I just speak from personal experience as well as what I have heard from others.
One thing you shouldn’t do is ice for too long. Never ice more than 15 minutes at a time. It can only do so much. But, I don’t blame you for wanting to get better sooner. Rest is always your best friend, which you obviously did. When you were running and started to feel the pain you should have said, “hmmm, is this bearable or does it seem like it could possibly get worse?” Sometimes when in doubt it’s always, and I mean always, best to err on the side of caution. Like I said, it’s your body and you want to do your best to ensure your own safety. I want you to be able to run your race because i know it means a lot to you. But, like I said, don’t get depressed or become anxious over it. Remember that you are healthy and you are lucky to even have the ability to run. There are many people who wish they could do that or even had the courage to run a mile. Do you realize how strong you are. Most people would not have even pushed through the pain. They would have quit at the first sign and used it as an excuse. However, you said, “I will not let anyone down and I will push through the pain.” I am sure the team would be grateful for your efforts. The fact that you are trying says a lot about your character. You need to find the strength within you to look at the positives of this. I don’t want you feeling down because the stress will only make recovery more difficult. If, on the day of the race, you are not running, then you can cry and feel sorry for yourself. But, why waist these days, these true gifts of life, on worrying about what you don’t know. Stay positive. I would not run at all for the next week. It’s really not worth it. You have to let your injury heal and it won’t if you try to run on it. When you do start running again you must go slow. You really have to ease back in. I mean slower than you want to go. Ice immediately following your run. You can maybe even do it a couple of times that night. Also, think about using a heating pad. I know it helped me. Your body will be thankful for the rest. If you can do the bike machine that would be a good way to ease back in. I know you are going on limited time though. If you can’t shift your jeep I know that presents a big problem. When I had it I would not have been able to do that myself. I couldn’t even climb stairs. But, it lasted only a week and it got better in time for my race. You never know with these things…they can be very fickle. The best advice is to trust your instincts. If you feel like it is bad…especially the pain…stop. Being unable to workout for a couple of weeks is better than not being able to workout for a couple of months. I speak from personal experience. Again, stay positive and keep your head up. There’s no use worrying about what you don’t know yet. I will be praying for you and I hope you can run your race. I am pulling for you every single step of the way.
I Am A Teen That Play’s Baseball And Practice’s Three times a week and I usually have to sit out due to this injury and I hate missing practices but it kiLls me because I get pain in my left knee under my knee cap and I don’t really know what to do I stretched it but doesn’t really help HELP I WANNA SPEED RECOVERY!
Thanks for advice. Just finished NYC Half, had runner knee’s 3 weeks before.
Thanks you so much for your blog… I honestly was ready to cry today. After my half last weekend my knee started to act up and i am leaning towards runners knee…. But I honestly thought maybe i cold not run again and my heart automatically broke while I was going though other sites that didn’t offer hope..
I wrote this post because I got tired of the negativity I encountered during my searches as well. I wanted to let people know that there is hope and you just have to take it day by day. Glad you found my blog and I hope it offered enough useful information. Get some rest and get better soon!!! 🙂
Thanks for your encouraging post with useful information.
I started liking running almost three years ago and just couple weeks ago a dream came true.
I ran my first full marathon. Such a great feeling when you cross that finish line and I am sure everyone here knows about it.
The only problem now that I have is obviously knee pain, da, I am reading this blog.
I ran 3 times so far (4-5 miles each), but my knee starts hurting around mile 2-3.
I never had problems with my knees before, that’s why I am a bit disappointed.
Thanks to your blog and the positive energy, I also hope that I won’t need to stop, and think that I should quit running!
Anyhow, I think the lesson I learned now is be smart and listen to your body and STOP training at the right time to avoid further injury.
I will use your suggestions and let you know how I feel.
Good luck to you and everyone here.
So thankful I came across this blog. I was doing my final long run yesterday preparing for a marathon in three weeks time. I had been feeling quad and inner and outter thigh pain from around mile 12 stopped to stretch and couple of times and by mile 18.5 I couldn’t go on as the pain around the lower part of my knee was intense. I think it’s runners knee and really hoping it subsides and I’m able to do the marathon. It’s been 6 months of serious hard work with a lot of sacrifices (family and friend time) and to pull out now would be heart breaking 😦
Hi, really glad I came across this blog. I’m going through hell with runners knee pain on both knees… It’s day 5 of the saga and my right knee actually got worst in the last 12 hours or so, which is odd… This is really unfair as I’d just discovered jogging (at the ripe old age of 33!). I’d been running every weekend for about 2 months prior to this and never more than 5 or 6 Km, which I did in 35 – 40 minutes (which is really slow). So I didn’t think this could land me in this amount of trouble… I can barely walk or use the stairs at the moment. I’d never heard of runners knee before either. Basically, I’m in a right state of stupor about all this! I didn’t know such a thing was possible. Oh well… maybe this is just my body telling me running’s not for me (or that I left it too late in life *sigh*). Good luck with all your epic runs (and injuries)!
It doesn’t mean running is not for you. 🙂 I was 30 when I got into running and I know a lot of people who got into running much later. I have dealt with my share of injuries along the way but I have come to accept that sometimes it’s going to happen. The most important thing is that you don’t let it discourage you. One of the problems could be that you are running every weekend and not during the week, so your body may not be used to it yet. Also, make sure you have the right running shoes. In addition, it could make a difference if you are running on concrete instead of say a track or a treadmill. Hills can also be a big factor. I never knew what runner’s knee was until I got it. I have had tendonitis, runner’s knee and soleus muscle pain, but I haven’t let it stop me from running. You just have to be patient and stay determined. I am much healthier now at 32 than I was at 22. It’s a process that takes time. Also, don’t worry about how fast your run…at least you are running. There are many people who won’t even do that. If I were you I would be telling people, “yeah, I have runner’s knee because, well, you know, I’m a runner.” Take pride in the fact that you are now a runner.
My runner’s knee actually got worse a while after my first symptoms…which surprised me as well. However, with a lot of rest and patience it got better. Don’t let this injury discourage you. Look at it as a test to determine your commitment. Get better and keep running. I want to hear about you running a 5K!!
Hello! I wanted to say hi and give you an update. I left a comment a while back and you were very helpful and supportive. Unfortunately, I was unable to run my half marathon but I am now back to normal now. I am going to reference your site on my blog:
I feel the Osteo Bi-Flex, fish oil and KT tape really helped me. It’s worth a try! Thanks for all the words of encouragement! It’s always great to talk to others who have been through this, share ideas and give encouragement.
Evera…thank you so much for the update!! I am sorry that you were not able to run your half marathon. However, I am excited that you are feeling back to normal. That really is the most important thing. There are so many more races to run and you will be there to run them at full health. I am really really happy you are feeling much better. If you ever need a friend do not bother to write. I know we all go through the same things and it’s important to all be there for each other. Keep up the great work. I love the KT tape and I have used it as well. Going to definitely look into everything else. Again…thanks for the update!!! Keep up the running and stay healthy!! 🙂
Your blog is awesome. I’ve been training for a 10k over the past 8 weeks and my race is tomorrow. Last Wednesday we did a timed mile to see how we were progressing (I improved from a 10.29 minute mile to 9.03) and after the mile I felt some knee pain while walking. I tried to run a few days after and after about 2 minutes in had some sharp pain in my knee cap. I’ve done absolutely nothing for the past 7 days and have been resting, icing. Over the past 2 days I have had NO pain when walking or doing stairs. I hope to run the 10k tomorrow and feel even better after reading your blog. How can I be sure I am correctly putting on the patella strap??
I think your improvement in time is awesome!! You should be super proud of that. As far as the knee pain you did just about the perfect thing you could do…you rested!! Kudos to you for that. I hope you are able to run tomorrow. I would think you would be able to. Just listen to your body and try not to push too much. When I first started running after my runner’s knee there were times it felt like it was going to flare up again but the pain would subside as I kept running. If you feel that it’s more than just slight pain you should stop…but I think you did the best thing in resting it immediately to prevent further injuring yourself. As far as the patella strap that thing is tricky. I know exactly how you are feeling. I was like, ok, hmmm,it doesn’t seem like it is really doing anything…do I have it on right? I would extend my leg before attempting to put it on. I would make sure the rubber part was under my knee cap as close as I could get it…I would strap it tight, but not so tight it felt like my blood circulation was being cut off. I guess I would just make sure it is semi-snug. More than anything I feel like it just puts the reminder in your head to not put too much force on your left leg, plus it keeps your knee cap from moving around too much. I ran two half marathons with it and I can’t say I ever felt fully comfortable with it. However, I don’t think it messed me up at all. In fact I got a PR on my half marathon with it. Basically, it shouldn’t affect you so much so that you can’t really run with it. I remember I would keep readjusting it before I started running because it didn’t always feel right. Like I said, I know what you are going through with that strap. Just make sure it doesn’t cause you any discomfort. I hope you do an awesome job in your 10K tomorrow!! I want to hear all about it. Come write and let me know how it went. Crazy excited for you!! It’s going to be an awesome race for you. 🙂
Thanks for the info – – I too was thrilled w/ my improvement. I’ll let you know how tomorrow goes!
Well I am happy to report that I ran the 10k today. Time was 1.17 (and change). I was able to run about 90% of it. I had to walk every now and then and had to walk on all declines (had so pain with all downhills). Other than that I felt great and am icing as I type this. Next 10k is June 2nd and I hope to be under 1.15. Patella band seemed to work great…thanks for your help and encouraging words.
Jane…super excited that you were able to run your 10K!!! That’s awesome. Not sure what the weather was like but I know it was beautiful here in Dallas. Glad your are icing and taking care of yourself. You have a good amount of time to get ready for that June 2nd 10K and the half marathon that is surely to follow 😉 Ha!! Yes, I think so!! I think you will definitely improve on your time. The great thing about this last race is that you know you will surely improve on your time which will be such a wonderful feeling. I am super excited that you are looking forward to your next run already!! I am so glad that patella band worked well for you. Just think, there will come a time when you will have to wear it no longer!!! I wore mine for like two months and finally did away with it. I still have it just in case it happens again. Keep running and keep getting faster. Made my day knowing your run went so well. Can’t wait to hear about your June 2nd run. Make sure and let me know how it goes…I will surely be cheering for you!!! I am thinking your time will be more like 1.12…seriously…especially if you are at full strength. Always know that you are capable of anything. 🙂
Wanted to keep you updated. I ran a 6k this weekend with almost no knee discomfort (just on one downhill). You are right in that it takes a while to get used to running w/ the band. I found it really distracting at first but this weekend I don’t think I even thought about it for the last 3 miles. Have another 5k this weekend and then my next 10k in June. Will continue to keep you posted. I do still have some knee swelling so I am still taking Naproxen and using ice/compression. At the moment I am voiding hills in my training. Just got one of those foam rollers too to assist in stretching.
Great!! So glad you were able to run with almost no knee discomfort!! That’s awesome!! Yeah, the band can be annoying at first. It’s even better when you don’t have to run with it anymore which is hopefully soon!! 🙂 Good luck on your 5K this weekend. Just so glad you are feeling much better. I would continue to stay away from hills, especially if you are still swelling. I hate hills anyway…they are the devil 🙂 The foam roller is great. It will decrease the soreness in your legs after long runs. It’s not the most comfortable thing to use, which I had heard before I bought it. However, after I used it a few times I got used to it…well…it got easier. 🙂 It definitely helps though…a lot!! I have run 10 miles and used it after and didn’t have any soreness the next day. Stay strong, healthy and fast!! Keep me updated!
Hi there. I had emailed you earlier while training for a 10k. Well I wanted to let you know that I am 9 weeks into my half-marathon training and have been pain free this entire time. I still am using the patella strap and have some inflammation after my runs but I am feeling great. This past weekend I ran 10 miles – – the longest I’ve ever run (without walking a few times) in my entire life. I have about 6 more weeks until the Baltimore Half Marathon and I am so excited. I think of you and your website often and how much hope you gave me when I was devasted with Runners Knee – – I just wanted you to know how much your blog/website means to me – – I’ll be sure to let you know how the half marathon goes in October.
I definitely remember you and I was actually wondering the other day how you were doing. So glad you have written with the update!! That has to feel wonderful to have gotten to 10 miles!! Imagine how you will feel when you cross the finish line of your half marathon. Baltimore watch out there is a new half marathoner in town!!! Just think, you were first writing me about running your 10K and now you are training for your half marathon. That is wonderful and something to be very very proud of. I really can’t wait to hear how your half marathon goes!! I really can’t!! I am so glad to hear from you again.
Thank you so much for your kind words. You have no idea how much they brightened my day. There are times when I wonder if it’s worth keeping this site up and running, but then I get a comment like yours and I know why I do it. I have always said that my goal in life is to help people and I often wonder in what way and in what capacity…then…I get a comment like yours and I feel as though I am headed in the right direction. I don’t write this blog for myself…I write it to inspire and provide hope…to pick people up when they are feeling down…to fill people with confidence. Thank you so much for being a ray of sunshine!!
Please keep me updated on your progress. I am glad I could help and if you ever have any other questions feel free to ask and I will do my best to answer. I want to hear about how you ran that half marathon without stopping. 🙂 Oh, it’s going to be a beautiful day and a wonderful memory for you. Bottle it up and never forget it. 🙂 Keep up the great work!!! Super excited for you!!!!!!
Thanks for you words of encouragement, really appreciated. I’m still in agony… It’s almost 3 weeks since this started. My GP is none the wiser. Told me to take ibuprofen three times a day (which I was already taking anyway) and… to rope jump before each run, as a warm up… not sure what to make of this piece of advice since I guess jumping is a high impact exercise. GPs… how would we survive without them. If the situation doesn’t improve I’ll have to see some sort of sports doctor I guess.
Michele…I feel your pain and I hope that you get better very soon. I would seriously consider a sports doctor if it doesn’t get better soon just to make sure it’s not more serious. I had an injury to my soleus muscle last year and it took almost a month to heal. I seriously worried I would never be able to run again without pain. But, I was patient and tried my best to stay off of it and it got better. An injury like this actually will make you appreciate running so much more. I have actually started using a jump rope on my non-running days to build my legs which has helped. I have tried to strengthen my legs overall in order to try and prevent more injuries. I often hear it’s not best to stretch before running, but rather, to maybe walk for 15 minutes to allow your body to warm up. I have done that many times which actually seems to help. But, I always make sure and stretch afterward as well as use a foam roller on long runs. I think some people are just more prone to injuries. My wife doesn’t suffer from injuries as much as I do. I would make sure you are using the best pair of running shoes for your type of gait. That means going to a specialty running store to have them analyze your running style and fit you with the best pair of running shoes. I don’t want you to have to be in agony. I want you to enjoy running and the many benefits that come with it. Running isn’t always easy, but it does make life seem sweeter in some way. I am almost 33 and I will be darned if I am going to let injuries get the best of me. You will get through your injury. Keep your head up and get better soon!!! 🙂
I am really happy to have found this blog. I was looking for more specific advice regarding runners knee issues. I am not a marathon runner, not even close. I am a 41 yr old woman and have always worked out and jogged to stay fit but I got more into running as my 40s approached and ran my first 5k on my 40th birthday. After that I did the classic too much too soon and kept trying to beat my time and injured my left knee one night on the treadmill. After that I prob made it worse my doing the elliptical. I really had no clue I should rest it. So physical therapy for a few mos. and building back slowly. A little over a year later I was up to a few miles again when the day after I noticed it was messed up again. So for almost a month now I have only walked about a mile a day on it and worked out daily with weights to try and stay fit. I am frustrated with this knee game and am never quite sure when to push it a little more (increasing mileage and speed) or when to rest. I have a knee brace that has helped at times. Ive done the whole RICE thing and it helps keep things at bay but I need to figure out the best schedule for resting and building back up. Would you have any specific advice for a good plan for me? Thanks for reading all of that. I tried to be as concise as possible and not whine too much!
Hey Carrie!! I wasn’t a marathon runner at this time last year either…it’s crazy how things change. 🙂 I started just like you. I started running 5k’s and kept trying to improve my times. Of course that led to injury after injury because, well, too much too soon. You know what that means…we are competitors!! We are not ok with just doing the bare minimum. We seek to improve ourselves daily because we believe that the sky is truly the limit.
First, make sure you have the right pair of running shoes for you. I always say go to a specialty running store to have them analyze your gait and fit you with the best shoes. You might have already done that though. I just always make sure to point that out since shoes can cause such a problem. I used to suffer with shin splints before going to a specialty store and finding the right pair of shoes for me. Of course it meant spending a lot more than just $40 for running shoes…but in the end it changed everything. However, it doesn’t mean I have not had my share of injuries…especially runner’s knee. Of course we know that rest is always important. It’s also important to ease back into running. I think you had the right idea…just walking a mile. I wouldn’t do weights that put pressure on your knee if in fact your knee is still flaring up when you run. Allow it to heal completely. When you feel as though it has healed sufficiently; ease into your runs. Make sure you are on a treadmill or like a high school track. You don’t need to be running on concrete or any hills that can cause injury to your knee. Make sure and stay on a flat surface especially as you get stronger. When you start running again just run for 10 minutes. When I say run I mean more like jog. Do that a few times before you up the mileage as well as your speed. You want to get your body used to it all again. I noticed I always get injured when I try and get faster too soon. I decided to never push my limits on training runs and just wait for the races to go all out. Your point is to stay 100% healthy and that means getting a great injury-free workout. For now don’t worry about getting back into your 5k speed runs. Lets just be happy getting you running again without pain. When you up your mileage take your time and just enjoy the run and not the race. I know that’s easier said than done…especially for me. You don’t know how many times I tell my wife it is going to be a slow run and by the end I am charging to the finish line. It usually ends with me saying, “I knew I shouldn’t have tried to run fast.” Like I said, just focus on running a mile pain-free in the beginning. Cut out speed. Up your mileage slowly. Enjoy the process. I am pulling for you Carrie. You are a 41 yr young woman who is taking full advantage of her health and doing everything possible to be the best runner around!! You should take so much pride in that!! I better be 41 and running!! I would be happy saying I have a running injury at 41 and I am trying to get better so I can keep running. You are great!! Keep it up and be patient. We want to make sure you are running at 51 too!! Super proud of you!!
Thank you so much for your advice. I walked and jogged 2 miles today with a half mile of it jogging on a highschool track. Iced after. It was a little sore but not too bad. I’ll rest it tomorrow and and try that a few times like you said before I decide to do more. I recently got new running shoes that I feel are much better than the ones I hurt myself in but I should really suck it up and go to a specialty store for the best ones for me. I’m not putting pressure on my knees when I work out and use weights. I am babying my knees as much as I can. Lots of stairs in my house though. I really appreciate that you understand how this feels and it is so good to hear that you have been able to work though it and keep running. I know with patience I can manage this issue. Thanks too for the encouragement! I have gotten very down about this over the past year. I really appreciate it! Thank you!
Great reads, I have runners knee, got it Sat and have a half marathon 8 days from injury. Not sure if I will be able to run. Any suggestions, am having ART tomorrow. Thanks Brian
Hey Brian! Sorry to hear about your runner’s knee. As far as suggestions go I would say to be patient. Don’t push your injury in order to run your half marathon, but rather, nurse it back to health. However, I am not looking to discourage you from running. I just want to ensure that your injury does not get worse. Hopefully your injury is merely just a warning not to push yourself too much and it could possibly heal in the coming days. If that happens take it easy on your half marathon and don’t be looking to PR. Stay off your knee as much as possible to allow it to heal properly and trust your instincts in terms of the severity of your injury. Like I always say, we want to make sure it doesn’t turn into a chronic injury. Good luck and let me know if you get to run your half marathon. Would love to know how it goes!! You never know with injuries sometimes. 🙂
Thanks for the blog. I’ve seen a lot of great advice. Now my delemma:
I took a tumble about 5 weeks ago and sprained my right side MCL. Is has recovered, but runner’s knee seems to have taken over, mainly in my right leg, but sometime my left as well (probably a result of compensating for the other leg).
I have a 1/2 marathon in 3 weeks. I did a 12 mile long run about 4 weeks ago, and have done my best to keep conditioned. I can do elliptical machines, stationary bikes, and treadmills with zero pain.
At this point, should I continue with the treadmill, elliptical, or bike (1st, 2nd, and 3rd preferences), or just go for total rest until the 1/2?
Honestly, and I am only speaking from personal experience, I would probably judge based on the severity of the pain. You have 3 weeks to go, which is a lot of time. I would probably rest a full week just to give it a little more time to heal. I never ran more than 8 miles after runner’s knee before my second half marathon. I had run a long of 10 the week before, so I felt confident I had the conditioning necessary to finish. It’s hard,I know, at this time because you are worried about losing endurance and getting off of your training regiment. But, you have to remember that in the long term it’s better. Sometimes injuries are a blessing and force you to rest. I have found that with all of injuries I was able to re-focus my energy which allowed me to run a better race. Plus, it helped me scale back from going full speed ahead. Don’t be afraid to rest at least a few days. Then, I would probably start with a bike…that’s what I did. It will help keep your endurance up. After that I would do the elliptical just to make sure you aren’t putting too much pressure on your knee. Some ellipticals are better than others though. When you do start running I would use a treadmill and take it slow. You just don’t want to pound your knee into submission, especially before your 1/2 marathon. You should feel little to no pain on your runs. There were moments before my 1/2 marathon that I felt a little pain, but it never fully materialized. When I had runner’s knee I couldn’t even do the treadmill without pain so that’s a great sign for you. I have had injuries feel like they were going to be chronic and that after a week and half they would just disappear. It really could be a result of your MCL sprain and trying to compensate for it. Like I said, you still have a lot of time to heal. Listen to your body and judge accordingly. You are more ready for your race then you think…we always are 🙂 Good luck and run a great race!! Let me know how it goes!!
Thanks for the quick response and excellent advice. Being this is my first half marathon, and I’m running with my daughter, I want to do everything I can to get through the race. Clearly healing from the pain will outweigh any further training, so I’ll follow through with what you’ve suggested and let you know how it goes.
I wanted to let you know that after recovering from my runner’s knee I completed my first half marathon without any problems. As we discussed, total rest until the pain disappeared, followed by gradual build-up did the trick.
I’m now working towards the Marine Corps Marathon this October, and keeping close tabs on any joint issues to guard against flair ups.
Thanks for the advice!
That’s great news Dave!!! So glad to hear you made it through your half marathon without any problems!! I am glad you rested. I am sure it’s the first of many marathons you will run!! Same advice goes for any problems in the future. Keep up the great work!! Keep me up to date on your running. I love success stories!!!
Hello, after some advice on the knee strap. I am 2 weeks away from a marathon and during training have been suffering with my knee. I am a great believer in not changing your routine too much, but do you think the strap is a big benefit? I have a lot of self imposed pressure to get a PB so trying to set myself up with the best chance. Laura
Hey Laura!! Honestly, it comes down to personal preference. I also believe that changing your routine for a race is not always a good thing. You want to run a race with what you have trained with. I was comfortable running with my knee strap because I had trained in it for a couple of weeks before running the race. As far as it being a huge benefit I can’t say for sure. All I know is that I didn’t have any problems with my knee during the two races I ran with it. Perhaps it did more for my mind than anything, but at the time that was good enough. You always want to be smart when it comes to your own health. I would try the strap for a couple of long runs and see if it eases the pain or serves any purpose for you. The strap is very inexpensive and it’s worth a try. When I bought it I actually didn’t think I would like it. To be honest, I didn’t love it in the beginning, but I got used to it. Plus, it makes you look like a hardcore runner with it on. You can be like, “Oh this thing, yeah, I run a lot soooooo…” 🙂 But seriously, try it out and see if the pain diminishes at all. If you don’t feel any benefit then run without it. But, I will say this, be careful when it comes to your PB. No injury is worth a PB. It’s like I always say, you don’t want to risk doing any lasting damage to where the injury, if any, becomes chronic. When I got runner’s knee I had planned on getting a PB for my half marathon. But, during the race I had moments when my knee flared up with pain and I scaled back. When I was making my way to the finish I knew I could run hard and finish easily with a PB, but I thought, well, is it really worth it. I knew I had another race in a month and I wanted to be able to run it. So, I scaled back and finished with a slower time. However, for my next race I obliterated my time!!! In the end it was well worth it!! It doesn’t always come down to a PB…what it really comes down to is you being healthy all the way around. There will always be another race and a possible faster time. Whatever you decide to do…run a great race and take care of yourself. Go out there and run your race. 🙂
Hello thanks very much for this valuable information. I had runner’s Knee for the last 4 months. I even don’t know that I had it until I visited my doctor last time and he confirmed that I am running with having a Runner’s knee. I sort of feel the pain in my right leg beneath the knee cap but I never paid attention to it.
I am using the doctor suggested braces and taking 2 tablets of “naproxen” daily. Hope I will recover soon. One most important thing I missed is to elevate the pain with ICE pack. Will do it from now on..Thanks very much for the suggestions and advices.
No problem!! Thanks for the comment. Hope you feel better soon!! Don’t worry…you will. 🙂
Wow! This helped me tremendously! I’m having awful problems with runners knee since I increased my distance too quickly last week. My first 8k is coming up on Monday and I have been so torn about whether or not to run. Thanks to you I will be taking off. I have already gotten to 4.5 miles, so I’m pretty sure I can do 5. I have been so depressed thinking this will never get better. Thanks for giving me hope 🙂
No problem!! Take care of yourself and get better soon. You will be running again in no time. 🙂
I seem to get the symptoms of runner’s knee when I run on the road, with the slope of the road causing an unevenness to my steps. Whenever it flares up I visit my chiropractor who puts both knees and ankles back into proper alignment. If I stay on the local bike trail after the adjustment, everything is fine, since the bike trail is level and not sloped like the roads. But if I do a longer run (7-10 miles) back out on the roads, the pain comes back. So, at least a decent chiropractor who knows what he/she is doing with extremities can help significantly.
i have pattella stiffness and i have all that pain , i tried to do strenghthen my qudricep and himstring and still have , i did endoscopic for my knee and my docotr said i have problem with my kneecap cartilage and he advice me to do ice and strengthen it
i wish can back and play football again
another pain i feel it when going up steer
please any one have advice for me send it for me
Hi! I am a 43 year old women who just started running in August 2011. I have run 4 5k & ran my first 1/2 marathon on May 6. On mile 9, I started to feel some pain in my left knee. I was able to finish my the race by walk/run the final miles. At the end of the race, my left knee was killing me. After a few days, i started to feel pain in my right knee as well. I went to see doctor & gave me some anti- inflammatory drugs & ace bandages to wrap up my knees. The pain is not intense but I am in still in pain daily. I even have problems with standing for too long. 😦 I am schedule to start PT on the 18th & in the meantime, I have been doing strengthen exercises & icing my knees daily. I am so discourage & worried that I won’t be able to run again. I know what I did wrong & pray that this is not permenant. Any suggestions you could provide would be greatly appreciated.
Congrats on all of your 5K’s and your half marathon…that’s awesome!! I wouldn’t worry too much about your knee. It will heal in time. It’s easy to feel like an injury will never heal, especially when it goes on for a long time. But, you will be running again before you know it. My suggestion would be to get plenty of rest, as always, and ease back into your running routine. With an injury like this you cannot try and train the same way you were before the injury. It’s going to take a lot of patience, but it will make you a better runner. I had to go to PT for almost three months and couldn’t run for 4 after tearing ligaments in my ankle playing basketball. It was a very long process that required so much patience and dedication on my part. In the end my ankle got stronger and that’s when I became a runner. Everything happens for a reason. My injury helped me appreciate being healthy so much more! Do not try and push yourself too much. Also, stay positive. Getting discouraged and worrying will only make the process harder. Remember, you will be fine and back to normal soon. You will be running another 1/2 marathon before you know it. Keep your head up and stay focused. Never hang your head because you may miss the world in front of you. It’s going to be just fine. 🙂
Excellent post man. I have surrendered to the fact that I am injured and am gonna do nothing for 3 days. My only worry is that I eat a lot and I won’t be able to burn it off…
I have been there before. You just have to make a conscious effort to eat better. It’s always easier said than done, but it’s very possible.
I Got the idea to try using a foam roller for my IT band from your blog and the comments and I am glad I did! I have been struggling with runners knee for over a year and never able to really get back to running like I wanted to. It was making me a little crazy! It may be a combo of rest and acceptance of the fact I had to slow things down a lot, leg strenghthening excercises and the foam roller but I am finally getting back to running again without pain. I am still nowhere near where I was over a year ago but I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and pretty sure I am on my way back up. I am taking your advice and enjoying the process.
Carrie…I am glad I was able to help!! The foam roller does wonders for my legs, especially my IT band. Plus, it also helps prevent soreness. There have been times we run 10 miles, foam roll and then we don’t feel sore the next day.
I understand how an injury can make you go crazy!! I have been there too many times. The rest always ends up being very beneficial. Give it some time and you will be back to 100% in no time. That light at the end of the tunnel leads to something beautiful. Keep working your way towards it.
Always enjoy the process…every single part of it. The small moments are the things that strengthen you more than you will ever know. Plus, they become wonderful memories.
Keep up the great work!!
I did track in high school but then I got a semi-fracture in my left ankle and just stopped. Now being overweight, I decided to start running and the day after it started to feel great working out I woke up with runner’s knee on my left knee. Too much too fast. Thanks for your tips and I will start much slower as my doctor and you recommend. It’s really hard for me sometimes to think about how my attempt turned out, because I feel that my weight maybe put too much pressure on the knee but I know that I can recover and start again :).
The great thing is that you know you can and will recover. This is just a temporary setback. The great thing is that you made the decision to take control of your health. I really believe that is the hardest part. Don’t lose that desire to start again. Just ease back in when you’re ready and you will be great!!
Hello, thanks for the article. Very informative! So I have been a runner off and on for the past five years but never really went anywhere with it. After having my baby last July I decided to register to the San Diego Rock n Roll 1/2 marathon. I started my training in February and gradually increased my distance. I really didn’t think i was doing to much to soon, but when i ran my 10 miler my knee started bothering me. I was worried that it would hurt for the 1/2 marathon. My max mileage I ran was 11 miles and that was 3 weeks before. Well last sunday was the 1/2 marathon and i completed it and ran the whole time, which were my main goals, but towards the end my knee was KILLING me, to the point that i almost had to walk but i didn’t want to stop running. After the 1/2 marathon I didn’t run for a week to try and recover. Well yesterday i tried running and after 2 miles my knee was hurting. I did buy one of the bands to wear around my knee, but i was also running with hills. I would hate to stop running because i don’t want to loose what I have done in the past and have to start from scratch again with training. I would like to do more 1/2 marathons and eventually try a marathon or maybe a triathlon….. any suggestions on what I can do to get my knee back in shape again and be able to run long distances without it hurting?
I would say it just goes back to resting to ensure it completely heals and easing back into it. When I got runner’s knee I honestly did’t feel like it was too much too soon either. I had just finished a half marathon a month before and had continued training for my next one. There was no extended time off or anything. For some reason I just happened to get it. Every now and again it feels as though it may be coming back, but I make sure and ice after a long run and use my foam roller. That seems to really help. For now you should stay away from hills. Let yourself rest another week at least. Don’t worry, you won’t have to start from scratch again. You are already capable mentally and physically. You just need your knee to heal. When you start running again just run on a track or a treadmill and go slow. When you are better focus on finding exercises that will help strengthen your knees. I try and focus on my legs a little more.
Sometimes I think our bodies just get tired, but it doesn’t mean that will always be the case. You could run another 1/2 marathon and have no problems at all. Again, just be patient. You have already accomplished so much and you should be super proud of yourself. Take a little more time off…you will be glad you did. I know you hate to hear that, but it’s necessary. If after a week it doesn’t feel better…give it another week. It’s okay to let your body rest. I have had to rest for almost three weeks training for my full marathon. I thought there was no way I would be able to run it. However, I was able to start training again and get back to where I was much sooner than I thought. You will be fine. 🙂 Congrats on running your 1/2 marathon!!! Look forward to hearing about your future runs. 🙂
What great information here! Thank you so much. Ive just had 4 weeks rest from an ITB injury and runners knee … the ITB had totally cleared up, im still getting a very slight ‘nagging’ from the runners knee, i have continued to run and just iced it when i finished the run. I would have thought 4 weeks was long enough rest to take, i visited the PT 4x in that month for knee therapy too. Do you think its safe to continue running even though its still nagging a bit? I thought i was dying in those 4 weeks … i wanted to strangle someone 🙂
Hey Elisabeth…sorry I did not get back to you sooner. I know how you feel. I am currently dealing with an abdominal strain which is extremely frustrating. How does that even happen anyway!?! But, it has been nagging which of course means I must rest. I must get over the urge to strangle someone and remind myself that everything happens for a reason. My advice to you would be to not run until you are confident that your injury is healed. If you keep pushing it then you will eventually be out much longer than 4 weeks. Trust me…it’s worth it to rest a little while longer. If you keep running your injury will just keep flaring up. Let it heal and then ease back into it. I am currently trying to ease back into my exercises. I am going to attempt to do sit-ups today in hopes that there will be no pain. However, if pain is present then I will have to rest much longer than I would like. But, that’s how it goes. I don’t want to risk injuring myself further just to feel normal again for a few minutes. You are going to be fine. 🙂 Keep me posted.
Hi and thanks for your reply. I’ve stopped the longer 5k – 10k runs and been cross-training at the gym and been doing 2-3k on the treadmill. I find after my 3rd run (3 consecutive days) although they are short runs and relatively slow 8km / h … its gets sore / tender where the ITB joins the knee on the side. Ive also noticed im getting sore achillies and sore hamstrings too … ive done a bit of research and its all pointing to weak glutes / hips … ive been doing my rehab exercises everyday and foam rolling everyday, is it normal to take SO LONG … ? Im going NUTS!
Unfortunately everybody heals at a different rate. I wouldn’t run for three days straight. That could hurt more than help, even though your runs aren’t long runs. Take your time with it. Trust me, I know exactly how you feel right now. It’s frustrating to wait until your body catches up with your mind, but patience is the most important thing right now. You have to have the whole, Rome wasn’t built in a day mentality. So much easier said then done, but necessary nonetheless. I hope it gets better very soon and you are pain free. Keep a smile on your face and think positively. 🙂
Hey, this is a great blog. Appreciate that so many runners out there successfully get over injuries and achieve. Just like all of you, I wanted to jog, more for health than for a race. I am 29 years (otherwise healthy) and thought I was pretty late to start. But then, better late than never. I knew I had to start slow. So I did it really slow the first day. About 20 minutes of a walk-jog combination in total and 10 minute break in between. The first day was great. There was a feeling of high. I was happy I began well. Then came day 2. I did the same thing. But in the second half, there was a sharp pain knees hurt bad. I just stopped running and walked back. It is 3 days now after that run. But the pain still exists. There is no swelling or tenderness. Both legs, medial side, below the knee. Hoping to get better and start really-really slow next time. But I have a 28 kilometre trek coming up in the weekend. I have done many treks before and am physically quite fit (can walk forever). But running is a whole new world. Hope it does not affect my trek. I am just cooling my heels hoping it would improve. Best wishes to all you achievers here. 🙂
Thank you so much for this post! My runner’s knee started up about a month ago, and I’ve been resting for the better part of the last 2 weeks. I’m signed up for a half this coming Sunday, and this is the only site I’ve come upon where I’ve found any advice other than “take it easy and skip the race.” It’s so great to hear about people who decided to stick it out, and also the mixed results. Things had been going absolutely perfectly until I got up to 14 miles (I’m not really on a training plan, per se, I was just enjoying building the mileage and the half was sort of incidental). For my first attempt at 14, I went out on what I was expecting to be a nice dirt trail, but it turned out that more than half of that was really a mountain bike path, with super uneven footing and a couple of monster hills. But, as runners are known to do, I just kept on going, even though I knew it was way more advanced than I was ready for. Needless to say, I overdid it, and my knee let me know. I wasn’t quite ready to give up yet, and I had a couple of runs later that week that were fine, but my next long run let me know that something wasn’t right. With only 3 weeks to go before the race, I pretty much resigned myself to rest and skip it. But after a short test run last week, I felt okay to get back out again, and not only has my knee been completely fine, but I’ve been fast (for me)! I was so worried that I was going to lose all of my fitness in that time off, but the good runs this week have given me the confidence that I really needed to get back into it. Between that and reading about everyone’s experiences here, I’m feeling ready to rock my half this weekend 🙂
So happy to hear about your encouraging news!! Keep up the great work!! You will definitely have to come back and let us all know how your half marathon goes!!!
About a month ago, I had arthroscopic surgery on my right knee. Today I am getting sharp stabbing pains, fairly intermittently in the middle of my left knee cap. Why is this happening?! I put ice on it tonight and it is not helping. What is going on? I am supposed to go on a cruise soon.
Thanks so much for this encouraging post, and for all of the pep talks in the comments. I got runner’s knee a couple of weeks ago on a 16 miler (a normal distance long run for me, but with extra hills and concrete). I rested a few days, jogged a 3 miler, which felt fine, ran a flat 6 miler, also ok… and then a 5 miler with a couple hills that killed me. I started feeling the pain again in the middle but I could run in such a way that it didn’t hurt me. I iced after but the next day I could feel my knees going up and down the stairs. This was about a week ago, and I went easy — icing, no exercise for a few days (which drives me crazy!) until I had no pain walking around, then a short swim, a 20-min stationary bike ride. I thought I was improving but yesterday I did the stationary bike again for 20 min and then in the evening and today I could feel it again on the stairs. Help! I feel like it’s just getting worse. I’m signed up for a half next weekend which I’ve already resigned myself to missing… and I’m signed up for my 3rd marathon in October. I’m so scared of losing too much ground and not being able to run that either. I’m trying to stay relaxed and positive but it’s scary and I feel so horrible when I can’t exercise!
I know how you feel. I threw my back out this weekend moving. I have no idea how long I am going to have to rest for and how much training time I will lose. However, I know rest is of the utmost importance. I hate the thought of not working out but I have to make myself take the time off. I wouldn’t worry too much about the full marathon training in October. I was out with an injury in September and had to run my first full marathon that November. I missed about two weeks of training. But, it’s expected and I did fine. You have to be smart about your health and make sure you take it easy as long as you need to in order to ensure you heal correctly. When I hurt my back last Tuesday I took off one day, but I didn’t really. Then, the next day I worked out and strained it a bit. I woke up the following morning with pain and I worked out again!!! Now, I am suffering for it. I have put myself in a bad position in that I will likely be out for much much longer. If I had just rested at the first sign of pain I would have been much better. You have done great taking your time and easing back in. Unfortunately, it might take a little while longer. But, you will be fine. Just do what you need to do. Don’t worry about the race in October. You still have a lot of time to heal and train. You will do great!!!!
Ugh, so sorry about your back! 😦 That seems so underhanded and mean of your body… of course I know injuries are just random or a sign of your body telling you something, but as a runner I always worry about my _legs_, because that’s what I use the most while running (obviously), so other injuries seem like they are wicked, unreasonable bolts out of the blue. I hope you’re resting also and that you recover soon!! I know, it’s so hard to stop training.
I’ve taken the past two days off completely (aside from doing very calm, vanilla ab exercises) and have been using warm compresses. Actually my knee feels worse today than yesterday, but I hope it’s just a fluctuation. I’m seeing an orthopedist tomorrow just in case (I’ll be away on a long trip for a while, so I want to make sure I’m not assuming it’s runner’s knee but it’s really something worse.) So …fingers crossed.
Anyway, I’m trying to see this as an opportunity to make myself eat healthier and a bit less — I eat pretty well usually (lots of fruits and veggies etc) but when I’m running a lot it’s easier to take liberties and raid the snack machine at work because I know I can run it off. So now, with no way to run it off, I’m trying to kick the habit. Which makes me extra cranky, of course. 😉
Hey Sonia…I can’t believe my back is this bad!?! It’s like you said, whenever it’s something other than my legs it’s often hard to comprehend. I agree…it’s wicked!!! Evil!!! I am glad you are going to have your knee checked out…that’s the best thing to do for peace of mind. I know what you mean about the fluctuations in pain. Oftentimes that happens with most of my injuries. When I had runner’s knee it gradually got worse every day as I was resting…then, I woke up one day and noticed it feeling a little better. The next day it was almost completely gone. I am hoping that is the case with my back. It was really bad yesterday. I am hoping it will taper off the next couple of days. I have to take my own advice and rest.
Taking your injury as an opportunity to eat better is awesome!! It really works. When I hurt my abs a couple of weeks ago I was forced to not work out as much as I wanted. I decided I would eat a little better. I didn’t change much, I just made a conscious effort not to eat bad. I actually lost 3 pounds. Plus, I feel better overall. My wife and I usually eat bad Friday and Saturday. We work out hard so we treat ourselves. I love, and I mean, love snacks. We just didn’t eat so bad on Friday and Saturday and cut out bad desserts. That little change has made all the difference. Plus, we have been eating more and more veggies. If I had not gotten hurt I never would have tried to eat better. It is nice that something good can come out of an injury. I do feel more energized, which kind of sucks when you can’t do anything!! But, the crankiness goes away…I promise…well, until you see a commercial from something bad to eat!!!
Hope you feel better soon. Keep resting. I hope you have a wonderful time on your trip!! We are going on a trip in two weeks to the beach with family. Yeah, sooooo, I am extra pissed I can’t workout. The beach Sonia…the beach!!! What the hell!! lol 🙂 Oh well, everything happens for a reason right. 🙂
I am sure all of us who read your blog are pulling for you and know that your back (and abdominal strain?) will heal quickly and that you will allow them the time to do so. I hurt my back once at the gym. I took a small amount of prednisone and rested it with heat and in a couple of days it was fine. At first I was in a little denial I had hurt it and did a bunch of sit-ups! Dumb. Take advantage of your time off. I am sure that like me and many other people who suffer injuries from running or working out, you scour the Internet and talk to people and absorb as much information you can to better yourself, you situation and others too. I have definitely learned a lot about knees and backs and the mechanics of running as a result of being injured. Your blog has been so informative and helpful to me. The most important thing I have gained is knowing I may have to always deal with resting and managing my runners knee and now that I know it doesn’t mean I am “done” I can accept that and just be smart about it. I was terribly disappointed when I heard my daughter’s pediatrician tell me that she used to run but hurt her knee so she doesn’t run anymore. I don’t know the extent of her injury, but I am happy to know that does not necessarily have to be the case for everyone that hurts their knee running. Thank you again and I know you will get better in good time!
Hey Carrie!! Thanks for your words of encouragement!! Everyone needs encouragement from time to time. I can’t believe I hurt my back after hurting my abdominal muscles (who hurts their abdominal muscles!?! Besides Chris Bosh?) a weeks before. This has been a rough three weeks!! I first hurt my shin three weeks back while I was moving a TV. I didn’t realize there was a separate piece of wood stuck to the bottom of hit and it fell off and opened a gash in my left shin. There was a huge bruise, but of course I ran the next day!! Go hard or go home right!?! Well, of course not always the case. I was able to get through my workouts with minimal discomfort that week. The week I hurt my leg I noticed the right side of my abs were really sore. I thought, well, ok, we moved a lot of stuff the day before so they are just sore. I kept doing sit-ups…of course!! Why do we do that to ourselves? It’s like we think working out will fix it!! Well, it got worse…a lot worse. It hurt to breathe in. My wife kept telling me to rest and so I finally had to stop sit-ups for a few days, but of course I did other things!! It got better but then we went running last week in 95 degree weather. Had to run up a huge, and I mean evil huge hill twice. Both of our backs hurt, but I thought it would subside. Over the next few days I kept working out and of course it got worse. I woke up Friday and it was hard to breathe in…but, what did I do? I worked out!!! By friday afternoon I was in severe pain. We had to move this past weekend and I didn’t want my wife doing everything so I lifted what I could, which I know didn’t help. She tried to stop me, but I lied and said it wasn’t that bad. She knew I was bad when I bent over in agony and couldn’t really breathe. Aggravated that I now have to completely rest. Even running hurts. I have had this injury before…almost like a pinched nerve. I know I need to rest for a while and I am not ready to do so, but I know I have to. I will do as you say and apply heat today and hope it heals soon. I was really glad to get your comment…I needed someone to tell me to rest!! We all need that!!
I hope your back is feeling better by now and that you’re resting it too. Thank you so much for the encouragement and for providing this forum. It makes me feel like all of us injured people are in it together. 🙂 Enjoy your vacation!
Hi not sure how fast you’ll respond to this. My knees started feeling a little weird on tuesday which I thought strange since I had cut my miles the week before down by 20% and then this was my taper week for my 5k saturday. I have since been using ibuprophen icing took a hot bath one night and soaked in it a while. My knee pain is really low on the pain scale even when Ipuprophen is out of my system and there is no swelling but my knee feels a little weird and when i straighten it when sitting it sort of shifts/pops not loudly it just feels slightly off. I have been pretty much staying off of it watching movies and stuff. I am just scared to run on it and the 5k is tomorrow. I was planning a decent warmup easy paced with few 5k pace pickups of 200-400m and maybe 2-3 strides. Then seeing if I feel up to snuff for a 5k is that a bad plan?
You are doing the right thing by resting. That is always the best medicine. I never had any problems with my knee shifting or popping, which to me would have been cause for concern. The good thing is that there is not any swelling. However, I will say that if you continue to feel any pain do not run. You do not want to make your injury worse. Too many times I have not listened to my body only to end up hurting for a much longer period of time. If you are still feeling any pain when you run I wouldn’t risk damaging your knee any more by running or attempting to run a 5K. It’s not worth it, especially considering how many 5K’s there are every weekend…You could easily run another one soon. My knee pain was low as well when it first started, but I continued to walk on it and also tried to run a bit. It only made it worse and I ended up being out for a much longer period of time. To me, if you are scared to run on it because you are not confident it is fully healed then I would not chance it. You will know when you wake up tomorrow if you maybe run a few steps and feel pain that it’s not a good idea to run. I know that’s not what you want to hear, but believe me, being out much longer is not worth it. I hurt my back last week and continued to work out with it. I didn’t listen to my own advice and I pushed it to the limits. It is still hurting and I have had to make myself rest much longer than I ever expected to. If I had just not worked out for a couple of days following the onset of pain I would have been fine. Listen to your body. I hope you wake up tomorrow and feel much better. I would love to hear how your 5K goes!! I am pulling for you! Heal Quickly!!!! 🙂
I am really pleased that I found your site! I started with runner’s knee 18 months ago. At 49 I should have known that I had to stretch after runs. I started running 4 years ago and have never stretched properly! I have seen a consultant and after lots of stretches and strengthening exercises I started running again. Unfortunately I did too much too soon (typical of me!) and after only about 50 meters I had a sharp pain in my knee and had to stop again. I took a week off and told myself that today was the day to start again.
The most awful thing I find is the anxiety of going for the first run after the injury. Today I got myself so worked up my knees were so tight with tension! It’s the anticipation of walk to run and whether the pain is going to kick in again. Is it just me?
Hey Kim!! It’s not you at all. The same thing has definitely happened to me. It’s normal to be tentative when coming back from an injury. Look at most pro athletes who come back from an injury…they never come back completely 100% because there’s the feeling that they have to favor their injury at first. It usually takes a few games for them to get back to normal.
Yesterday I went to the gym after taking more than a week off of exercise because of pain in my upper back. I tried to take it easy, but it’s almost impossible when you have been out so long. You are like a kid in a candy store. I didn’t do too much, but I also went too hard. Thus, I came home with back pain and doubting my actions. I think it’s great that you are nervous because you don’t want to do too much or go too hard and end up back at square one (me). With just a couple of days more rest I probably would have been fine, but I was too eager. Also, when I had runner’s knee my first run on the treadmill was scary. I ran a really really slow mile and I was tight the entire time. I even thought I had re-aggravated my injury. But, I went home and iced and rested and the next day there was no pain!! The only way to move forward is to eventually start moving, no matter how scared or worried you are. If you feel as though the knee can hold up after resting it a week then go for a short run and know that it’s okay to be worried. I’d rather be hesitant on my first run than risk hurting myself more believing I am 100%. You are going to be okay Kim. Be hesitant. Be Cautious. Get Comfortable. Make sure you are pain free. Run further. Run faster. Worry no more. 🙂 You will get there. Don’t give up. Keep your head up.
Thank you for replying so soon. Your comments are so encouraging. Having done my run yesterday (feeling tight and anxious) I feel like I’m back to square one again. I think this is because I knew I wasn’t completely pain free so I wore a knee support. Although the run was fine I am sore and finding the stairs are pinching the knee on the way down! It’s so frustrating! I have iced this morning and taken some Brufen. I think I need to rest again and then try to relax and not worry before I go again. I’ll let you know how it goes. Thank you again and I’m glad your back is feeling better.
Update : I ran the 5k after feeling good after warm-up. The reason was I only have access to 3 5ks a year. It is way to hard to do them anywhere because of scedules and kids. I felt great after my warmup. But I took the first mile was too fast, my goal was 7:30 mile and my first one was 6:40, oops! The last 2.1 miles were horrible. I ended up with a time of 25:00, way off my goal,which I presume was due to the fact that my first mile was a PR by 18 seconds… anyhow my knees hurt for about 10 minutes after the run I took a few more days off, ran easy 3 miles they felt fine, took another day off did a 3 mile tempo run and bam next day they hurt again. Now I am on day four of resting, this time I will wait until they are 100% feeling better and easy into it slower. Hopefully I won’t be out for too long of a time, kind of nervous about that!!
I know exactly how you feel. I don’t blame you for running the 5K. I would have probably done the same thing. I tend to push harder when I know the cards are stacked against me. Plus, I am sure in the first mile you were just exciting to be running so we went hard. Again…I don’t blame you. But, I am sure you have seen, as I have, that pushing your body to this limits when it is already barking at you definitely makes it bite!! Resting is always always always hard. I am on week three of resting my backs which means no weights, running, walking…nothing. I would give anything to just be on a week’s rest. It doesn’t seem natural to rest. I have hard a hard go of it as of late. I will admit from time to time I push a little, which sets me back again. Just keep telling yourself that resting now will benefit you so much more in the long run. If you can run a 6:40 mile you will regain your speed in no time. I have always been able to get my speed back after an extended time off…I actually usually get faster because I am just glad to be back!!! Trust me…this injury will make you appreciate running and being healthy so much more. You are going to be fine. 🙂 Congrats on a great time of 25:00…I know it’s not what you wanted but it’s a great accomplishment. Take pride in it. You did that hurt…I would love to see what you get when you’re not hurt. 🙂 Keep up the awesome work and take it easy! 🙂
Thanks for writing this. I did my first 10K today. It confirmed what i knew for a very long time which was that my cardio fitness is beyond 10k but my legs and certain biomechanical issues are limiting my performance. To my absolute horror, the accursed runner’s knee came back after what was actually an enjoyable race. I first came across this thing last year after some hill walking. It lasted for a very long time to the extent that i needed physiotherapy. I have long wondered whether this happened because of insufficient or wrong recovery techniques. Resting and non-aggravation is quite difficult for me. I know i am a very impatient person but i travel a fair distance everyday for work and use a lot of stairs. How does one possibly stay away from stairs or gradients? The good thing though this is after my race so i have some time to recover. The race clearly revealed that the biomechanical issues are still present and i will need to spend more time on strengthening and correction.
Hey David…have you tried out different shoes? It could be your shoes giving your legs fits. I am sure you have already looked into that though. I can understand that lack of ability to rest, especially for your job. You just have to do everything possible to avoid strenuous activity until you are healed. Always easier said than done. I hope you get better soon and are able to run without any problems.
Hi and thank you for the details and methods of recovery and prevention etc. I am 38 and have been jogging since I was around 21. I haven’t really increased training recently although until right before I got injured I felt in very good shape physically and was doing good times and distances. To be honest, I first felt the pain when out hiking rather than jogging. The pain receded with rest and when getting back to jogging the pain started up again. This happened a few times until I decided I’d best stop and allow it to rest. The strange thing is I can walk to work (about mile and a half) without any problems, and can even play football and squash without any/much discomfort. It is only the relentless pounding of jogging or walking for long times or distances that seems to aggravate the knee. It is the outside of the knee that hurts just below the knee-cap. Stopping running when it flares up and resting seems to stop the ppain almost immediately.
I am actually on rest for two weeks now, Going to make another appointment. I feel absolutely no pain in my knees but they are still popping. I am going to try and get into a sports doctor. They did an Xray which showed (of course) nothing. I will probably end up with an MRI. Whether it’s runners knee or not I am doubting. I guess it just goes to show that self-diagnosing can also be dangerous so if an injury lasts longer than expected, maybe it’s best to see a doctor. Sorry you’ve been out three weeks. I haven’t been able to do a lot either, just a little swimming, but now that vacation is over swimming will be difficult to have access to, keep your head up! We’ll hopefully be running again soon!
In April, I decided it was time for me to get healthy again. I had not regularly exercised since college, about 15 years ago. When younger, I was a health freak, so when I exercised, I always went all out. I started running in April to get in shape, to lose a few pounds, and to alleviate stress (I work full-time in a stressful job and am writing a dissertation). I started off with 1/2 mile since I’ve never been a real runner (3 miles max when I ran sporadically in high school for exercise). I worked my way up to 3 miles in an appropriate time frame, I thought. Then, I thought I’d try 4. I did it a few times and felt great that I was running more than I’ve ever run in my life. I started to notice knee pain (in both knees) when I upped to 3-4 miles, but not when I was running. So, I thought it was OK to keep running. I had read that I should strengthen my quads to alleviate the pain. To do this, I read I should do lunges. (Now, I think that was the wrong advice and decision.) The pain was getting more frequent and painful. I went to my regular doctor (PCP) who said he thought I was fine and to ice and take ibuprofen. I specifically asked if I needed to stop running. He said no, keep doing what I’m doing. And so I did. Then, it started hurting when I was running. I ran 2 times after seeing my PCP. The last time I ran 2 weeks ago, it hurt from the beginning, and I could only do 3 miles. I should not have kept running and am so angry at my doctor for not telling me to stop. I should have listened to my body. After that run, I limped and could barely walk for 3-4 days. I have not exercised at all since then, but I had to go to work, which requires me to be on my feet a little bit. The pain seemed to be getting better, and then I had to walk to a meeting in another building, which set it off again. I then went to an orthopedic because my regular doctor didn’t take x-rays, and I wanted to make sure I didn’t cause major damage. (I’ve never had knee problems before.) Nothing really showed up on the x-rays except that he said it looked like my cartilage was softening a little (chondromalacia patella). Physical therapy was recommended. I can’t get in for PT until next week (5 days from now). I’m afraid working is going to keep me from being able to stay off my knee and thus from getting better. So, I’m debating about taking a few days off, but sitting around doing nothing is killing me.
I had hoped to run a 5K in the fall, and now, I’m not even sure I’ll be able to walk ;-( I had lost 8 pounds and was feeling the best I had felt in years before this knee pain started. Running helped with my confidence and how I felt. Now, I feel depressed, lazy, and just plain awful. I have used ice sporadically – I used it the night of my last run and here and there since. I guess I will keep using it and will start taking ibuprofen.
Like others, it was hard to figure out what was wrong and how to treat it. Thanks for this information and the suggestions. I want to get back to feeling good and running ASAP.
Hey Kim!! I am so sorry to hear what you have had to deal with. Please don’t let it take away that fire…you will get it back. The Fall is a long way away and it will not take you long to work your way back up to 3.1 miles…trust me on this. The great thing is that the doctors have not found anything wrong. You probably just need to take some time off and allow it to heal. I would consider doing a stationary bike when it starts to get better. It will help you feel as though you are still able to burn calories. I know it has helped me a lot. I am surprised the Dr. told you to keep running and not to take some time off. However, I am not a dr. so I will not go against his/her advice. Also, I would look into what kind of shoes you are running in. Those could be the culprit as well…or at least part of the problem. You want to make sure you have a really good pair of running shoes. Before I switched to the Asics Gel Nimbus I was just running in cheap running shoes. I would get shin splints all of the time. When I switched shoes the shin splints vanished. Shoes make a huge difference.
For now don’t start thinking about the possibility of not running a 5K soon. There is no reason to believe that it’s not possible. In fact, I am going to go out on a limb and say I bet you will run 3 5k’s before the end of the year!! 🙂 Yes, that’s a challenge!! But, make sure you are healed before doing the first one.
It’s easy to get down on yourself with an injury. Trust me I know…I just ran for the first time in a month today…a month!!! My back is finally good enough to allow me to run again. But, it’s like starting over again. I only got to run 1.5 miles today. I am used to running 5 miles. But, at least I am running again and that’s all I care about. What my injury has taught me is that I really do have a passion for being healthy. Your injury is helping you realize that you love the way working out makes you feel and that you are truly committed to getting healthy. That’s a great thing. When your injury subsides you will go into working out with a new perspective.
Take this time to focus on your diet. My injury allowed me to make an ever better effort to eat well. I was able to actually lose weight with my injury because I focused on eating more fresh fruits and vegetables. I think I will be even better once I am 100% again.
You are going to be fine Kim. Keep your head up and do not lose that drive. Don’t let this injury get the best of you. Take pride in the fact that you are committed to getting healthy. A lot of people never get there. Kudos to you and your efforts!! Keep it up!! Remember…3 5k’s before the end of the year!! 🙂
Thanks so much for your encouragement and tips! It’s nice to know we’re not going through this alone and that others have been there and succeeded in returning to running! It’s hard to imagine running when you can barely walk, but I hope and trust that others are right about this!
When I first started running, I was running in Sketchers Shape Ups (the newer kind that were made for running). They were heavenly in the beginning. It was like running on a cloud, but I think they were not good. I have since read a lot about how they cause knee injuries, but it’s unclear if these folks were wearing the old ones that were specifically not for running or if they actually were referring to the running shoes. The last couple weeks I ran, I ran in new Nike’s. I think they were OK, but I did go out and buy a good pair of Brooks running shoes with help from the guys at the running shoe store 😉 I can’t wait to try them out! I hope they make a difference.
You are right about eating healthy, too. I made a pretty big lifestyle change when I started running in April. I cut out soda, I watch my calories, and I have cut down on how much I eat. As a vegetarian, I was eating too much pasta and soy. I’ve started eating more vegetables and fresh fruits, and I know that has made a difference. Sitting around, not exercising though does make me want to eat more ;-( So, I’m fighting the urge.
Thanks for the challenge. I hope I can do it! I’m so glad to hear you were able to start running again today! Back pain is no fun either! I wish you the best as you get back up to 5 miles, and I’ll keep you posted about my progress in the fall 😉
I wanted to update you on where I am and ask a couple of questions. I have completed 2 weeks of physical therapy, and my left knee seems pretty healed. I am at least walking OK now, but my right knee still hurts here and there (even without running). I still can’t walk “normally.” Do you have any idea how long it will be until the pain is completely gone? I haven’t run in over 3 weeks! ;-( Do you know how to tell when you’re ready to start running again? I am finally able to do the elliptical now, which is better than nothing. I used to do several miles on that plus other cardio plus running. I could barely manage 20 minutes on the elliptical (nothing else) after this break from exercising. If you’ve had physical therapy for runners knee or if anyone else has, does it work? Can you really get rid of runners knee and not have constant problems? The physical therapist had said earlier this week that he may have me run next week, but I still don’t think I’m ready, as much as I want to. This is so frustrating. The good news is that I have continued to watch my diet, and I have lost more than 9 pounds since I started running in April. I’m trying to focus on the positive 😉 Thanks again for your advice! This is a great site!!!
Hey Kim!! Unfortunately I can’t say how long it will be before the pain goes away. I don’t went to give you a specific number or even a rough one at this point because if it’s not right it will just lead to disappointment. I often tend to give myself a number of days and end up getting back too son and re-injuring myself. I will just say it will heal in as much time as it needs to. I know, that’s a crappy answer, but it’s the truth. Injuries are oftentimes different for everyone. I would say it’s a really really great sign you can do the elliptical now…really good. Don’t worry about having to build your way back up again…you will be there in no time. I haven’t run in over a month and I know I will have to start over, but I am okay with that because I know already know how to do it.
A lot of your fear right now is that worry that it won’t fully go away. I know how that feels. But, you can’t think about that. You really just have to take it day by day. It will take time to feel 100% again. I never really felt 100% at my two half marathons after runner’s knee, but now I don’t have problems with it. That’s a great thing. You have to remain positive.
Kudos to you for losing 9 pounds. That’s so awesome!! That’s better that you can do it without having to exercise. You know how hard that is. That is something great that has come from your injury. You always have to focus on the positives. Now, you will start working out again soon with 9 pounds less weight!!! That’s awesome!!
Keep your head up. Don’t worry about it being chronic. Give it time. Be patient. You are doing awesome!!!
Thanks again for your feedback. I really appreciate it! I love your blog and appreciate the time you take to get back to us. And I really needed the motivational talk 😉 So, thank you. I will keep doing my physical therapy and elliptical and hope that sometime soon, I can get back to running! I want to run at least 1 5K in the fall. I hope to get past this runner’s knee as you have. Thanks again!
Reblogged this on Duncs Des Sables Run and commented:
I wouldn’t be running the Australian Outback Marathon this Saturday without finding and following this guys advice. All of it spot on. Thanks.
Hi, I just wanted to follow up and let you know that I made it around the AOB in 3hr56, not something I thought possible before I came across your blog, I wasn’t getting beyond 17km. Thanks again for taking the time to pass on this advice. Now on to the MdS next April….
Congrats!!! So happy to hear that!! Glad I could help. I know injuries can be very very frustrating but when we are back to normal and running again it makes it all the more worth it!!! Keep up the awesome work and keep me posted on how things are going. Again, so happy you made it!!! 🙂
Thank you so much for this information. I am just starting out and want to train for a triathlon next summer. I love the cycling and do that the most. I run/walk 3 miles and I just tried to slow run the 3 the other day and almost didn’t make it home. I thought I would have to stop by the roadside until my kids came looking for me! Unfortunately, I can’t avoid stairs or hills (nature of house and property) but I was going to go out and try my run again tomorrow and I think I will wait and maybe just go for a short ride instead. If I had found your site, I would have run tomorrow. I have been icing and that made all the difference.
It is always best to err on the side of caution. Be patient and you will heal much faster. When you are feeling 100% you will be amazed at how quickly your body will get used to running longer mileage. You are doing great and will continue to do great!! Keep it up! 🙂
Thanks for this blog! I have been off the running and hiking circuit for about three weeks after my knee started hurting after hiking. My case is a bit complicated- I had done a very long hike in June right before having abdominal surgery (not my first) and did some hiking about two weeks post op when my symptoms started. I had fallen on it earlier this year with persistent swelling, but saw an ortho who declared it ugly but not knee-threatening, and never had pain on that even on a 1/2 Mary in May. I really thought the pain was not going to completely subside until finally two days ago it got remarkably better! I’m supposed to do the running leg of a Tri relay, only 2.2 miles but it is straight up the ski slopes of a mountain (did a bandit run of it last year). I’m not sure I should do it since I haven’t ran or hiked in three wks (the good news is you can take a tram down- all of my pain has been walking down stairs or keeping the knee bent, so it’s meant to be, right?!). I have enjoyed this post and all of the comments, hope your back is mended!
I would try some practice runs just to make sure your knee is back to normal. You just don’t want to risk making it worse. However, I know when my runner’s knee cleared up it felt like it happened magically. My back, well, not so much. I made the mistake of doing push-ups last week and basically re-injured myself again. I felt like I was better but my impatience got the best of me and I pushed too hard. You don’t want the same thing to happen. I will admit that I still felt a little pain when I did the push-ups, so it wasn’t smart on my part. If you are pain-free I would say go for it because I know I would. Just take it easy and don’t push too much. I am sure you will do great!! Looking forward to hearing how it goes. 🙂
Thanks. I tried running on flat/hard pavement yesterday and it was a no go since I felt the knee after just a few hundred feet. But tonight I tried an experiment with my husband running/fast walking up a very steep hill (2 tenths, very steep, my nemesis for hill training), and riding my husbands bike down. We did three circuits and no pain in the knee (man was I sucking wind). I’ll see how it feels tomorrow for the true test! I have accepted that it may put me on the sidelines if I do it, gotta be realistic!
Sorry to hear about yesterday’s run…but yesterday’s disappointments can easily turn into a positive. I always hate waiting to see if the injury will erupt overnight. But, I will say that I love waking up to pain-free bliss. Will definitely keep my fingers crossed for you. I am just glad to hear that you made it through the run without pain. You know, I would rather be sucking wind than feeling pain. 🙂 Bring on the wind!!! Let me know how you feel tomorrow. Take it easy…ice…elevate and stay positive!! 🙂
Wow…lots of information to digest. I am 47 years old and started running about 6 months ago as part of a weight loss program. Well, 50 pounds lighter and a few months later I have become a bit addicted. I am reading quite a bit about this runners knee and and it has raised some concern. I am training for my first half marathon — in Sept — and in the middle of a training program. I ran my first 10k last Saturday and began a hill regimen earlier this week (one day out the week). I have developed a dull ache in my knee, but nothing painful or really uncomfortable at this point. I have iced it after runs and had no problem this morning on a 4mile run. I don’t run for the next two days, but I have a 9 mile run on the schedule for Saturday. I am wondering what the ‘runners knee’ feels like. Again, what I am experiencing is a faint ache – not continuosly, just occasionally. Your thoughts would be appreciated.
Hey Dave!!! Runner’s knee, at least for me, started with a dull ache. I really didn’t think anything of it at first since it didn’t seem to hinder any of my runs. One day, after a 9 mile run, I noticed pain to the touch. However, it wasn’t painful to walk or even run. It actually felt like a bruise beneath the knee, but I knew my knee had not collided with anything. The pain eventually became more prominent to the point that stairs, hills, any incline for that matter became difficult. I would just say to be careful, especially running hills. I would maybe not run the hill regimen this week to make sure the knee ache does not develop into something worse. I have noticed that when I have tried to add hill intervals to my training it led to knee pain. Therefore, I cut it out all together. I am not saying to do that, but just be careful and monitor the pain. A lot of injuries usually start with minimal pain/ache and progress when rest is not provided. Just be careful and make sure you ice after every run as added protection. If you get runner’s knee it will start to ache even during runs and become very noticeable. Don’t let your addiction to running get in the way of preventing injuries…However, being as I am an addicted runner myself I understand what you are going through. We can get through this! 🙂 Seriously though, just be smart and pay attention. At least you are aware of the ache and can monitor it. Congrats on your weight loss! That’s awesome!!! Keep it up!!! I love to hear success stories like yours. It’s great to hear when someone has taken full control of their health and is enjoying it!! Again, congrats! 🙂
Thanks for the quick response!!!…You hit the nail on the head — it has become an addiction!! Just to follow up…there is no pain when I touch, rub, or whatever else I do to my knee at this point…just the occasional dull ache.
No problem! 🙂 Just monitor and make sure you stretch and ice after every run. If you get to a point when it hurts to the touch stop running for a few days. For now just be careful and keep up the great work!
First of all I love this blog and your dedication to each response’ puts a smile on my face. Now what I have to say is probably answered some where in the sea of questions, but like everyone else brought to this site, I’m suffering from runners knee. I was never really a serious runner per say, but I’ve always been. Serious athlete. Gymnastics for 7 years, lacrosse for a
Couple after that. So, in the beginning of may, I decided I wanted to complete a half marathon. Figuring I already had a good physical base, probably led me to jump to far into training. I completed my half in july in 2 hrs 18 minutes, but my knees ached by the time I hit mile 10, and then for days after. From what I gather I just haven’t given them time to fully heal, I have another half in September, and a full(yikes) in the end of October, so my training has been more or less pretty constant. The thing I have a hard time with is easing back Into my runs. When I’m needing to get 15 or 17 mile runs into my regimen in such a short time, how do I work up to those while also trying to be pain free?? I recently just did a 12 miler and was just short of limping by the end of it, but a competitor at heart, and I have the mind set of needing to get out there and tackle these daunting long runs right away to feel ready I guess..sorry if I am just rambling, I’m nervous my knee won’t hold up for my full is all, and Im not sure how to ease back Into my long runs. Thank you so much for all of your advise!
Hey Danielle!! First off…thanks for commenting!! I made this site with the specific intent to help those such as yourself. I am happy to answer any questions and I will definitely do my best to answer yours. I want to congratulate you on running your first half marathon and for deciding to take on the full marathon. That’s great!!
You are probably right when you say that it was too much too soon. I have a tendency to do the same thing. After my first half marathon I pushed too hard for the second in an attempt to better my time. I assumed since I ran a half marathon already I would be fine. But, running is a monster!! It’s evil…yet we love it. 🙂 Ok, it’s not evil…I love it. But, you have to be really careful and allow your body time to heal when it is injured. It will not, and I repeat, will not heal if you keep running on it. The pain will linger and intensify with time if you don’t head it off at the pass. Don’t worry about not getting your mileage. So much easier said than done. I know I know…stop looking at me like that. 🙂 You can either take some time off and let it heal or risk not running those races at all. Think about the alternative. My back is still injured because I would not rest for more than a week. Two times I have re-injured it because I couldn’t wait just one more week. A month and a half later here I am still not running. I am lucky I had no race on the horizon. Last year when I was training for my first full marathon I got hurt in September. I had to miss two weeks of training. I was freaking out. I thought I wouldn’t be able to work the mileage in…but I did. I was fine because I let myself rest to get better. Rest now…you still have a lot of time. Ease back in when you are better. Keep reminding yourself it’s better than the alternative.
I don’t care if you are rambling. You are worried…scared…angry…upset…it’s so understandable. Injuries are a time when we go through a variety of emotions. We are always thinking about the worst…trying our best to remain hopeful. Don’t lose that hope. You are going to be fine. Just a little rest. When you start running again just run a mile slow and see how it feels. The next time run longer and go from there. Baby steps…it’s all about baby steps. You have a lot of time before your full marathon. Let me know if you have anymore questions I will be happy to help. Keep up the awesome work and again congrats!!!
I can’t even begin to explain to you how much I needed to hear that today. You truly are giving us all the gift of inspiration and motivation, and that is seriously priceless. I’m going to force myself to take the time off now, so I’m as close to 100 percent as I can be for my full. I have an appointment with a runner therapist this week also, I’m sure she will have additional bits of advise! Again, thank you for caring, and taking the time to reassure me that it will all work out in the end. I tend to worry way to much, way to far in advance, when I really have plenty of time to rest and get back to my training. Sometimes it just sounds more reasonable coming from somebody else:) I’ll keep you updated on how my half and full go! Thank you thank you!
I also hope your back is feeling better! You will need to start a runners’ blog for back pain, too 😉
Hey! Just wanted to update you that I’m done with physical therapy as of this past week (4 full weeks)! I have no restrictions and can begin running again! I ran a mile at PT one day last week, and it was awesome. The physical therapist watched me run and suggested some things: lifting my knees higher, making sure to heal strike, and pushing off the ball of my foot. It’s really hard to remember all of these things when you’re running and to change your form! Since that mile, I haven’t really been able to do much of anything – not because of pain but because I’m tired from the other things he’s given me to do and because I’m out of practice. Do you have any tips for how to get back into a running routine after this injury? I see that you say above to start with 10 minutes and then if no pain, go to 3 miles. I know I can’d do 3 miles yet. Do you have any suggestions for how to build up mileage slowly over time? Also, do you have any suggestions for how to incorporate weights in order to reduce pressure on the knees? I’m not sure how often to run or how often to do weights. I’m so happy to be able to try to run again, but I’m also frustrated with how little I seem to be able to do. On a brighter note, I was able to go horseback riding for the first time since getting injured. It is such a workout (especially when learning to post – to sit and stand in the saddle while trotting). I had no knee pain, but I’m sore from my neck down to my ankles! Maybe I should give up running and go horseback riding instead! lol. I still really want to run though. Thanks again for this wonderful blog and your tips! Your blog has helped me get through this awful and frustrating injury!
Hey Kim!! I’m glad to hear that your PT is done!! I know that finally getting the ok to resume activity is a wonderful feeling. It’s normal for it to be difficult to get back into the swing of things. When I tore ligaments in my right ankle and had to go to PT for two months I was frustrated, especially when I had to try and run again. It was something that I had to build back up over time. It doesn’t happen over night. You have to get your body used to running and ease back in. When I said to run for 10 minutes slowly and then to 3 miles…that was more for people who had only not been running for maybe a week and were used to long mileage. I would not suggest running 3 miles for a while. Get used to running a mile to the point where it actually becomes almost easy. Don’t worry about speed, just worry about getting through your mile comfortably. If say after running a mile 3 to 4 times without a problem, then maybe try and run 2 miles and go from there. You definitely don’t want to jump from 1 mile to 3 miles in two runs. Get there at a pace that is comfortable to you. I would even maybe incorporate walk/runs. Walk to get started then run for a little bit…slow down again to a walk and then run some more and so on. You may even look into the couch to 5K program I have posted on my site. That would be a good way to gradually work your way back up again. Don’t worry about rushing your runs at all. The great thing is that you are feeling healthy again and we want to keep it that way. 🙂
As far as weights are concerned I am probably not the best person to ask…I despise leg weights! 🙂 No really, I am horrible about incorporating leg weights of any kind. I usually try and do some type of leg machine at the gym, but I am not consistent. I do try and do lunges and squats as often as possible. Also, do some legs stretches as well. I wouldn’t run every day of course. I think it’s best to run and then take a day or two off to do something else and then run again. I definitely don’t run every single day because I just don’t want to beat my knees into the ground. Try your best to mix up your workouts. You don’t want to keep doing the same things or your body won’t respond as well. Some days do a bike machine or an elliptical. Other days just focus primarily on weights. I constantly hear great things about strength training, which is why it’s important to make it a part of your weekly routine.
If horseback riding is that much of a workout I would definitely keep doing it. What a great way to build leg strength. 🙂 Let the horse do all the running for you. 🙂 I am really glad to hear that you are able to run again…it’s very encouraging!!! Glad to hear that the fire is still burning. Can’t wait to hear about your progress!!
I just wanted to post to thank you, Runtobefit, for your motivation and most importantly, finally feeling like someone understands! I am scheduled to run my first half-marathon on Sunday. I devoted my summer to training, and just last week (Wed) started to experience some knee pain – which after some research online, feel confidently is ‘runners knee.’ Im so disappointed, and hearing people say ‘don’t run’ is so deflating. Especially since my husband and several of our friends are running the race – I feel it’s all we ‘talk’ about, and now with this pain, I am so afraid I won’t be able to participate. The pain isn’t actually that bad during the runs – it’s afterwards. I just don’t want to do any long-term damage that will prevent me from leading my active lifestyle. I will buy a brace like you suggest, and continue to ice, ice, ice this week….
I hope I can run this weekend, but if not, I still want to thank you for your blog. I now know other people have struggled with the same exact dilema.
Don’t Run!! Ok, Ok, just kidding. I know exactly how you feel. Nobody ever understands unless they are dealing with a similar injury. They don’t realize the amount of devotion that we put into training and how badly we want to run. I am not going to say don’t run, because only you know what’s best for you. I will say that there is hope…there’s always hope. I will say that it’s important to stay positive and not let yourself worry about the possibility of not running. As of this time you will be running on Sunday. It’s not Saturday yet, so we don’t know how your knee feels. My only suggestion is that you rest up until Sunday. Give your injury time to heal for the best chance at running Sunday. Injuries are crazy and they often affect everyone differently. Some suffer for days, while others suffer for weeks or months. The most important thing is that you pay attention to your body and if you feel as though your injury is getting worse…stop. Don’t risk injuring it more.
I am looking forward to you commenting on Sunday that you finished the race and it was one of the best experiences of your life. 🙂 If you can’t run, well, I will be excited to see that you have remained positive about the next race and the wonderful feelings that are sure to follow. Running should never be about one race…it should be about changing your life for the better and grasping tightly to a healthy lifestyle. This upcoming race will be one of many to come. But, I know this run is important to you and I am praying you heal very soon! Good luck in your race and enjoy it…no matter what. 🙂
Ok, so I got too – runner knee, pain from August 10, today August 20 – still hurt but I can walk… but slowly, I want to cry, but I am keeping positive. Did some exercise, straight leg lift, quad sets over weekend, and it helps. My race 10 miles this Saturday, I know that I will not do any PR (I am ok with) but do you think that I can at least walk 10 miles…. please help… Desperate Runner…
First off, there’s no use worrying about what you don’t know yet. You have till Saturday…a lot of time in my book. The great thing is that you can walk. As I tell everyone, it’s important that you rest. That’s the best thing you can do right now. I can’t stress enough how important that is, especially with this type of injury. There’s a great chance that you will be able to walk the race. For not see how it feels daily. You never know, you could wake up tomorrow and the pain could subside significantly.
I don’t blame you for wanting to cry. It’s an emotional and frustrating time. I actually cried a bit when I got tendonitis in my right ankle before my first half marathon. I was angry because I had trained so hard and the prospect of not running my race upset me. But, I tried to remain positive after getting out my frustration in tears. Soon after my injury got better and I ran my race. After that I got runner’s knee, but I didn’t let myself cry. I stayed positive and told myself that if I couldn’t run my next half marathon I would be fine. It’s ok to be angry. It’s ok to be upset. That means you want to run. That means that you aren’t just doing this for fun, but that it actually is an important part of your life. That’s a good thing!! Trust me, when you do heal you will appreciate running so much more. Stay positive and walk the race if you have to. Good luck!! 🙂
Your message made my day and certainly made a Monday better!!! Thanks so much for your tips! I really appreciate it. I hope my easing back into running will help me get through it and achieve more than I did before the injury! I will keep you posted on my progress. I hope you are injury free and that your back is doing better. Thanks again!
It’s important that I make anyone’s Monday better. 🙂 Nobody likes a Monday!! I am just really excited for you!!! Thanks for keeping me up to date on your progress. Very very excited for you!! Can’t wait to hear about your first 5K. 😉
Hi, thanks for reply and positive message. Your forum is great! I know that I did too much, too soon, and too little rest and now I pay the price. But I keep positive and I will be running again, maybe not this Saturday, but I have other races…. I did some isometric exercises and it helps…. I will keep you posted on progress. I have 4 more days…. 🙂 Good Luck Everybody. Let’s fight runner knee together!
Hi, quick update, no.1 – recovery – rest time is must, my knee after few days get better, although I have pain but I can manage 2. I didn’t make 10 miles but I did 5k. I was able to jog slow, but felt so good to be able even to jog:) 3. I have my first Half Marathon – Air Force in 2 weeks, so I will need rest 4. I still have pain but I will go easy and I know I have cardio so I will jog if I have too. 5. I went to Dr. and again – they did some x-ray and recommendation – rest and go easy; 6. It is difficult if you train so much to go easy now, but the best advise – REST:) 7. I did some isometric knee exercises – quad set, straight leg lift and helps. Good Luck Everybody!
Glad to hear you are doing well. Keep resting and taking it easy. You will be back to 100% in no time. Definitely want to hear about that first half marathon. You will never forget the first one. Enjoy every second of it. Good luck and keep up the great work!
I made it. First 1/2 marathon completed with no pain. It was great. I took off from running almost a month, and I kept low pace, 12 minutes, but I finished and I didn’t have pain in knee during or after 🙂 Next time I am going for PR. Air Force Marathon is great, I recommended. It is fast, flat and B2 flew over. I will go easy now but thanks for support and recommendation to go easy.
That’s so awesome!! I bet finishing was a wonderful experience!!! It’s something you will never ever forget. That rest did you good and it led to you running pain free…which is always the goal!! I am super excited for you!! You will surely PR on your next race…you will likely kill that time. Really glad to hear you rested and did the right thing in taking it easy. This is just the first in many half marathons I am sure. Make sure you buy a 13.1 decal for your car and drive around proudly!! This is a huge accomplishment and something you should be very very proud of. Can’t way to hear about your next one. Keep us updated!! Again, congrats!!!
Hi, I did second Half Marathon in Canada, time improved by 10 minutes. I have to still keep pace low, but I don’t have pain in knee after, and my recovery time is longer. I have to watch this, but it is Ok, until I can run so I liked it. New PR and not ER. I can’t agree more with you that rest is critical. I cut my training to 3 days a week, and it helps. Thanks for blog.
Thanks for the update!! Glad to hear that you did rest and that you were able to PR!! Many PR’s to come I am sure. Keep it up and continue to rest when necessary to recover. I’m sure you have seen that rest can be a great thing!! Again, great job on your PR!! An improvement of 10 minutes is awesome!!
I just had a baby 4 mos ago and have been trying hard to get my miles in for my half in 2 weeks and low and behold I have a bad case of runner’s knee. In your opinion do you think I will be able to do the race?
Congrats on the new baby!! Also…congrats on training for a half marathon just 4 months after having a baby!! That’s amazing!!! As far as running the race…honestly, I don’t know. I don’t know the extent of your injury. However, I do know that injuries affect everyone differently and there possibly is a chance you will be able to run. Some things to consider…1) Are you adequately prepared from your training to be ready to run the race. Basically, did you get enough training runs in and did you cover at least 9 miles to feel confident you can run the half marathon. 2) How bad is the pain in your knee and how long have you had it. If the pain has been apparent for longer than a week and it is getting worse with every run I would err on the side of caution. 3) Only you know how bad the injury is…
I am not an expert by any means when it comes to injuries. However, I have dealt with this injury before and I know that rest is extremely important. I don’t want to tell you that you can’t run, because there’s a chance the runner’s knee could clear up and you will feel better. I would really just say to focus on the now…which means resting. Don’t worry too much about getting your mileage in…especially if you have gotten plenty of mileage in already. Focus on resting and aiding your runner’s knee. I have learned the hard way that without adequate rest an injury can manifest itself into something much more. You don’t want to risk being out much longer than one race.
Here are some postives…1) You are two weeks away. 2) You are ready to run the race. 3) The race isn’t tomorrow 4) The race isn’t tomorrow 5) The race isn’t tomorrow. 🙂 You have time to heal. My suggestion is to take it easy for the next week. No running, especially if it is hurting. Just rest. Also, don’t be counting down the days to your run…it will just stress you out and you may end up rushing your injury and prevent healing. Focus on the day to day and getting back to 100%. You are going to be fine.
It’s amazing that you are going to run a half marathon just 4 months after having a baby. You should be sooooooo proud of yourself for committing yourself to a half marathon training program. That’s so great!! That fact that you have gotten this far should fill you with so much pride. Most people don’t even come this far. But, I know you want to finish what you started and I am definitely going to be praying for you. I want to hear that you ran that race and that you had a wonderful time. I want to hear that all the adversity getting there was worth it because it made you appreciate it so much more. I wish you all the luck and let me know how it goes. Again…You’re amazing!!!! Don’t forget that!
I think I have runner’s knee. I have been running for nearly a year but it started two weeks ago, suddenly after one run. The weird thing is that it seems most painful after the runs, rather than during – I feel uncomfortable at the very beginning of the run but then the pain seems to go and by the end I feel better – but immediately after resting, I start to feel it again and by the next morning I have trouble walking downstairs. I’m training for a half marathon in October and while I’m prepared to stop for a week, after that I’m really hoping to resume. Do you think this sounds like runner’s knee, and what else can I do during my week off – do I need to keep using ice?
It does sound like Runner’s Knee. It sounds similar to what I felt when I first got it. I remember running after I first started feeling the pain but during the runs I seemed fine. The injury got progressively worse over time…which is why it’s important to rest now. I would only use ice for the first couple of days and for only 15-20 minutes at a time. After that I would try using a heating pad for the latter days, because the ice won’t do much after the first couple of days from the onset of pain. When you do start running again, however, I would ice immediately after your runs to help prevent it from flaring up. I would definitely take a week off to see if that helps. I hope it gets better soon and good luck in running your half marathon in October. You still have a lot of time to get better. 🙂
Runtobefit – Awesome blog! I’ve been running since February after a health scare. It was more wunning at first (walk/running) and it was only on the treadmill. I then got introduced to outside running. OMG, it was a game changer. Within a 4 months, I lost 18 pounds and was running at a 8 minute mile. Since June I’ve been doing 20+ miles and running 4-5 days a week. I was consistently doing multiple 4.5-5.5M runs. After doing a 6 miler about a month ago with a younger co-worker and keeping up with him (I do a 8min mile for 5 miles or so, he’s a 7:20-7:30 for 6-7 miles), I signed up for a 10k and did it with my wife. After doing it without a problem, 2 weeks ago I did 7.5m at my pace and felt really good. Last Tuesday, I was running with the younger co-worker who hadn’t fully comprehended that I was going to do a longer run. I did 5 miles with him at a 7:50 pace and then did 4 miles at a much lower pace. Truth be told, there is a great CARA half marathon coming up in 2 weeks and I was trying to push myself. Overall, I felt pretty good the day of the 9 miler. I then ran lighter runs for the next two days (3m, 5m). On Thursday night, I felt some stiffness in my knee and it was a little soar. I played basketball the next morning (Friday). It definitely seemed to aggrevate it a little more. I took off the weekend but then ran most of this week + played bball again, including another run with the speed demon co-worker. I stressed the importance of slowing down the pace but I don’t think he knows the meaning. My knee hasn’t healed. I’m not in massive pain. No area is really soar to the touch. It feels more stiff and like there is a dull burning directly below the knee cap (I’m sure inflammation). This is very obvious but I’m pretty sure I did the typical too far, too fast over training,.
I’ve decided to postpone the 1/2 until November (luckily there is another great CARA race after Thanksgiving) and take 1-2 weeks to let my knee heal. It sucks to even think this but running for me is a lifestyle change and I want to do it for as long as I can. It’s more than race bibs and participation medals – running has bettered my health, reduced anxiety and clears my mind.
I also have been icing and bought a patella strap (which definitely helps). I’m going into Roadrunner today to get some new shoes and custom inserts. I’m going to do cross training on the rec bike, some quad/hamstring exercises, abs and work on my much neglected upper body this week. Then if I feel better, I was going to start some lighter 2-3 milers the following week and then trying to get back to my normal routine (and do more gradual distance increases at my pace – speed will come later is my thinking). Lastly, as much as I love to run with a partner, if I can’t get him to step down the pace, I am going to go back to solo.
Does my plan seem sound?
By the way, your running supply list was great. I will say for the record that Glide can wear off in long runs. I don’t know if it’s body make-up, sweat levels or all of the above, but I still can chaffed nipples even when using it. For those males who get sore “up top boys”, there are nip guards in running stores. Also will come in handy, if you ever decide to strip for money at a club that doesn’t allow nips to be seen. 🙂 Also, CEP compression sleeves have been awesome for reducing soreness and speeding up recovery post run. In all my runs, I’ve maybe has sore calves once or twice and it was pretty minimal.
Hey Jim…great to hear from you!! I am glad you have come to the realization that it is important to rest. I do think that running with the speed demon has hindered you somewhat. Usually when someone is pretty fast like that it’s almost impossible for them to slow down because to them it seems unnatural. I am a faster runner than my wife…she can run a 7:30 mile and I run a 6:50 on a 3 mile run…so when we train together it can sometimes be difficult for me to slow down my pace. What seems too slow to me can seem much faster to her. I think it would be best for you to run on your own in order to prevent yourself from further injury. At this time I think it’s best to stay away from running just to allow the inflammation to go down and allow your knee to right itself. It’s not going to get any better trying to push it to the limit. I am sure basketball is not helping either. In fact, I would surely stay away from it for a while. I love to play b-ball myself but I would not play if I had runner’s knee.
It’s a hard time because, as you have said, running has become a part of your life. Trust me, I know what you are going through. As I have said before, I have not run in over two months dealing with my back injury. I didn’t know when to say stop and rest and I kept aggravating the same injury over and over. That has led to an extended absence from running. All that exercising and pushing myself to the limits wasn’t worth it. It’s best to always err on the side of caution because you really don’t want it becoming a chronic injury. I think it’s great you have postponed your 1/2 marathon and I am glad there is another one soon. Always nice to have something to look forward to. I think you have a good plan set up for the next couple of weeks. If anything seems to cause pain or if your knee hurts the next day following an exercise then stop it immediately. Don’t be afraid to take a few days off to allow it to heal. When you start running again work your way back slowly. Don’t do too much and for sure don’t worry about speed. Again, it’s not worth it. You want to be able to run many many years from now.
I absolutely love Body Glide. It has gotten me through so many long long runs. I have never had a problem with it wearing off. However, I have the little body glide that I can put in my running belt pouch so I can take it with me on my runs and reapply if I need to. I don’t even want to think about chaffed nipples!! I usually run without a shirt to prevent it because I don’t want to risk having that experience. 🙂
Good luck with your injury and keep up the awesome work. Be careful and get yourself healthy again. Congrats on all the weight lost and the great lifestyle change you have made. It only gets better. Keep me posted!
Thanks for the reply! I actually went into Roadrunner and for the first time and had the whole gait/arch analysis done. All the signs were there but I never realized I had a high arch and run on the outer edges of my shoes. I’m an underpronator. I’m sure running too fast with too little rest coupled with this really compounded the problem. I got fitted for some great shoes (Asic Gel Nimbus) and custom inserts that I’m positive will help once I get back to running. Man, it sucks having to look at them and not take them out for a test run. I also was not buying big enough shoes either. I’m sure my toes will thank me. Definitely a good lesson to all beginner runners – get properly fitted and get the right shoes.
I do have one question. I’ve seen references to a recommended knee brace. I have a basic PT patella strap but was going to get a dual action cho-pat. But I’d love to hear any recommendations. Also, wondering if heat would be good to mix-in (instead of ice only) and if so at what point. I’m about 10 days into the injury. Thanks again!
Your life will change with the Asics Gel Nimbus. I am an underpronator as well, which really sucks. Because we are underpronators I do think it leads to more injuries. The bad part is that we don’t get as much mileage out of our shoes like other people, because they wear down much quicker. Plus, the gel nimbus are pricey. They actually went up in price recently. You could usually get them for $120 but now they are going for $140. I actually prefer the Nimbus 12’s and 11’s, but sadly they are hard to find. I always look for the shoes online because you can often find a better deal. When you buy your next pair go online and look for a great deal…plus they often have more colors to choose from. You will love the gel nimbus. I really do think that nothing compares to them, at least for me. I used to get shin splints alot before I bought them and I don’t have any problems with them anymore. I can’t imagine having to look at the shoes and not be able to put them on. I actually bought a new pair of basketball shoes and I have not been able to use them because of my back. I am so frustrated. I just want to put them on and go play!!! It definitely makes it harder.
I just got the cheap brace for my runner’s knee at walmart (the one in the pictures). I was fine with that one. I actually don’t use it anymore because my knee has held up ok. I felt it during my full marathon, but luckily no pain after it. As far as heat…I definitely think it’s a good idea. Ice will only go so far. Ice is really good after a workout or after you have just been injured. After that I usually apply heat with a heating pad or a warm bath with epson salt. I honestly think it helped me recover. Heat helps increase blood circulation and I believe it will be beneficial to your recovery.
Good luck and let me know how the shoes work out on your first run with them. It will be like running on clouds. I always tell people to go to a running store to get the full treatment and find the right shoes. I actually wrote a long blog on it because I went through the same thing you did. Again, good luck!!
This thread is nice to read while recovering from our common bane – runner’s knee. My case is a little different that I contracted it from some other traditional Indian exercise regime that I joined – than from running. I have a slightly misaligned left knee cap and after a few weeks of jumping exercises – and voila I was in pain. At first I ignored the pain and persisted with the exercises. Later it became really uncomfortable, and started to give me referred discomfort onto my hip and ankles. I visited the doctor who first ruled out ligament and tendon injuries and then diagnosed me of runner’s knee. I have been resting my knee and doing leg extensions and quarter squats to strengthen my VMO. Its been four weeks and I have only slight improvement. But by now I have read about this condition and talked to a lot of people. As mentioned multiple time in this thread, I have understood that time is the essence – no matter how much time it takes I plan to keep my left knee well rested and to stick to PT. I want to be back up and ready, and I want to go for a long hike into the mountains.
Anyone visiting this thread in pain, please be mindful that you are not alone – and that you and I will return back to our favorite physical activities in due course of time. I will be back here with an update.
Thanks for the great comment!!! Sorry you have had to experience the horrible beast that is runner’s knee. As you have said, time is of the utmost importance…well, and patience!! Oh how patience can often wear thin!! 🙂 The great thing is that you know that you will be back to normal soon. One day you will be at the top of the mountain looking down at the beauty this world has to offer and your runner’s knee will be a distant memory. Gone will be the worry and the stress, but present will be the serene feeling of perfect health, as well as the realization that you are experiencing life to the fullest. Definitely keep me posted on your injury and I want to hear a detailed description of that first hike!! I hope you get better very soon!!! We all do!!
I wanted to update you that I was able to run yesterday and completed my first half marathon! Thank you so much for your advice to rest up until the very end. I really think taking the last 1.5 weeks off really helped my recovery. I also bought the knee support brace you suggested and I think it worked great. I actually found that my other knee (the one w/o the injury, but w/o the brace) was more sore by the end of the race, so I think it really helped to keep my knee cap in proper alignment. I also bought Dr. Scholls insoles specific for ‘knee pain’ – don’t know if they helped or not, but I was able to complete the race with minimal levels of pain.
Because of the injury, I definitely took caution and ran more slowly – I was averaging 10.5 min miles during training for the long runs and yesterday I averaged 12 min miles, but I am so happy I was able to complete the race and most importantly, complete the race injury free. There’s always the next race to improve my time.
Thanks again for your advice and uplifting messages. Im already looking forward to my next race!
I am sooooooo excited you were able to run your half marathon!!!!!!!!! That is so great!!! I always love to hear success stories like yours. It provides hope to so many people, including myself!! 🙂 It’s wonderful what a little rest can do.
12 min a mile is great!! That’s still a wonderful time. Do you realize you are going to obliterate that time on your next half marathon!!! I can just imagine how you will feel. 🙂 You will definitely improve your time and the experience will be wonderful. I remember when I got a PR on my last half marathon that I ran…I was on cloud 9 for months. You never forget it. I am super proud of you and also glad that you were able to rest and run with minimal discomfort. The fact of the matter is that you freakin’ ran a half marathon!!! That’s with an injury!!!! Super happy for you right now! 🙂 Let me know how the next race goes…
One more question from me – the Philadelphia Rock ‘n Roll half-marathon is Sept 16. As long as I continue to feel well, do you think that’s too soon to run another? (3 weeks apart) The course is nice and flat and Im excited about the prospect of bands lining the course! Thanks again for all your advice!
First off…I love the rock ‘n’ roll marathons!!. The bands are a great touch, especially in those parts of the race when it tends to get quiet and boring. The music definitely adds a bounce to your step. 🙂 As far as running the race…honestly, I think you will be fied if you don’t get any further complications from now until then. I wouldn’t push yourself too much in training. I ran my third half marathon just 4 weeks apart. I had runner’s knee right before my second half marathon and then ran my third one 4 weeks apart. Definitely possible. Actually, that was the one I had my PR on, which is crazy to think about because I was worried I wouldn’t even be able to run it. 🙂 Definitely want to hear about your experience at the Rock n Roll. You will love it! Keep me updated. Again, congrats on your half marathon!! 🙂
Well. Here I am! My right knee is nagging me. It feels sort of hollow and sometimes ender to touch. I have incorporated more rest days into my week. Half marathon in 5 weeks. My longest run of recent has been about 8 miles and I felt like I could have kept running forever! I have been doing stretches recommended for runners knee. Yesterday I got really serious about the stretches and am now doing them twice a day, along with strengthening the hip flexors. My knee feels best immediately after I have stretched thoroughly. The pain is nowhere near unbearable- it is really only slightly bothersome. My biggest fear is that it will get worse if I keep running. I just hate how it’s always in the back of my mind.
My question is, could I just cut back my mileage a bit by maybe ditching my short fast runs? For the remainder of the training I could just run 5 miles a couple times a week and then a long run on the weekend? As opposed to what I have been doing, which is 4 miles, 2 miles fast, 4 miles, 1 mile, and a long run?
And Just Continue to stretch? Should I make it to the finish line if I just remain on top of my stretches and don’t bump up my mileage too much and take out my short 2 mile runs?
Hey Becca!! I am glad to hear you have scaled back a bit. Unfortunately, for an injury like this it can easily get worse if rest is not allowed. However, I completely understand your predicament and empathize with you fully. The good thing is that you have 5 weeks, which is more time than you think. I would suggest taking a full week off. I know I know…that sounds crazy long, but it would be good in the long run.
I would definitely take out the fast runs. Those are what killed me. Although I loved the fast runs, in the end I didn’t feel like they were completely necessary and I was still able to run a great time without them. It’s not worth aggravating your injury with a fast run.
After the week off work your way slowly back into your long runs. Don’t worry about speed…save that for race day. 🙂 The good thing is that you have already run 8 miles and you felt comfortable, so the mental aspect of the run doesn’t seem to be hindering you at all. That is more than half the battle. Right now the foucs is getting that knee to not get worse by backing off a bit. If you take just a week off that gives you 4 weeks left to train. I would try and get your 8 miles done again and then if possible get to 9, 10, or 11. However, don’t worry if you don’t get to that. We only ran 11 miles during training at the most and the half marathon was still easier than we thought. On our last half marathon we only got up to 9 or 10 miles because of my injury but we both got our fastest times. I honestly think since your not feeling that much pain if you just rest a bit you should be fine. You may not even have to take off a whole week. See what a couple of days rest or maybe even 3 or 4 days rest gets you. It can make a world of a difference. When I say rest though I mean no running at all. Don’t worry, in that little bit of time you won’t lose the ability to run. 🙂 You will be fine. Again, I would cut out the speed runs.
You are more ready to run your half marathon than you think. Stay positive and remain focused. Don’t worry too much and don’t be afraid to rest. Rest is a good thing, 🙂 I look forward to hearing about how you killed the half marathon. You will be great!!
I have been carefully managing my runners knee tendencies much better since I started following your blog and it’s been really helpful, so thanks! It was always the left knee on and off for the past year and a half but now that seems to be fine so of course now it is the right knee’s turn to be a jerk. The problem now with the right is different. It’s the inner tendon (I think tendon) that gives me a pinching sort of pain not when I run but when I bend over. Also first thing in the morning when I get up but seems to stop as I get moving but throughout the day will remind me it’s there with a little pinch if I bend over. I am constantly avoiding that movement or if I bend over, if I lift the right foot off the floor, I can avoid that reminder that, “I am getting too old for this” haha… Do you think that this needs moist heat before running and ice after? I only run a couple of miles a few times a week and strength train the rest of the week with light ankle weights. I also use the foam roller for my IT band, which has been great for that. Are you going to tell me to stop running? What do you think caused this new problem? Any advice would be appreciated. 🙂
Sorry for the long delay in responding…I hate to hear that your other knee is bothering you, but also glad that your right knee is feeling better. I have not had any pain similar to this so I am honestly not sure what the pain could be. However, I would honestly rest a bit just to make sure it is nothing worse. See what a few days off of running does for the pain. If it is still present after resting it could be something other than just runner’s knee. The good thing is that it’s not hurting when you run, nor does it seem to be hindering you too much. Perhaps more pressure was put on this knee when you were healing from runner’s knee. It could just be a bit worn down. As I have gotten older I have noticed that I seem to get injured much easier than before…but, I refuse to give in to the idea that age is a part of it. I would like to think that an hour of working out actually leads to an extra minute of life. Now I am no expert and I have not conducted a study…just a little something I’d like to believe. 🙂 We are not getting older actually, just wiser…which means we become more aware of pain and our body’s reactions to certain things. Basically we learn to have a better sense of awareness. Age has nothing to do with it. 🙂
You know that I always say “When in doubt…rest.” Rest is always key to ensure your body heals. You don’t want to push too much. I am sure you are going to be fine. I am pulling for you and hope that you get better soon!! 🙂
Does runners knee usually include a clicking or popping sound when bent (usually when walking up stairs or any considerable incline)? No pain or tenderness, just the clicking and only in my left knee. This post is greatly informative. Thanks!
I apologize for taking so long to respond…I have actually heard people say that they have heard a popping sound from their knee when they have had runner’s knee. However, I don’t know the specifics of it since I did not experience a popping sound myself. It’s interesting that you feel no pain or tenderness? I am sorry I cannot give any better insight into your matter. Let me know if you do find out what it is so that other’s reading these posts will have a better idea of what it could if they are feeling anything similar. I am really sorry I could not shed any light on this. I know it’s frustrating, especially when you don’t know for sure what it could be. I hope you feel better soon!!
I, myself am currently attempting to recover from a very furious and persistent case of runners knee and my left knee, also began popping after a week of having it. Unfortunately, I ignored the pain until I didn’t have any other choice but to quit running for awhile… that was 2 months ago. I went to a orthopedic and was issued a form of runner’s knee brace that prevents the patella from moving to the left. I am violently trying to recover and wear my brace as prescribed. Unfortunately, I am leaving for a selection course in three months and I am terrified that even if I recover from this symptom that it is going to return during selection. Other than cross training, what else can I do to make this symptom go away? I’ve tried rolling and it only causes more pain. Anything will help! Thank you,
Hey Brandon…sorry I was unable to respond sooner. Honestly, I think rest is the best option. There’s not really a lot I can tell you in terms of what you could do to heal quicker other than rest. Rest is always the best option when treating an injury such as this. I do think that three months from now you should be fine. I think once you heal and get back into your normal routine all will go well. I definitely wouldn’t try rolling, especially if you are still suffering with the injury. You want to be careful until you are pain-free. I would also be careful with your cross training and don’t do anything that upsets the knee or causes any pain. I hate having to tell people to rest because I know how that makes me feel. But, sometimes it’s necessary to heal. You don’t won’t to set yourself back, which I have done many times becaues I pushed too much. When you do get better make sure you are running in good running shoes and that you take it easy in the beginning and work your way back up. It’s all about baby steps. I wish I could tell you more, but I think you will be fine in the end. Three months from now is a long time and definitely gives you time to heal. Good luck and let me know how your progressing!!
Hi, I have been following your advice and using a knee brace which has worked well. Looking at alternatives, I was wondering what your view was on kinesiology tape? I like they idea that I can leave this on for longer to continue support for my knee post running, such as when driving. A heavy clutch in my car also takes its toll! thanks
Glad the knee brace is working well…I know it did wonders for me. It will be even better when you don’t have to use that brace anymore!! As far as KT tape goes, I have heard both good and bad things about it. Personally, I have used it myself and I didn’t get much benefit from it at all. It never really sticks great and usually starts coming off quickly, which is aggravating when every few minutes you are checking to make sure it’s in place. I read an article recently (I wish I had the link!) that said that KT Tape really does not offer much benefit in terms of healing or prevention. I tend to agree with that since I have tried using it for different things and was more annoyed with it than anything else. Like that article said, it’s probably more that people believe it’s working so therefore it works for them. I had a pretty open mind when I used it and I just never felt anything. Actually, in some cases I felt like it made the pain more prominent. However, I did not use it for my runner’s knee, so I wouldn’t say it doesn’t work for runner’s knee pain. I just know every time I see the KT Tape in the cabinet I always think, “What a bust.”
I can understand your need to find a good remedy, especially when using a heavy clutch. Honestly, I would say it doesn’t hurt to try it out. I am one of those people that likes to try things out for himself before forming an opinion. Everyone seems to have different experiences with the tape. Let me know how it goes…interested to see how it works out. Good luck and I hope your knee continues to get better and back to 100%. 🙂
Thanks mate, that’s interesting to hear. I am a bit of a sceptic myself, I like the robustness of the brace, it feels like it is supporting my knee and doing good. The tape I think will take a bit of trust, but (assuming it sticks!) it would give me the option to keep the support on for longer periods than I can wear the brace for. I’ll give it a go and let you know how I get on.
I’ve been researching runners knee this whole past week and I really liked this article and the comments. Last Sunday, I also developed some pain in my knee cap area after running around 17 miles. The past month I have been able to run 12,13, 13, and 16 miles for my long runs, with no problems, but when I ran last Sunday, I developed some pain in my knee/lower leg area around mile 10. I ran through it and it the pain went away. I then stopped at mile 12 for a drink of water, and the pain came back. I had a little trouble starting up as the pain was pretty sharp; however after running on it for a couple hundred feet, the pain went away. I had no problems while running, and thought if I stopped, then the pain would come back. After I completed my run, I had the typical aches and pains after a long run. What started to worry me was that the next few days, my knees were still aching. My main noticeable pain came when walking down the stairs. I found myself walking sideways or walking down them one by one. I think I have runner’s knee and have been Googling and watching Utube videos like crazy on runner’s knee. I’ve been doing a lot of stretches and Quad/Ham strengthening exercises this past week. Tomorrow I have my 20 mile tune-up for the Chicago marathon on October 7. This is my first marathon and started training back in around June. I’ve never had knee issues my whole life and am pretty active in sports. Today, my knee feels okay. Just that dull achy feeling. I am hoping that this is just some of the aches and pains that come along as you increase your distances. I remember dealing with all kinds of foot problems when I first started running, where thought I had every foot ailment, but those eventually went away as I trained more. I also will be changing my shoes as they are coming close to that 300 mile mark. I can sympathize with a lot of the other folks that have commented that have worked so hard training, and are all of sudden dealing with this, so close to their goal. I hope all goes well tomorrow. Thanks again for your story.
Just thought I’d share that I ran my 20 miler tune-up today and fortunately ran it with no problems in my knee. I will share what I did this week in preparation for the 20 miler after first getting runner’s knee symptoms last week.
1) I took the week off, more or less. I tried to do some joggin in the middle of the week, but that was it.
2) I started to do special stretches for the knee area. I did 6 exercises from this video for the past week. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDhKVtkfnsg
3) I changed my shoes. I could definitely feel a difference. My soles in my older ones were definitely worn out.
While I did lose out in stamina from not running this week, I think it was worth the rest for my knee. A friend of mine who is an orthpedic surgeon, explained the runner’s knee healing process. (He actually recommended that I stop, of course) During runner’s knee, tendons are tearing in small amounts. When the body starts to try and repair the tearing, inflammation results. He said that if you try to run while the body is still trying to heal the tears, you are risking permanent damage. The tendons will not be able to fully heal, and you end up with scarring tissues instead of fully healed tendons. He didn’t think the shoes effect would make that big of a deal, but in my case, I think it may have been the underlying cause. Who knows. I just thought I would share this experience and hope others that run into something similar has something to reference. Thanks.
Thanks for all the great information. Glad you were able to run 20 minutes without pain. Looking forward to hearing about Chicago. That is a great video you posted and one that I used when I recovered from runner’s knee. I am sure everyone appreciates you putting the video on here. I really do think it helped in my recovery and I still do many of the stretches today.
It’s scary to hear about how permanent damage can result without rest and it’s something I think everyone needs to think about when dealing with an injury. Rest is always much better than the alternative. Thanks again for the info and keep up the awesome work!! Run a great race and be safe!
After a fews weels of running too fast and too much, I definitely was hit with runners knee. Ultimately, I’ve come to the realization that I’ve always had minor issues with my right knee – probably from years of basketball. I suspect this will never completely go away but with the below things, I think I’ve found some good tips to manage it.
1. I took an entire week off as widely suggested in this blog.
2. During the week off, I focused on doing a lot more stretching (and continue to do so). My stretching routing was non-existent. I never really stretched in any sport I played. I always would loosen up in basketball my taking some warm shoots and light jogging. I had been seeing a chiro and told him about my knee problems. He found the area directly behind my knee to be massively tight. Even light pressure and I’d hit the roof. Also frankly as he put it, my legs (calves, quads, hamstrings, etc.) were all globally tight. I started stretching not only before/after runs but doing a few minutes every couple of nights. We have to remember that if all the surrounding muscles around the knee are tight, it can cause it to torque the kneecap and put pressure on it.
3. Bought a foam roller and added this to the stretching a do a few nights a week. Only have done it for 1.5 weeks but it helps. NOTE – First couple of times, it’s a little painful.
4. Ice the right spots. For me, behind the knee in addition to around the kneecap. I was icing the kneecap but in my case the muscles behind it are causing the problems so behind helped out a lot.
5. Epsom baths work and holy cow are they relaxing. 🙂
6. Glucosamine and fish oil. I had been already taking Omega 3 fish oil for general health and just started the glucosamine – so I can’t say how much it helped as these takes weeks to provide improvement. However, there are a ton of articles of the benefits so might be something you look into. http://www.livestrong.com/article/501067-fish-oil-glucosamine-for-runners/
7. In the healing stage, I went from a basic patella strap to a dual action chopat. It provides good support for both it band and patella tracking issues and a ton of warmth to the knee. It’s not too bulky either like some of the larger neoprene ones. Never the less, it is a bit more cumbersome than the basic patella strap so you may want to check that out first. If you do want to try the dual action chopat, just look on Amazon. I found it for a little over $20 with free shipping.
8. Last but not least, go to a good running store and go through the whole gait analysis and ensure your are using the right shoe. I had gotten pretty lucky with the low end Saucony’s that I bought but my new Asics definitely are more comfortable and help with longer runs. They weren’t cheap but frankly running is probably one of the cheapest sports and shoes are the most critical piece of equipment.
Hi Everyone! Since you runners here understand…. please indulge me as I share a bit of my story! I am 45 years old, tall and thin, and have not exercised AT ALL since I was in my 20’s, when I ran a little bit. In April I took off running one afternoon, and within weeks became an addict! I LOVE to run now, and can’t bear not to!! I quickly got up to running 4 miles 3 times/week and then 7.4 miles on Saturdays. I had hoped to run my first 1/2 marathon in October. All was well, until, one Sat. I ran 7.4 miles and my left knee hurt badly below the knee cap afterwards. All I did was rest like 3 days, then ran probably 4 miles again, ignoring the pain (which I would call medium-mild). I read a bit about runner’s knee but thought my symptoms were different (ONLY below the knee cap). Now, I had been running in some old walking shoes, so I got fitted at a running store for nice expensive new shoes– they felt great! However, every time I would run a few steps to test out my knee, it would hurt again.
Just in case it was in fact runner’s knee, I thought it best to rest for 2 solid weeks. So, instead of running, I did ab, leg and arm exercises in my house. I don’t think any of them stressed my knee, but maybe I’m wrong. I know nothing about fitness or muscles! Anyway, it nearly killed me to wait 2 weeks, but I did. Oh, AND I got a brace that has the little hole over the kneecap. So, yesterday I ran my 4 miles with that brace on (don’t think it did any good, except mentally). I guess I was an idiot for trying that much (I wondered if I should only do 2 miles). My knee hurts again– it is noticeable all the time, even hurts even to walk, though I would still call the pain “mild” (maybe I’m too pain-tolerant?). I did ice it afterwards for like 8 min., which I hate (it’s more painful than the knee pain!!)
Okay, so now I’m not going to be stupid with it anymore. I really want to have a nice, long running career! I am just getting started! So, now I’m ready to do anything to heal it so I can run again. Here are my questions: 1) should I go see a doctor? If so, what kind of doctors are experts on this? 2) Or, should I just stay off of it and do exercises to build up whatever muscles are weak? If so, is there a website or youtube video you recommend? 3) What aerobic exercises can I do that won’t hurt my knees (is zumba too intense? What about spinning?) 4) Should I wear a patella band (just got one yesterday also!) around all the time, or is it just for running? Are they supposed to be pulled very tight? 5) Should I keep icing it every day, elevated and for longer? Ugh….
Sorry, I’m asking lots of questions. I will keep reading too, since I haven’t read everything on here. Anyone’s help will be appreciated. THANK YOU!!!!
Hey Lauren, I know how frustrating an injury can be, especially when it curtails your training. The problem many of us have is knowing when to say stop and when to not push too hard. Oftentimes it seems possible to just run through an injury and wait for it to get better, which never really works. But it’s understandable because we are fighters with a never give up attitude. However, when the realization sets in that you need to rest it’s hard to rest completely. That means really taking time away and letting the inflammation, especially something like runner’s knee, subside. I wouldn’t start running again until you feel no pain going up and down stairs and you can walk without any discomfort. However, I am not a Dr. and if you feel like it can be something worse than just runner’s knee I would definitely go see one. If you were to go to a Dr. I would go to a specialist, like an Orthopaedic Surgeon. Some of the things I would think about for now is 1.) Is there any swelling or redness around the injury? 2.) Is it getting worse even after resting it? 3.) Have you lost any range of motion? 4.) When you walk does it feel like your knee will give out? These are questions you need to be asking yourself right now.
Your injury is likely a case of too much too soon. Getting into running is a gradual process that takes time for your body to get used to. You have to slowly work your way up. Sometimes our determination gets the best of us. But, honestly, I don’t blame you because you worked your way up and seemed to be doing great! One of the problems really could have been your shoes. If you were running in an old pair that could have really hampered you. Good running shoes can make a world of a difference and really help to prevent injuries.
After resting for a couple of weeks don’t go out and run 4 miles, especially for your first run. You have to build your strength back up and get your body used to running again. When you start to run again just run for 10 minutes at a slow speed, much slower than you are used to going. Run that for a while before moving to 15 minutes and then 20 minutes and so on. Don’t concern yourself with mileage. Focus on strengthening your knee again and not wearing it out. Much easier said than done, but a necessity. Even with a brace you have to work your way up to ensure that you get used to running that kind of mileage again. If it hurts to walk then I would definitely not run for a while. Like I tell everyone, you really really don’t want it to become a chronic injury. Plus, you have to keep in mind that a week or two of rest is much better than two months of rest. If you feel that after resting and working your way back up gradually the pain does not subside, I would go and see a Dr. just to be on the safe side. Also, when you do start running again ice for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. Don’t apply ice directly, make sure it is covered in something. Walmart has some good ice packs for cheap. It shouldn’t be so cold that 8 minutes seems too long. Focus on icing for at least 15 minutes and no more than 20 (also elevate during this time). If you aren’t running the ice won’t do much. Icing is great after a workout or strenuous activity. If you are resting then I would apply heat with a heating pad (only 15 minutes at most). Also, take an anti-inflammatory in the meantime to help with the pain.
I understand all the questions and concerns. You want to make sure you get better. Don’t worry, you will get better. You just need to be patient. Don’t rush the process. Don’t worry too much about running your half marathon because it could make you push too much too soon. If you can’t run it it’s okay, there are so many half marathons out there. You are going to be fine. 🙂 As far as the strap, don’t put it too tight that it cuts of circulation or makes it difficult to run…just tight enough to feel snug without restricting anything. Oh, and I would not recommend doing Zumba right now…not until you are back to 100%. As far as spinning, that may be too much as well. If you do cross training it has to be minimal impact on the knees. You can get on a bike after a few days rest, but go slowly. You really don’t want to aggravate the injury. It will be like a volcano sitting dormant waiting to erupt until it is completely healed.
As I have said before, recovering from an injury is all about patience. You can’t worry about not being able to work out. You need to worry about getting better. The focus right now must, and I repeat, must be about resting. You don’t want to injure yourself even more and for a longer period of time. You are going to get better. Don’t lose that fire that I can tell is burning within you. You will get better and you will be writing about how awesome running that half marathon was because you had to overcome so much. This is just an obstacle that you will overcome. It will make you stronger and will help reaffirm your commitment to running and being healthy. You are going to be ok. 🙂
Thanks for all the great info!! This will definitely help. I love the foam roller and I believe it really is a life saver. It helps in preventing soreness after a long run…yes it hurts when you first start using it but in the end it is very much worth it. Also, I love epsom salt baths…just be prepared to want to go to sleep afterward. Thanks again for the info and continued luck in running!! 🙂
Wow, thank you SO much for your long and detailed reply! And for being so understanding and encouraging! You have a great ministry going on here! : ) I will do everything you’ve said and hold off on seeking a doctor unless it doesn’t get better. THANK YOU SO MUCH! I will keep you posted on how it all goes!
Reading lots of the above comments has really helped me. My question is does anyone else get a clicking/grinding feeling in their knee, it feels horrible and its really worrying me 😦
Oh yes, I have that too, Rose. It’s like there’s floating cartilage in there! It’s gross for sure. I don’t know if that’s just common for folks over 40, or runners, or what!
It’s me again! Exactly 2 weeks out from my first half marathon! 2 days ago I completed my last long run of 10.3 miles before the race. Afterwards, I felt the usual soreness in my calves and in the knee (especially right knee). I seems to only feel worse/more sore and painful with time. For example, the day I did the long run, it wasn’t too bad. But now two days after I dont feel so great in the right leg. Also, though, my achilles tendon is tight and sort of has some come-and-go pain throughout the day, again, worse today than it was right after the run. My tentative plan is below for my last 2 weeks, and some questions as to what I should be doing 2 weeks out from the half.
1. I did not run on friday (the day after my long run), and I am not going to run today, either. I am going to do some stretches throughout the day for both my calves and knees.
2. I was thinking as long as I do not feel worse tomorrow, I would do a short 2 mile easy run… is this a smart idea with the achilles pain? I have researched it quite a bit and find the advice online pretty scattered.
3. How/when should I be tapering for this race? It’s my first half marathon and I only started running about 10 months ago.
4. How MUCH should I be tapering? I want to give my body very adequate rest, but I also do not want to lose any of the gains I have made in training.
5. Should I still have one more “long” run a week out from the race? (It would be shorter, like 6ish miles?)
6. Should the day before the race include some easy running? (since I will be in the car sitting for the majority of the afternoon that day driving home from oklahoma), or should i do some running thursday and not run at all the day before?
Any advice? Should I take more than these 2 days off or do you think since it would only be an easy run tomorrow, then another rest on monday, it would be okay to run tomorrow?
Finall, am I lowering my mileage too much? I have been doing around 20ish miles per week for the past couple months.
My tentative plan is to
Sun.-run 2 easy miles tomorrow (sunday)
Fri- 1 mile
HALF MARATHON SATURDAY
If you made it to the end of this, thanks a lot 🙂
Sorry I did not write back sooner! I am sorry to hear that you are still experiencing pain. Rest, as you know, is still the best option but I know you have your race coming up and you want to make sure you are prepared. I will say that it’s great that you already did 10.3 miles. I would not run that much again until the day of the race. You know you are capable of running for a long time…so don’t feel the need to do it again before the race. It will just cause problems. I don’t know if you ran yesterday…however, I would surely rest since you are feeling pain in your achilles. I would try and rest for 3 to 4 days at least. I wouldn’t even do any stretches on the days you are resting. It could exacerbate the pain and the injury and make it linger much longer. If you are feeling pain without running then you do not want to run and worsen it. It’s not worth it. You have two weeks to go, which is a lot of time. It’s ok to rest at this point so that your body can heal. You want to make sure you can be ready for your half marathon. I wouldn’t run until maybe Wednesday…and that means after resting. If possible I would maybe do a bike machine after resting a few days just to get your legs moving. But, be careful and listen to your body in the mean time. As I always say, you do not want to risk injuring yourself even more. I would start your tapering already. If you can, and you feel like it’s ok after assessing your injury, then run 6-7 miles on Saturday. Only do that if you definitely feel better and you don’t have pain after maybe a slow and steady run on Thursday…maybe 2 to 3 miles. Make sure you ice immediately after…that’s icing your knees, calves and achilles…go to walmart and buy some of the ice packs in the medicine section. They are not too expensive and the icing definitely helps. Also, after your runs you need to stretch…do this before icing. Both will definitely help. After you run next Saturday I would rest all day. Don’t do too much walking around and let your body recover. Rest on Sunday and on Monday maybe run 2-3 miles, but not fast. Rest again on Tuesday. Wednesday, if possible, run 2 miles (again, slowly) or just walk 2 miles on Wednesday and that’s it. Don’t worry about doing anything else until race day. Don’t worry about having to sit in the car. We drove from Dallas to San Antonio for our half marathon and marathons and sitting in the car was a good thing. It’s important to not do too much before your race. Rest your legs on Thursday and Friday. We have done that for all of our races and have never had any problems. The rest definitely helps. If you have to go to packet pick-up on Friday then go and pick up your stuff and go back and relax the rest of the day. Stay off your feet if possible. You want them to be fresh for race day.
I don’t think you are lowering your mileage too much, especially because of your injuries. It’s important to listen to your body. This is your first half marathon and you want to enjoy every single minute. Don’t push yourself too much because any time will be your PR. You will enjoy every single minute of it and it will be a memory to last you a lifetime. That’s why it’s important to take your time for your first race and enjoy it. If you have to stop it’s ok, because what is most important is that you take care of yourself. But, I know you want to run that race and run well. I am pulling for you and I want to hear how wonderful that race was.
As far as other advice…I would make sure you go to bed extra early the night before the race. You probably won’t sleep much…it’s ok…most people don’t. The best nights rest before a race for me was like 4 hours. Leave early so that you are not stressing about getting to the race site and it will give you enough time to try and relax before the race. Oh, bring toilet paper with you just in case the bathrooms run out. Eat a good breakfast and drink water before the race. If it’s hotter than usual then don’t run too hard. The weather plays a big part on how you run the race. If it’s hot then really take your time. Also, and this is big, don’t start running too fast at the start of the race. You will want to start quickly because many people around you will start quickly. Take your time…just like you are going on a training run. I don’t know how many times I have seen people start way too quick and after a mile they are stopping. Sometimes the crowds get you all pumped up and make you want to run fast…take your time. It’s a long run and you want to conserve your energy. Also, it’s going to be easier than you think to run the race. Your training has prepared you more than you know…trust it.
Good luck to you in your race and have fun! Let me know how it goes!! I am praying for you and I want you to have a wonderful time. Go kick that half marathons butt!!!
Thank you so much for all your advice and support. I am feeling better, and I believe it is due to mainly 2 things
1. I did take a good solid 2 days of full rest
2. I started using a foam roller on my IT Band.
The foam rolling before and after my run and every evening has really helped. I have no knee soreness today after my run yesterday- not even when I first step out of bed (which I used to always have!)
I know not everyone’s runner’s knee (or pain in general) is from the same source, but at least considering rolling the IT band might be a good option to try! I found mine to be extremely extremely tight, which explains a lot.
I am definitely getting nervous as the race approaches, and the main thing I am trying to remember is to not pay attention to the time or other runners and to just enjoy the day. Also, starting out slow and increasing the pace later is a great piece of advice. I would much rather finish faster than I started out than finish slowly dragging out the last miles cause I shot out too quickly in the beginning!
I will let you know how it goes!!!!
Glad to hear you are feeling better!! 🙂 Foam rollers are great. We have been using it for a while and it works wonders. It definitely prevents soreness. I had problems with my IT band, which is what I assumed was partly responsible for my runner’s knee. The foam roller seemed to loosen it up and I feel it really did help. Glad to hear it’s getting better. Definitely start slower and finish fast…it’s what I have always done. It’s wonderful to be running faster at the end when people are slowing down. It’s a great feeling. Conserve your energy and unleash it at the end. Good luck to you. It’s going to be a great race!!!!
In reading some of these it seems like my situation. I started running in May, averaging about 3 miles per run. At time I did 5-7 miles. On Aug 12th I ran over 11 miles. My knees were in pain for three days. I tried running after a few weeks and couldn’t even run two miles, same pain in the knees. Took off for a month and tried running over this past weekend, same result. Couldn’t even do two miles without pain. Was it over stressing during the 11 miles? Should I transition to walking short miles every so often or jus take off even longer, 2-4 months. I’m 33 yes old and also had Osgood’s when I was younger
I’m sorry to hear about the pain in your knees. It could likely be a case of too much too soon. Going from 5-7 miles and then to 11 is a huge jump. It’s likely your knees weren’t ready for that amount of running. It’s always important to work your way up in running, especially when you are beginning. You need to get your body used to the mileage. I am, however, surprised that the pain is still there after resting for a month. It’s important that you stretch and ice after your runs, especially when you get going again. I assume your knees felt good enough to start running again, which means that with rest your knees will heal. It definitely could have been that you over stressed with such a long run. 11 miles is almost a half marathon, which is great, but maybe your body was not ready. I think your mind was definitely ready, which is awesome, but your body needs time to catch up. Trust me, in recovering from my back injury I have had to slow down many times. I have to remember that although I know I can run far, my body isn’t ready yet.
This injury could be related to the Osgood’s you experienced when you were younger, which is why it’s even more important to take it slow. I would say if you feel you aren’t getting better in the next couple of weeks with rest then you should see a Dr. just to make sure it’s not something worse. If it did get a better with the month’s rest then maybe when you ran it re-aggravated it. After you rest and feel back to normal then start running again slowly. First start by walking like a mile and then two miles. Do that for a few days and then when you run just run for 10 minutes or less. Do not run fast. Run slowly. Take time to work back to running for 2 miles and get your legs and knees strong again. It’s good if you were averaging 3 miles at one time and we want to get you back there again…and we will!!! For now focus on resting and easing the pain. If after a couple of weeks or sooner you feel the pain subside then maybe do a stationary bike or swim if possible. Also, look for stretches that help the knees and strengthen them. There’s a link under The Scientist comment with a youtube video of good stretches. I used this video myself and I recommend it. However, don’t do the stretches until you feel no pain. You don’t want to aggravate the injury for now. Again, see how the next couple of weeks go with good rest. Then, start walking slowly if possible, working your way up. If it seems like nothing is working I would recommend going for a Dr.’s visit just to ensure everything is fine. I hope you get better soon. I am pulling for you. I do feel like you will be ok with rest, but I am not a Dr. I am 33 as well and have only been running for 4 years. I have had my share of injuries and have found ways to overcome them. This is just a bump in the road. You will be fine. Remember, we are 33 years young, we have a hell of a lot of running left in us. Get healthy and get running. 🙂
I recently read your post about running to stay young and it was very encouraging. I am coming up on my 42nd birthday. Nothing makes me feel younger than running! I ran my first 5K on my 40th birthday and was dreaming of a half marathon in my future. Alas, knee problems have not allowed me to get anywhere near that goal. I had trouble with the left knee for a long time. That has now since healed! (knock on wood) Now it is the right. On the inside of the knee, a pinched feeling. I’ve done no runnng for almost 2 weeks and been using a heating pad on it at night. Also rolling out the IT band. All seemed to be about healed when this morning I did the stretch where you pull your heel up to your butt and I pulled something in the top front of that right knee. I drove to work with ice on it all the while behind someone with a 13.1 magnet. You can imagine I am a little frustrated. What am I doing wrong and what can I do to stop hurting myself? I plan to get some new running shoes soon at a running store but I don’t think the shoes are necessarily the culprit. I have Asics and I think they are pretty good. I am hoping to do a 5K at Thanksgiving with my daughter. That is my goal for now. What do you suggest I should I do for the next 2 mos so that I can at least reach that goal?
On Wed, Sep 26, 2012 at 9:27 AM, Running On Empty wrote:
> ** > runtobefit commented: “I’m sorry to hear about the pain in your knees. > It could likely be a case of too much too soon. Going from 5-7 miles and > then to 11 is a huge jump. It’s likely your knees weren’t ready for that > amount of running. It’s always important to work your way ” >
Hey Carrie!! I’m sorry to hear about your knee problems. However, I do think that you will be fine and ready to run your 5K on Thanksgiving. 🙂 I am not sure your problems are a result of your shoes either. However, a good pair of shoes can make a difference. Asics are great and it’s what I wear. You might consider going to a store that specializes in running and have them analyze your gait just to see what they would recommend. They may give you a specific type of Asics. For example, my wife runs in the GT 2160’s right now for stability. I, unfortunately, underpronate when I run so I require a highly cushioned shoe like the gel nimbus. When I switched a couple of years ago I felt a dramatic difference. However, I have still suffered injuries. The encouraging thing is that I have overcome them, just like you will overcome yours as well. 🙂 I would make sure that you never push too much. If you ever feel pain that’s more than soreness then stop and rest. It’s good that you rested for two weeks…but…I would not use the foam roller or do too much stretching just to allow the inflammation to go down completely. I know it’s hard to not do anything, but sometimes it’s a good thing. I know you’re frustrated, but that’s also a great thing. It would be horrible if you were feeling relieved that you didn’t have to run anymore. This experience will make you a stronger runner and help you appreciate your future half marathon even more. 🙂 You will have one of those magnets of your own soon. When I was injured before my first half marathon I felt the same way you are feeling now. I thought I wouldn’t heal and that I would never reach my goal of running a half marathon. Then, I ran three and subsequently ran a full marathon. Sometimes we need the trials and tribulations to experience greater triumphs in the end. It helps us garner a sense of appreciation for when we are healthy and also helps us become even more committed to reaching our goals. Keep your determination.
For now I would just rest for the next couple of weeks, unless your knee starts to feel better sooner. If it does start to feel better in the next week or few days than start walking just to rebuild strength. Then, when you do run go slowly. You already know how to run a 5K, which is no problem now. Your mind is ready for that. Now, lets prepare your body again. Work your way back up slowly. Start with a 5 minute run and then a 10 minute and so on. You have a lot, and I mean a lot of time to run on turkey day (great, now I want turkey and pumpkin pie). 🙂 When you do start running again make sure you stretch after and then ice immediately for 15 to 20 min. Try not to be in a rush and don’t push too hard. Also, there’s a link from the scientist comments on here that has some good stretches shown in a youtube video. But, wait to do those until you are running again. Doing them now will just aggravate your injury. Just rest and get better for now.
Remember, you have a lot of time and you have many many years left to run. A half marathon is in your future. For now, focus on the steps to get there, which starts with getting pain-free. Your left knee healed which means your right should as well. Continue to ice today for 15-20 min at a time and then tomorrow start applying heat. In the future I would focus on stretching and strength training for your legs.
Good luck to you and I want to hear about your 5K. Also, can’t wait to hear how awesome it is when you get to put a 13.1 emblem on your own car. You will get there…don’t worry. There’s always time and there’s always a race waiting to be run. Keep your head up, your energy high and your heart always in it.
Thanks man. I have taken another month off to concentrate on my studying. But am going to try exactly what you said, as I think it makes the most sense. I will start off slow again on the treadmill and walk 1-2 miles.
Hi Raul! I found your blog a few months ago while training for my first half marathon, yes, after a 15 k training, and three weeks before the race, I started with runner’s knee, short story: my physiotherapist put me back on track and I ran my first half in May. After that I took it easy for a month, and then I decided to start training slowly, so next year I will be able to run again a half marathon injury free. The bad news is that runner’s knee is back! I was doing around 18 k weekly (aprox 12 miles) and three weeks ago it started again, after running 20 min. I stopped inmediately, and started ice that day, ibuprofen, then rest the following two days, the following week 20-30 mins bike twice a week, plus hip,knee,quads, strenghtening (which I have been doing since May) and I started swimming about 5 weeks ago, twice a week, and taking also a supplement of glucosamine, chondroitin, and I use the foam roller to massage my ITB (at least twice a week)
Yesterday I went to the track (rubber one) and ran 10 mins, walked 10, used a knee strap. Everything seemed to be ok, but this morning, just doing some home chores that scary “pinch” on the knee has attacked me at least three times (now I’m afraid of going downstairs!!!!) I got new runners in May, just after the race, as the other ones contributed to two black toenails, I got Mizuno Wave elixir 7, I use orthotics custom made since 2009 (ITB band then, orthotics solved the problem), so I think I have basically all the right things covered, except from the runner’s knee!! Any ideas? Sometimes I think that I started running a little late in life, (at 38, I’m 42 now) but you will agree it’s never to late to start!! by the way, I hope that your are doing better with your back injury.
Hey Veronica!! I’m sorry to hear that you are battling with the runner’s knee still. It sounds like you are doing everything in your power to safeguard against runner’s knee. Sometimes I think, for whatever reason, an injury can arise just because it feels like it. I have gotten injuries doing the same thing I have been doing for years and honestly I can’t explain why. For example, my back. I have been running for 4 years now but all of a sudden it started hurting on a run and eventually turned into something more. I hadn’t been doing anything different. Looking back there is not much I feel I could have done to prevent it other than resting. Oh, and thanks for asking about my back. It has gotten better, although not even close to 100%. I am able to run 3 miles at this point and can do some weight training. I have to make sure I never do too much, which is hard, especially since I couldn’t do anything for 3 months!!
I wish I had more information for you in terms of dealing with your runner’s knee. You really seem to be covering all aspects of prevention. I know that getting a late start in running can affect our bodies. I am sure it’s the reason why I have suffered through injuries of my own. But, I refuse to believe that they will keep us down. I truly think they make us stronger and make us appreciate our health so much more. I am so glad that you have not thrown in the towel!! You have done everything in your power to combat this thing and you will beat it. Keep doing what you are doing…taking it easy after runs. If you feel pain then take a few more days off and then walk the first few times. Keep taking it slow and keep getting stronger. It’s inspiring to me that you started running at 38 and at 42 you are still going. You should be really proud of yourself!! It lets me know that I can never give up. Even through adversity you have kept your head up and continue to fight. We have many many years of running left in us. I know there are going to be road blocks along the way, but maybe it’s because we are supposed to take the scenic route. Keep going strong and keep me updated. Let me know if you find out any new information on ways to alleviate the pain. Praying for you! 🙂
thanks for your post….about 4 months ago, i used to run 10 kms three times a week…..but one day on the down hill i gave some hard strokes, and after i finish 10 km….my knee started paining….i got afraid and googled about my injury….and what i found, i guess its runners knee….i rested for about three months but did no exercise to recover it….and after three months i went to gym and again started running after some stretching …..but after 10 min of run, i again felt slight pain in my knee then i stopped …..now since last 3 weeks i am doing some exercise to recover it (searched in internet)….hurting area is just above the Tibia(shinbone)(as shown in the picture above showing internal knee structure) ……. i really want to get back to the trek but i am afraid that it will hit me again….please suggest me what to do
Sorry to hear about your injury. It could possibly be something other than runner’s knee. Since you rested for 3 months and continue to feel pain I would consider, if you haven’t already, going to an orthopedic specialist to make sure the injury is not something more than runner’s knee. The best suggestion is to rest. Also, buy a good pair of running shoes. Before you start running again I would start walking. Walk for a couple of weeks to ensure there is no more pain. Then, when you do run I wouldn’t run more than 10 minutes and run slowly. Don’t worry about stretching too much until the pain subsides. When you do start running I would then begin to focus on stretching before and after your runs and strengthening your legs. I hope you get well soon. Keep me updated!
Hey! I finished my half today! I had a long taper period over the past two weeks leading up to today and it was definitely a success. My lOng runs we’re consistently 5mph pace when I trained for this race. But my time for the half marathon today was 2:14:00! I blew my expectations beyond what I could imagine it was very cold but great!! I am sore and know that I need to foam roll a lot an rest this whole week.
Thanks for all the support and for being a listening ear!
Hey Becca!!! Super excited for you!! That is a great time!!!! I told you a long taper wouldn’t hinder you. Sometimes I think rest is a good thing and makes you stronger come race day. It’s good that it was cold for your race. Trust me, you don’t want to run in heat. I have gotten all my PR’s on cold days. You did a great job and I look forward to hearing about more races to come. Keep up the awesome work…this is only the beginning!!! 🙂 You should be really really proud of yourself…Congrats!!!!
I ran my first 1oK in May2102 with an injured knee (Runner’s knee) finished the race with a PR, but was literally LIMPING afterwards..after 12 weeks of very minimal running, finally was able to run 3 miles pain-free. However I started a strengthening class where the instructor had us to doing up to 200 LUNGES in class.. Did not feel pain in class, but a few days later during my run, I was only able to run 1.6 miles before I had to stop because of knee pain..Should I be avoiding lunges and squats forever?? It has been 6 months since I aquired Runner’s Knee??? ANy advice?
Hey Mary…sorry to hear about your runner’s knee. Darn the beast!!! Honestly, I wouldn’t be doing so many lunges especially when nursing an injury such as this. I would lay off the lunges for now until you are back to 100%. I can’t imagine doing 200 lunges myself…ouch!! I can see how that would lead to irritation. I wouldn’t say to avoid them forever, but wait until you are 100% again before you do anything like that. I’m not sure I would ever do 200 lunges myself. I honestly don’t think my knees could take it. For now I would rest and get the strength back in your knees and legs. Get back to running three miles without pain and take it easy…it’s all about baby steps. Don’t rush to get there. Take your time and get back to running comfortably. Don’t worry…you will be fine. 🙂
I have been training for just over three weeks to run a 5K on November 3. I run 2-3 days then rest and started running a mile and am now up to 2.5 – 3. My left knee hurts under the kneecap and a little on the side and is sometimes swollen. It’s painful to squat or go down stairs (ironically not too hard to go up stairs). I’m assuming that’s Runner’s Knee so have iced it and rested for the past two days and got a brace. I am hoping to try to go 2 miles today but am very frustrated. I am running this race on my 46th birthday for a charity that is very close to my heart and I have gotten donations for it so I can’t back out now. I’ve never run more than 3 miles and want to make sure I can do it and not be the last in the pack. I’m fairly fit but the knee thing is killing me!!! My training schedule was made by a friend and includes two to three days on, one day off, stretch, run, walk, stretch. I am worried if I defer from it and rest more than one day that I will lose my stamina and not be able to reach 3 miles. Advice?
Hey Amy…first off…YOU NEED TO REST!! If you don’t rest you may not be able to run your 5K and end up being out for a much longer period of time. The good thing is that you are already up to 3 miles. A big part of running is mental. You now believe you can run a 5K because, honestly, you can. You have two weeks before your race, which is a lot of time, especially for a 5K. If you look back at a lot of the comments on this page you will see that many people are worried about resting two weeks before a half marathon. However, after resting for a few days they were able to complete their half marathons in a better time than expected. I would not run today if I were you. Take at least three or more days off. Don’t worry you won’t lose your stamina that quickly. You are already almost up to 3 miles. Adrenaline will push you through on race day…don’t worry. Plus, you will be much quicker than you expect. When race day comes you have to run smart and don’t start too quickly. For now take a few days off and make sure there is no swelling or pain…if there is don’t run!! It will get worse if you run while you are still in pain. Right now your knee is giving you a warning to rest. Don’t try and push past the pain. Again, it’s a warning right now. If you listen to it you are going to be ok. I know this race means a lot to you and I want to make sure you are able to run it. When you do start running again…do not, and I mean do not run two days in a row. You should never be running three days in a row…at least not now. Running is a gradual process and you need to give your body time to recover. Too much too soon oftentimes leads to injuries such as this. Scale back a bit…don’t worry it’s going to be fine. Try not to get frustrated yet, because race day is not tomorrow. 🙂 You have a lot of time and can afford to rest a few days. When you do feel better just walk the first day and make sure your knee pain does not flare up. If you are ok then run a very slow mile and work your way up the following days. Again, do not run two days in a row. You are going to be fine Amy. Let’s focus on getting the pain to subside for now so that you can get better soon. Good luck and keep me posted!! Remember…rest. 🙂 In the future you may want to look at the Couch to 5K program I have listed under the “How to become a runner” section at the top of my blog. It’s a great gradual way to get into running.
Fine. I’ll rest. (grumble grumble). Maybe I can strength train (upper body) on my off days. I just want to get as strong as I can for race day to show myself that my 46 year old body can do this. 🙂 Thank you so much for taking the time to respond and for such a detailed explanation. This beats the hours of Googling I’ve done over the past few days. I did research the Couch to 5K but I’m not quite starting out on the couch – I walked 4 miles a day, play volleyball, bike and am generally active – it’s just that running has never been my strong suit. I never like the whole “run a couple of minutes; walk a couple of minute” because it was so hard to gear up to run again after walking. So I started at a mile and gradually increased until my knee started screaming. I will take today off and try again tomorrow. Thank you again – it is much appreciated!
How very kind and generous of you and all those who wrote with suggestions and shared experiences! I only walk now due to a lifetime of overusing my knees. I recently overdid it with walking too fast, too far too soon. Ignored it for 6 months and thrashed it in a tap class last week. I followed all of your advice and I rested and can walk slowly without pain today. I got the brace you recommended as well. Thank you so much. I feel encouraged that my knee will get better and I can resume doing what I love.
Don’t worry, your knee will get better. It really just comes down to rest. You will be able to put yourself back together again and will be even better for it. You will be able to do what you love again in no time. Praying for you to get there soon. 🙂
I’ve just starting running, and I overdid it by running about a mile and a half on an uneven trail. I’ve had runners knee on both of my knees (its not too had on my right knee, worse on my left) since late August, and I’ve been doing physical therapy. I ice my knees every day after doing the leg workouts she prescribed for me to do at home. But being a teenager, I can’t stand staying off my knee, I feel like I should at least walk around and constantly be moving. And I am VERY paranoid about gaining weight because I’m not getting much excersise now. I do elliptical machine ale very day for about a mile and a half, but it doesn’t hurt my knee very much. It’s when my knee starts popping that I can’t stand. I knew rest will help, but are there any other things other than icing that can help? And would it be ok to walk which a knee brace on and on flat ground? Thanks!
Sorry to hear about your runner’s knee. It’s not even about being a teenager…everyone who gets runner’s knee hates that fact that suddenly they become immobile. It sometimes feel impossible to stay off your feet and protect the knees, especially when trying to keep your weight in check. Here is what I have realized since hurting my back and not being able to do anything for a long while. I actually was able to lose weight, believe it or not. I focused on just eating better and not indulging in the foods I did when I was working out. Easier said than done? Of course it was, but I did it and was able to stay focused on getting healthy again. I wouldn’t say you can’t walk. I would just wait until you don’t feel too much pain anymore, which shouldn’t take too long. I would be careful on the elliptical if you feel any pain afterward. If possible I would swim or maybe ride a bike or do a bike machine…just in the meantime. You just want to make sure you don’t do anything that puts too much weight on the knee. As far as icing…I would only do that after doing a workout or therapy. Later I would apply heat with a heating pad. When your knees start to feel better then go ahead and start walking. I know it’s easy for me to tell you to just rest. The reality is that sometimes it’s nearly impossible to do. My suggestion would be to simply take it easy and don’t put yourself in situations where you know it will impact your knees negatively. It will get better and you will be able to resume your normal workouts. Don’t worry about gaining weight just focus on doing what you can do…eating better, doing light workouts and staying focused on being healthy. It’s mental and physical…thus, it’s important to battle both and overcome them. You are going to be fine!! Stay focused and get better! 🙂
Thanks!! I have a bike, (but not a bike machine) and I’m starting to ride it again, but not too fast and hard. I’m going to rest it more, and not go up and down our stairs as often, and I’ll also see if we have any type of heating pads.
Should I stretch after running or ice immediately after running? Right now I am in retraining mode after resting a few weeks since more runners knee issues. I am working up very slowly. I’ve been doing The Scientist’s stretches on my off days and I definitely feel a difference from doing them. I’m only at jogging for 10 or 11 mins right now and planning on a 5k on thanksgiving after not doing a 5k race in 2 years due to the knee issues.
I would stretch and then ice after running. Stretching can sometimes be a bit of a workout on it’s own so I would definitely wait to ice until after that is done. Glad to hear you are taking it easy still. Working your way up slowly is the best thing you can do. It can be frustrating but it in the long run you will be grateful you did. Keep up the great work and you will feel better soon. 🙂
I’ve been suffering with the dreaded runners knee for 7 weeks now, I’m starting to struggle staying positive. Been to the physiotherapist who’s confirmed what I suspected.
I can swim now but only front-crawl (less pressure then brestroke)
My question is from your experience, do you think after 7 weeks I should have seen more progression? I tried the cross trainer the other day andy knee said NO.
I honesty don’t want any presents for Christmas just a healthy set of knees!
Thanks for your time
I know what you mean…I want a healthy back for Christmas!! Sometimes injuries take longer to heal depending on the severity and type of injury. The good thing is that you know it’s only runner’s knee. It could be a lot worse. 7 weeks is a long time, however, if you have been trying to workout it could be the cause of the injury persisting. I sound like a broken record but rest is really the best option. Wait to do any type of strenuous exercise until you feel as though the pain has significantly subsided. When you do start working out go slow…and I mean slow!! You need to build your strength back up, regardless of what you have done in the past.
Don’t think too much about the length of time as it pertains to your injury. Try your best to take it day by day, because you never know what tomorrow will bring. You could wake up one morning and think, wow, the pain is much less today. Don’t set a time limit for recovery because you will then focus on that date and push too much. I have done that way too many times which has caused me to deal with the pain much longer than I expect. For now just maybe take a week off of working out and see if you feel any difference. If you do than you know that rest is the best. Take your time with it and I definitely think you will be better before December. But, don’t fixate on that date. Remember, take it day by day and think positive. Don’t worry, you are going to be fine. 🙂
Rose- My first major Runner’s knee pain was back in April when I over trained for a 10K..The pain was so bad after I ran the 10K that I couldn’t walk without a limp. It was extremely frustrating. The pain for walking went away after a week, but running was almost impossible without pain. It was trial and error though- I had to basically start from scratch. SO FRUSTRATING…My magic number was 12 weeks. At 12 weeks I noticed a significant improvement!! I started to run 3 miles pain free. Then I went overboard and tried to do a ton of knee stuff (squats, lunges, etc..) and felt pain again. However, I laid off on those knee bending things and am doing MUCH better again!!! I am almost there…I can run 4 miles now and am VERY slowly going to work up to 7. I am going to be MUCH smarter this time around. So stay strong. It just takes a while!!!!!!!
Oh no really sorry to hear about your back, what have you done?
Firstly i’d like to say thank you for such a quick reply. I appreciate you taking time out of your busy day to help to me and so many others in the same frustrating situation. I have truly taken your advise on board.
I did try to carry on for the 1st few days then realized i was being stupid about it and took rest ever since. I’ve just been walking as that’s ok and swimming front-crawl which doesn’t irritate it either. Because if felt ok doing these things thought i’d try the cross-trainer, it didn’t feel so bad while i was doing it else id have stopped, but a few minutes after it started throbbing, and that ‘catch’ got me a few times 😦 Staying positive has never been so hard!
I really hope your right that i’ll be back to running for Christmas, I want to be the nutter going a run before dinner Christmas day ha-ha (no doubt you’ll also be doing the same :p)
And i’m praying you will also have a pain free back for then too :0)
Keep staying positive Rose. Glad Mary has offered up advice. As you can see, nobody is ever alone with suffering through an injury. As far as my back, well, it has been four months of aggravation. I am not even really sure how I hurt it. All I know is that when I started to feel pain in the upper left side of my back I dismissed it and kept working out. It grew into something worse and I was unable to really do anything for over a month. Then, being impatient, I started running slowly again and doing weights, thus injuring myself again. I waited another month to start again and finally got to where I could run for 20-25 minutes pain free and got excited. Again, my lack of patience and rest led to another re-injury. Now, over 4 months later I am still in pain and can’t run more than 10 minutes. That’s why I tell everyone to be patient and rest. Never push too hard because it can lead to more frustration. Let the injury run it’s course. You will be ok. I would give anything to be told I will only be hurt for another 2 months. Before I couldn’t imagine being hurt for more than 3 weeks. I’ll keep praying for you and I will definitely take your prayers for the healing of my back. If you want to double down on your prayers that’s fine too. 🙂 I am hoping for a great Christmas for the both of us. 🙂
Thankyou for your words of encouragement. I also started with problems after doing lunges & squats. I’ll never do another after the pain its caused me! Glad your getting there and its healing up nicely, hopfully in a few more weeks i’ll start to notice a differance.
Been to my physiotherapist this morning and he’s showed me how to use kt tape. I’ll post in the future to let everyone know my thoughts on it.
Rose-one more thing- I also bought the knee band that Runtobefit recommended, and I definitely think it helps with making sure my knee “tracks” correctly while running…I paid around 15 bucks for it at Walgreens….Let us know how the KT tape works!
Hello! Thanks for all of the tips! I have been training for a marathon since April, but on my last long training run (the full 26.2) my runner’s knee flared up worse than ever before. It’s been about 3 weeks now since I’ve run because I still have pain when using the stairs and some when walking. I attempted to jog a few miles this morning, but the pain was too much. The marathon is in 4 days! Do you know of any temporary relief aids that I could use during the race?
I am sorry to hear about your injury. I know when you have trained for so long and suffer an energy it can be extremely aggravating. The best thing I would do for temporary relief is using a runner’s knee brace. However, if you are still feeling pain upon walking or slight running I would be extremely cautious of running a full marathon. I know that’s not something you want to hear and a lot can change from now, but you want to put your health at the forefront of everything. Putting your knee at risk of further damage for one race is not worth it. I am surprised that your training run had you run 26.2 miles. Usually the most you would run in training is 22 miles. But, I know a lot of training programs are different. My best advice right now would be to rest. Do not try and run before the race. If you still feel pain I would not run the race. Like I tell everyone, you risk making your runner’s knee becoming a chronic injury. Plus, it could take much much longer to get over. I am pulling for you to run your race because if you are anything like me you want to run no matter what. But, be smart about it and really assess the pain and make sure it’s possible without causing further damage. 26.2 miles is a lot to put your body through even when you’re at full strength. The crazy thing is that you have already done it in training…so you have already run a marathon!! That’s awesome!! Take pride in your accomplishment and take it easy. Don’t worry you will feel better soon with rest and patience. There are a lot of races to run and they are always waiting for you. But, I hope you are able to run this race. Let me know how it goes. We’re all here to support you!!! That means looking out for you as well. Good luck!!!!! Praying for you. 🙂
I have been running for about 15 months now, which started when I was 45 years old. My first goal was to train for a marathon and meet the “bucket list” item and quit, but I really found something I liked. Since then I have completed 7 half marathons, along with many 5k and 10k races, and now training for my 2nd full marathon, with 5 weeks to go. Distance wise I am ready. I have followed the 10% rule, not adding more than 10% to my total weekly distance from the previous week. On average, I run 40-50 miles per week.
I have started to notice a pain in my right knee the past 7-days. It isn’t where you mention in your initial write-up, below the knee cap. It is actually to the right of the knee cap, aligned to the center. Is this what is known as runners knee symptoms as well, or something else?
I have tried icing it, and although the pain was mild, today after completing a half marathon, it is getting worse.
Any ideas? I have multiple 1 20-miler “timed/paid” run next weekend, then nothing on the schedule until the Marathon 4-weeks after that. Any suggestions, ideas, or what you think may be the cause of the pain is helpful. I have come too far to not finish, but want to be sure to be “smart” as well.
Hey Steve…I’m sorry to hear about the pain in your right knee. I can’t say for sure if you have runner’s knee. However, I would treat your injury seriously in order to ensure you don’t sustain any serious damage. I am guessing your injury is a result of the constant running…not necessarily anything you are doing wrong. When I have sustained injuries it has also been following the 10% rule and doing everything I am told, including stretching, foam rolling and icing. Running, as you know, can take it’s toll on your body and when it gets pushed too much it starts to push back. Being that you will be running a full marathon soon I would definitely rest and not run any long runs any time soon. It won’t get better if you do not allow yourself to rest. You have over a month before your marathon and that is ample time to rest and heal before the race. If you keep running on it now, as I tell everyone, you will beat it into submission. You don’t want to do that. Deep down we all know that rest is the most important thing. However, it’s hard to wrap our minds around the idea of actually following through with it. But it’s a necessity at this point. You want to be able to run in a month, not be sidelined with an injury that is much worse because you didn’t rest. As I have said before, rest is the best option for now. See if a few days rest helps. If it does than you know that you need to allow the inflammation to subside before resuming. You have a lot of time. Congrats on all of your runs so far and the many sure to come!!
Hi Steve, I have been running for about 2 and a half years now, however I’ve been struck by injury for the past 4 months and so unable to run. Your pain to the right of your knee cap may be a ligament strain, I would get it checked out by the physio. My first injury in August was to the left of my right knee cap, where I had strained the medial collateral ligament due to changing my gait slightly following a blister I’d developed on one of my long runs. Very unfortunate, however during my recovery and perhaps upping the intensity of my running too quickly, I have now developed runner’s knee in my left knee..even more unfortunate! After researching this condition, runners knee appears to be a more general pain around the whole knee cap area as runtobefit says. If I were I’d think carefully about training whilst you are experiencing pain and consult with a physio who will be able to advise you further. I completely understand your impatience in getting back to running as I feel exactly the same! I’ll never take going for a run for granted again!
Thank you for this great article and blog. I just ran a 1/2 marathon in late September (my first), a 15K, a few 5K’s since and runner’s knee has hit me hard the past three weeks. We (the guy at the sporting goods store which specializes in running) tied my problem back to the fact that I went from what he called a beginner’s running sneaker with support, to an advanced (little to no support) Nike Free sneaker too quickly. He also said my sneaker’s were a half size too big. The combination of the two most certainly contirbuted to my problem. Anyway, I’m going to train for a full marathon (May 2013) and I start after Christmas. I decided to take 2-3 weeks off because the pain became too much. What I’ve read here is very encouraging. I’m glad that I’m not alone on this one.
Hey so I did that 5K on Thanksgiving with my 16 yr old daughter. It was an awesome experience. After not having done one in 2 years, and with all my knee problems, I was getting hopeless I would never be ready to race again. However, with the great advice from this blog and positive attitude I was able to get from it, learning everyone’s struggles and how to overcome them, I made it back to the races again! I did not beat my PR, in fact I was 1.5 mins slower this time, but with all the strength training I learned about here and being more consistent a runner, I finished feeling stronger than before. I know that with more work and patience and doing it the right way this time, I will set a PR maybe in the spring. I also have a long term goal of a half that I will build towards as well. My daughter, a field hockey player, never even ran 3 miles straight on the road before and she did very well. Teenage girls and their moms are known for having a rough patch in those years and we are no exception. Running together has been a great way to keep us close and build our strengths together. We are looking forward to many more races together.
Hey Carrie!! Glad to hear you had such a wonderful experience with your daughter! Ya’ll are building wonderful memories that will last a lifetime. I told you that you had a lot of time to heal. It’s like you said, “with a positive attitude” you can get through anything. I really can’t wait to hear about your half marathon. I am looking forward to when you let us all know that you are about to start training for that first half marathon. I hope by this time next year your first one will be done. 🙂 Again, so happy to hear that your Thanksgiving run went so well!! It’s the first of many I am sure. You and your daughter need to make it a yearly tradition. 🙂 Keep it up and keep in touch!!
Wow, this thread is more than a year old and still getting comments! I’ve never been a committed exerciser, but decided I needed to get serious about getting healthy since starting a desk job. I’ve been running for about 8 months, slowly upping my training from very short runs to longer runs. Last week, I pushed it too far (10 miles) and with a few too many hills and felt soreness in my knees. I had done 8 and 9 miles a few times fairly recently, so I wasn’t jumping too far ahead. I took 3 days off and felt a lot better, than decided to run again, but after about 20 minutes, started really feeling pain in my left knee. I walked the rest of the way home. But then, as the day went on, the pain got worse. Guess I didn’t give myself enough recovery time from the 10 miler. It’s been 6 days resting and the pain isn’t very severe, but it starts hurting almost as soon as I start walking. I’m elevating and have iced a few times, but it just doesn’t seem to be improving enough for me to even consider getting back out there and walking, much less running. I’m going to see a doc tomorrow, hope it’s just runner’s knee and not something worse.
Sorry to hear about your knee pain. I am sure it’s nothing too severe. Definitely keep us updated. Would be interested to hear what the Doc has to say. A lot of times healing is about patience. I wouldn’t worry too much. I am sure you will be running again in no time!!
I signed up for the 2013 ING Miami Marathon back in February during the early registration when the entry fee was substantially less than it is now. My plan was to gradually build up to at least 50mpw over the course of the year. Training was going according to plan (even though my body was telling me I was tired) until late October after a 12 mile run. My left knee was hurting. However, I thought it was no big deal. I would not run (as planned) on Sunday, then run 8 on Monday. Ran on Monday, but knee pain was too severe to complete 8 mi., so I stopped at 4. I still felt it was no big deal. I would cross train on the Nordic Track Stationary Bike on Tuesday, instead of running and then run on Wednesday. I ran Wednesday for 10 minutes with only moderate knee pain. Great, no problem, I will cross train with the Tony Little Gazelle for 20 minutes on Thursday – am, then use the Nordic Track for 30 minutes in the p.m. Used the Nordic Track for 10 minutes on Friday evening. I felt ready for the 9 mile training run (that was scheduled months before) on Saturday. I completed the 9 mile run (as scheduled months before) although I seemed to lose some aerobic conditioning from missing some other scheduled runs. My left knee was sore again (although not as sore as when I completed the 12 mile run). Still no problem. If my left knee is the only weak link in this chain, once it gets better, I can proceed as originally planned (months before). So on Sunday – Tuesday, I used the Gazelle again for 1:00. Then Wednesday I ran easy for ½ mi. in the a.m. and only felt a little bit of knee pain. Then ran Wednesday in the p.m. for 3.5 mi. (as scheduled months before). Left knee was hurting again. Still no problem. I did the Nordic Track for 30 minutes on Thursday. 14 mile run coming up Saturday. If I ‘have to’ I will run the 14 slower than the pace I planned to run it (months before). Ran for 5 miles and the knee pain was starting to get worse and worse. Finally, I was no longer in the river that is in Egypt (The Nile or in my case De-Nile). My training schedule (from months before) would have to be adjusted and more than just adjusted on the days that I didn’t have the hard tempo run or the long runs. I had to turn back toward my car (before the pain got too severe to even walk). This ‘setback’ that I thought was ‘no big deal’ is a big deal. From that point (Nov 10) till now, I have not run more than 2 miles (although maintaining some conditioning doing some workouts on the machines that don’t cause knee pain). In hindsight, I should have not completed the 12 mile run (my knee was bothering me during that run also), cut that run short and taken a few days off (total rest) and then resume my running with moderate cross training. This is great advice here (should have found it sooner). As for right now, I see three options. 1) Take as much time off from running as necessary , continue to cross train up until the marathon, then run (or walk slow) the marathon. Although I searched ‘Running a marathon following an injury’ and found a blog about a runner who ran a marathon with a pace slower than planned, and still had to stop and walk slow. He finished, but couldn’t run for months after that. So this is probably not a good option. 2) Change my registration from the full to the half marathon. Since I already completed a 12 miler, 10 miler, and numerous 8 milers, I should be able to safely cover the half (but be prepared to stop if my knee pain flares up). 3) Just pick up my race packet and don’t run. I am leaning towards option 2).
Hey Keith!! Sorry to hear about your knee pain. I know it is extremely frustrating to deal with a knee injury. Of course the best course of action is always rest. Hindsight is always 20/20, but in your case, and as in most of our cases, it’s hard to stop running because of a little pain. There’s this inherent belief that if we push through the pain it will magically get better. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. The pain is your body’s way of telling you to pull back a bit and slow down. For whatever reason, your knee is hurting and needs to rest in order for the inflammation to subside. I have referenced my back a lot lately because I pushed it way too much. In the past I would rest for a couple of weeks (with knee pain, tendonitis, etc.) and then get right back into running and seemingly, with no effort at all, I would heal. When I hurt my back I knew I needed to rest, but I kept pushing, mistaking it for soreness. When the pain got to a point when I knew it was likely more than soreness I continued to push. Now, here I am 5 months later, still with back pain because I kept pushing too much. When I got to a point when the pain was less after resting, I then pushed again. I have had three significant setbacks because I refused to fully comprehend the severity of pushing too much too soon. I say this only as a cautionary reference point. You don’t want to look back and have any regrets. Like I always say, there are lots of races to run. It is really not worth injuring yourself for the long term. However, a lot can change with an injury and I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of running the half marathon. The full marathon really takes a toll on your body, especially your knees and I do think it would be best to just do the half marathon if possible. If you are feeling any pain whatsoever I would not run the half either. For now take it easy and don’t do anything that causes any stress on your knee. It won’t heal if you continue running. When it is time to start running again (when you feel no pain) then start slowly. I am talking a 1 mile slow run every other day for 1 or 2 weeks. If you do too much too soon you can suffer a setback. I hope that you get better soon. I know how badly you want to run this race, but it’s important to not think of the run itself, but rather your knee and your health. Like I said, there are a lot of runs out there and they are not going away anytime soon. Get yourself back to 100% soon and enjoy every single run. You never know, it can get better much sooner than you think. Stay positive and be patient. It will be better before you know it!
Went to the doc yesterday, he confirmed that I have runner’s knee and also bursitis (inflammation of lubricating sacs in the knee). He said the best thing to do is what I’ve already been doing: rest, ice 2-3x daily for 20 minutes, ibuprofen (3 advil at a time, 4x daily), raising the knee (but not too high). Also, interestingly, he said that too much sitting can be problematic, so don’t sit all day. He showed me some non-impact upper leg strengthening exercises to improve knee strength and stability. When I get back to running, I should start with 1/4 mile and no further to test it, as the effects of the run won’t be felt immediately. If I feel OK, progress to 1/2 mile or 3/4 mile after resting a day or 2. He said to get back to running extra cautiously – better to start slow and build than to end up hurting myself again. Patience is the key! Funny, it feels so much better today, I think if I had waited till today to see the doctor, I probably wouldn’t have gone. But it’s good to get some info and confirmation. Hope that helps some of you out there.
Thanks for the update!! Glad it’s nothing serious. It is true about the running…you won’t feel it until after so it’s best to start slowly. If you ever have time would love if you could post some of the leg strengthening exercises the DR. prescribed. It’s something I think every single runner and non-runner can benefit from.
It’s always about patience isn’t it? It is extremely difficult to be patient, especially for me. I think it’s good you went to the Dr. to at least put your mind at ease. It will allow you to be patient since you know what it is you need to do to get better…and you know it will get better. Again, glad it’s nothing too serious. Let us know when you get back to running again and how you progress. Good luck to you!! 🙂
Sure, here’s the non-impact leg strengthening exercise the doc prescribed. It sounded too simple and easy, but he said it’s enough. (This particular doctor was a competitive runner for 15+ years)
While sitting, lift and fully extend one leg. Tighten the muscles in the upper leg as much as possible. Hold for 10-20 seconds. Release and switch to the other leg. Alternating, do each leg 3 times. So this is a total of 1 – 2 minutes of exercise. Do this once a day, and, according to his advice, this will be enough to strengthen the leg muscles to control the movement of the knee cap.
Also, this exercise provided some immediate relief from my runner’s knee pain, so don’t worry that it’ll hurt the knee more if you’re still in pain.
Hope that helps.
This is great!!! Thank you for doing that!!!
After my bout with runner’s knee, I took 2 weeks off of running & did my daily leg exercises and got on the treadmill for a short 1/4 mile run yesterday to try out the knee. Feels fine! I think I’ll up it to 3/4 mile tomorrow and see how it feels. I wouldn’t have thought 2 weeks ago that I’d be back running so soon. It’s worth it to take it easy if you need to!
It’s always amazing what a little rest can do. I knew it wouldn’t take you too long to heal. It’s always hard to rest, but in the end it’s always worth it. Keep me updated on your progress. Glad to hear it’s feeling better!!!
I’m so glad I found this site! I have been training for a marathon for the past four months (occurring in one month from today). Though I’ve been in intense training for a few months, i have been running for a year and a half straight several times a week. Immediately following my 16 mile run, which I did on a paved surface with no elevation…just flat, I got a severe pain under my right knee cap. I recognized the pain because this happened to me several years ago when training for a half, but the pain was much worse then.
This happened last Saturday, so 5 days ago. Since then I have not run a training run (just a few jogs down the street after getting new shoes), have been icing it every few hours and have also taken a few anti inflammatory pills. In addition, I got new running shoes that are made for shock absorption and purchased a patella band. Today, day 5, I tried to take a light jog on the treadmill but stopped just a minute later because of the pain. it wasn’t bad, but I didn’t want to injure the knee and undo all the progress I had made by resting a few days. Apparently 5 days of rest wasn’t enough, but I would hate to rest for the next month and still not be able to run!
Is there anything else I can do and is a month a good enough amount of time for it to heal for the marathon. I know I’ll be able to do the distance endurance wise since I ran a few 16-18 milers, but just worried about my knee. Again, the pain isn’t excruciating…its just there and enough to keep me from running. This will be my first full! Any advice at all or I guess encouragement is very much appreciated.
Hey Jessica!! Sorry to hear about the pain in your knee. Unfortunately, all hope is lost and you might as well give up at this point. Ok OK, I am kidding. I know that’s not what you want to hear. Honestly, you have a lot of time to heal. Although 5 days seems like plenty of time to heal, it really depends on the injury and the severity of it. At this point I wouldn’t even jog. Let the inflammation subside. If you keep trying to run on it it the injury will just linger. Don’t think about losing your stamina if you don’t run. It’s better to rest now. Trust me on this. Don’t worry about the fact that the marathon is a month away. If you really think about it a month is really a long time. Try resting for another week…try 7 days if possible. No running and maybe slight stretching. If you look back a few comments ago there are some stretching exercises that are mentioned that could be beneficial. If anything causes pain, stop doing it. If you run for a minute and feel it, re-evaluate and consider stopping. For now the goal is healing, not running. You will be fine Jessica. If you have felt this before and this time it’s not as bad, that’s a great thing. Just rest…that is the key. Your new shoes can wait a little bit. 🙂
I think it’s awesome you are about to run your first full marathon!! I would just say that you need to make sure your knee is ready for it. It is a long long run. In training I ran 20 miles and felt completely ready for my full. At about the 18th mile the day of the race I “hit the wall.” I never believed in hitting in a wall, but, yeah, it’s real. Your body will ache, your knees will feel it. So just make sure you are ready for it. It’s good you have already run 18 miles…that will help. But, don’t be like me and expect it to not be too difficult. Running a full marathon was surely a humbling experience for both me and my wife. We had such an easy time with our half marathons that we assumed the full wouldn’t be as bad. However, it’s important to point out that it was over 80 degrees in full sun for our marathon, which did not help. Take it easy when you start, which I am sure you know. We ran the first half way too fast. Don’t push too much. Keep in mind that when you hit 20 miles you will be very tired. You will want to stop…trust me. I wanted to stop with .2 of the 26.2 left. Like I said, it’s very humbling. You don’t realize how long 6.2 miles is until you have already run 20. So you want to make sure your body is ready and I really do think yours will be.
You should be so proud of your choice to run a full marathon. That is so awesome and it will be an experience you will never forget. Just be smart about your knee and pay attention. I think it’s really good the pain isn’t bad…let’s just not get to where it is. You are going to do great!! Can’t wait to hear about it. Please come back and let me know how it goes. Now go and heal. 🙂
Thank you so much for your response so quickly!
It really does feel like its been forever since I’ve run, even though its been a week! The first few days were horrible not running but it’s getting easier! I hope that by this time next week it will be good enough to start for a few miles!
I took a look back at the YouTube video that was provided for stretches a few posts ago! I tried those last night and will continue too! I guess I just don’t understand if my leg muscles weren’t strong enough, how come it didnt happen in the past year or even months of more intense training! Oh well… Fingers crossed another week or so will do the trick!
The reason I got the shoes were because mine were 7 months old and had been used for over 700 miles, so I read one of the first things to look at when you have knee problems is replacing the shoes! They can certainly wait though 🙂
Thank you also about the tips about the marathon itself! I will say that no matter if my knee is feeling 100% I will still “run” it… I have put too much into training not too… Plus family members are traveling here to run with me! When this happened the last time… And again, much more severe… I wore a knee brace and loaded a ton of the gel that helps the aching and inflammation! While I was slow I did finish the half, so I anticipate doing the same thing! Hopefully I won’t have to resort to all of that and can just run :). Positive thoughts!
I will definitely come back and let you know how it all goes! Thanks again for your help!
Great blog post runtobefit! I encountered runner’s knee in training for the marathon I ran at the end of July. I still ran the marathon and was very glad I did!…however, even though I haven’t run since then to rest, I still feel I am not ready to run (feel some pain when I keep the knee in one position for a long time or put a lot of weight on my knee). I’m still relatively young, 32, so I feel I should have already recovered, any opinion on whether this may be a permanent injury? I actually have ran in small spurts without pain, but I try not to do any physical activity to increase rest time and also because I developed an ankle injury around the same time that I hope to completely heal as well. I look forward to your reply and any tips you would have for me.
I did go to the doctor and after xrays he said it was jumper’s knee even though I told him I got it from training for the marathon, but I did not feel confident with his diagnosis and it seems the treatment plan is very similar anyway (rest).
Hey Alan! Sorry to hear about your runner’s knee. You are very young (I say so because I am 33) :-). But, yes, we are very young. I don’t think your age has anything to do it. Your body will heal at it’s own pace and in it’s own time. I know right now it’s scary because you start to wonder if your injuries will be chronic. I have been suffering with my back injury since the end of June and I often wonder if at only 33 I am done with running. But, I have realized you really can’t think like that. You have to be positive. Let this experience confirm your commitment to running and being healthy.
I really do think rest is the best medicine. Let your injury heal completely before trying anything too strenuous. I know you can’t be completely immobile and it’s not healthy to be, but just be careful. Some injuries just take longer to heal than others and for some reason they like to test our patience. Now, I would say that if in like two months after really resting you are still hurting I would seek a second opinion. You just want to make sure your being proactive in your attempts to heal. Did the Dr. set you up with physical therapy? Since you have been hurting this long I wouldn’t be surprised if he/she did because I think that would be beneficial.
I really don’t think you have a permanent injury. I know it can feel like that at times. But, with a little rest you will be back to normal. It’s just going to take time and patience. When I tore ligaments in my ankle I honestly never thought I would run again…5 months later I was sprinting again and stronger and faster than before. It’s just a little adversity that you will overcome. No biggie…You will be fine!!
Awesome reply runtobefit, I really appreciate that positive reply! Thank you! The Dr. didn’t prescribe pt actually, but did give me a small brace for my knee. I really think it’s not permanent either, but a history of knee arthritis in my family worries me a little. I like to exercise so it has tough to be away as long as I have, but hopefully when I am back at it I can remember missing exercise during this forced rest time period when I have no excuse to not work out. :). Hope both of our injuries leave us stronger and faster than before.
Hello! This is the best thing I’ve read since feeling the pain of runner’s knee. I just had a baby in September and decided while I was pregnant to run my first half marathon on Superbowl Sunday. I had never ran distance in my life and by week 2 of training- I was hooked and understood why people love running so much. My training has been though hills and on sidewalks so I’m sure this hasn’t helped. At first I thought I was just sore from running, but after my first 8 mile run, I took a glimpse at my knee and noticed that it was swollen. That week I ran 2 miles on the street on one day, 2 miles on the treadmill another day, and then substituted my long run this Saturday with 40 minutes on the bike and 40 minutes on the elyptical. I’m back at work now so I was planning on getting in my runs on the treadmill and then my long runs on the street on the weekends. My knee is still swollen and is still sore right now. Been icing as much as I can but it is difficult to sit with a 3 month old and a 3 year old. Do you think I should rest until the knee feels better? I am so scared my training will go down the drain. Are there exercises I can do while I’m waiting for my knee to heal. I still have about 6 weeks until the race. I’m finishing that race even if I have to walk the whole thing!
Hey Melinda!!! Of course the best course of action at this time is to rest. If you don’t rest there is a good chance you won’t be able to run your half marathon and we don’t want that to happen. It’s worth the rest. Don’t worry too much about your training. Focus on your health right now. That’s the most important thing. If you push too much than you could end up hurting yourself for a much longer period of time. Believe me, it’s not worth it. You have a lot of time to rest, get better and run your race. The sooner you decide to rest the sooner you will be able to heal and run. Make sure you are not feeling pain when you start running again. Rest as much as possible. There is a comment from DGHtunes in which he included an strengthening exercise prescribed by his Dr. for runner’s knee. I would definitely look at that. I always say to err on the side of caution when it comes to your health. You have a lot of time and I think you can definitely heal and run your race. Be patient and don’t push too much. Remember, you have a lot of time. Stay positive and keep your head up. Keep us posted. 🙂 Oh, and go you for having a baby and training for a half marathon!! Many many kudos!! Keep up the awesome work. This is only the beginning. 🙂
Thank you so much for the informative post!
I am 20, was never very athletic besides being in the swimming team a couple of years ago.
I weigh 143 lbs and am 5’6, so I guess you could say I am not overly heavy. However. I have made the decision to lose weight and have heard the fastest way is by running. i began working out around a month ago, and my running resistance is much better now, for I can run more distances now. I use the treadmill, stairmaster, olliptical, and have never experienced knee pain until about 4 days ago. The only thing I have changed has been adding much more running to my exercises. The knee pain is now horrible, I am limping everwhere I go and it hurts even while laying down. Should I take a break from doing cardio?What.would be your.opinion on that?
Hey Pam! Honestly, I would take a break. You probably got hurt by doing too much too soon. Just scale it back a bit and start again slowly when you get better. Sometimes our bodies take time to adjust to the long distance running. Right now your knee is inflamed. Give it some time to allow the inflammation to subside. If you keep working out on a hurt knee it will only get worse. Don’t worry, you will be fine. Don’t force your recovery…let the injury run its course (no pun intended). You will be back to running again soon. 🙂
sadly, I believe i have this ‘Runner’s Knee’ even though I’m only 14 years old. I really don’t like the feeling. Although, I feel really stupid now because I went on a very hilly run on concrete without stretching just before I read this article. So, I’ve pretty much done the opposite of what I should have done. Haha
Hey Steve!! Now’s the time to rest. I think we’ve all done the opposite of what we should have done at some point during an injury. The most important thing is that you realize it and begin to take steps toward recovery. You’ll be fine.
i am baffled. I was having knee problems on and off for a couple of years. running, resting, physical therapy, strenghthening, building up again slowly. I ran a 5k on thanksgiving and felt okay, sore muscles. A little sore in the knee but then after a recovery run a couple days later felt a lot of knee pain in back of right knee. Went back to PT. started getting better was ready to start “wunning” and the holidays came and I got sucked into all the work that parents do and had no time to work out. So, basically I did absolutely nothing besides standing in the kitchen for hours, shopping, working at a desk and driving for the last few weeks. Now both my knees are sore. The left one which hasn’t bothered me in a year is sore now in the front outside under and on top of the knee cap and the back of the right knee is sore on and off too. I don’t know why it should be getting worse when I haven’t been doing anything. I have iced a little after shopping and standing and just started again stretching today.Do you think that maybe I am stiff from all walking and standing and not stretching? It just seems really weird I would be feeling worse after a couple weeks of not working out. I’m not overweight so I wouldn’t think standing and walking would cause me pain. Any ideas?
Hey Carrie!! Sorry for the long delay in responding. It seems as though wordpress has changed it’s look so I didn’t even notice I had comments the past couple of weeks. I am not sure if you are still feeling pain. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if your knees were just tired from all the standing and shopping. That can also takes it’s toll. It could also be that you were never fully healed before. Plus, you have to make sure that you are strengthening your legs and knees in order to prevent future injuries. Also, when you do start up again start very slowly. Make sure you are stretching before any activity you deem strenuous. My Physical therapist has tried to drill that inside my head…start again slowly. Right now she is working on loosening and strengthening my back before I even start weights again. For now I would just focus on stretching. If your PT gives you exercises to do on your own then do them religiously. You need to get all your muscles loose again and then work on strengthening them. Hopefully that you get you good to go. Keep your head up. You will feel much better soon!!! 🙂
That makes a lot of sence. I tend to have very tight not very flexible muscles and I have surrendered to going slow with a focus on stretching for now. It’s better than when I wrote but still not 100%. However, I can already tell stretching is making a huge difference! Thank you!
Anyone have any experience with quadricep strain\tendonitis? A little over a week before I raced a 15k (Hot Choc), I over did it and ended up with a really sore/weakened knee. Foolishly, I was looking ahead towards a half marathon and almost missed running the 15k. I did a lot of icing and rested and luckily was able to run the race – which was great as I did with my wife and we had a whole weekend planned for it. In any event, I noticed during the recovery that it was above my knee was sore. And I noticed it above both knees (the one that was pain and the other one). The kneecap itself never really hurt. Since I had IT band issues, I thought maybe there was a lot of pulling on the knee and focused on rolling this area. I kept running through it. After more probing, I realized that the dull ache/burning feeling was on the inside of the leg above the knee. I also was always able to move the patella without any pain. Long story short, I think my issues were the surrounding muscles – never patella tracking issues. I then started rolling the quads, I could tell they were really tight. In hindsight, I think my weakened IT bands added more strain on my quads. Coupled with way overdoing it (increasing distance and pace), I believe this led to quad issues. The problem is that this was 6-7 weeks ago and I still have this constant dull ache and minor burning feeling above the knees. I know the obvious is that I need to really rest. I’ve lowered my mileage (from 23-26 to 12-15) and mixed in the bike but I suspect I need to take off a few weeks. However I’m wondering if anyone has any other advice? Part of me thinks I have a muscle imbalance. I also was really poor in stretching in the beginning. I know I need to get better there. Last but not least, any PT things that worked for – ultrasound, deep tissue massage, exercises, etc.? I have an appointment with a sports doc in 2 days and have finally conceeded to REALLY take a few weeks off.
Hey Jim!! So sorry not to get back to you much sooner. As I said in my last reply I didn’t notice I had comments because of the changes wordpress has made. I am very interested to see what the Doc told you about your pain. I am sure he/she told you that you needed to rest and stretch. That’s always the most important thing. However, if there is anything you can add to the thread about what you learned it would be much appreciated. As far as ultrasound and deep tissue massage – I have been going to physical therapy for a back issue I have been having. My physical therapist has done both. Honestly, they have helped tremendously. When I first went you could actually see where my back was tight. After a couple of sessions and deep tissue massage it has gone done more than I ever expected. My back feels looser and I am not feeling as much pain. Hope that helps. Also, I hope you are feeling better!
Runtobefit – Thanks for the response. The doc found no structural issues with my knees and deemed it quad tendonopithy (tendonitis/tendonis). I got an order for PT and started focusing on riding the bike. After a bunch of research, I found two very compelling therapy techniques – ASTYM and Graston (explained below). I selected a PT who had a good reputation and practiced the above techniques. In any event, the PT found a number of issues – hip abductors weak, glutes not firing and hamstrings were not nearly as strong as my quads. He also looked extensively at my running stride and gait – which was pretty good. Some things to work on but wasn’t too bad. Of course, a lot scar build up above the knees in the quads. I had my first treatment yesterday and I was very impressed. We did stretches on the hamstrings, quads, IT band, pformis and some quad exercises that almost killed me. 🙂 We also started the ASTYM treatment (http://www.astym.com/Main/About). You can really feel the bumpiness in areas that haven’t healed correctly with a lot of scar tissue buildup. It’s a little painful but does a better job in penetrating the affected areas than hand based therapies (IMO). It does hurt a bit but one thing that is really cool with this therapy is that it actually encourages activity as it helps remold and rebuild soft tissue. One key thing is note is that this treatment addresses many issues – including runners knee. I’ll be sure to check back in and let you know my progress but it’s an option that fellow runners can evaluate. NOTE – I’m sure of you are wondering why I chose ASTYM over Graston. My PT says the overall technique is the same.They are both tool based therapies designed to break up scar tissue and remodels soft tissue. One uses solid plastic tools and the other uses stainless steel. They both also use multiple tools – a specific tool to determine problem areas and specific tools to deeply penetrate specific problem areas. You have to look past the slandering they do against each other. It turns out there was a falling out between the machinist who created the therapy tools and the medical doctor who advised and helped with the actual application technique. Long story short, the doc was cut out and would have needed to pay royalties for the orginal tools created so he created a similar set out of plastic.
Thank you for your blog!!! I am not a marathoner but simply like to run. It clears my mind and prepares me for the stressful day ahead. Now, I received this awesome Christmas present, the Nike+ Sportswatch GPS. Well, when I received it, I thought it was awesome BUT it has stop working twice since Christmas. Needless to say, I, personally longer think it is the next best thing since sliced bread. Sorry, had to get that out of my system 🙂 Anywho, I went all out with my running because I was excited and wanted to test out the watch. Not only did I increase my run time but I incorporated interval sprints as well. Yeap, I over did it and now have runner’s knee. I have been icing and staying off it but is there ANY cardio exercise I can perform or piece of cardio equipment I can use while I am healing? Without cardio, merely looking at a slice of pizza goes directly to my hips. Thank you…
Hey Terri!! So sorry not to respond sooner!! I hope you are feeling much better by now. 🙂 I am sure you got runner’s knee from doing too much too soon. Honestly, it’s likely because you added the sprints in there. Sprints can really beat down your body…make your muscles work in a completely different way. I noticed whenever I incorporated sprints into my training that’s when I encountered a myriad of problems. It puts a lot of stress and strain on your joints. I am not trying to discourage you from doing sprints – but don’t do them… 😉 JK. No, you can do them. I think they are good, but you really have to work your way up. You can’t just increase your mileage and add sprints. Your body needs time to adjust. With a little rest you will be fine…if you aren’t already. 🙂 As far as cardio equipment I would do the bike, but make sure you are not feeling any pain. You can also swim if possible..but again, make sure there is no pain whatsoever. Discomfort and pain are two different things. Also, if you do do anything make sure you stretch before and ice after. I hope you are feeling better!! 🙂
Hi there. I decided to start training for my first full marathon. I started in sept and by november I had severa pain everywhere, particularly my left knee. I felt like I had no strength in my hips. Very ugly feeling. I have been off for three weeks now and want to start my up again. The L.A. marathon is on 3-17-13. My longest run was at 12 miles. I have a long way to go. Do you think it is doable? If so….What’s a good way to finish the training? Thanks.
Hey Karla!! Sorry for the long delay in responding. 😦 I hope you are feeling better. let’s see, you have gotten up to 12 miles and you have two months to finish the training. It is doable. But, make sure you are healed. Start again slowly and don’t worry about getting all the mileage in. Worry about getting your knee healthy again. Make sure you are stretching, strengthening and icing. All are very important to prevent and recover from your injury. If you keep going on your knee when you are feeling pain you will just hurt it more and have more damaging affects. However, if you are noticing it is feeling better and you feel good after a short run then slowly increase your mileage. Just be proactive in aiding your recovery. I really do think it’s possible to run the marathon. Remember though, take your time and if you can’t run it don’t worry about. You don’t want to not be able to run for months and months. Trust me…it’s really not worth it. As far as your training just try to at least get up to 20 miles at some point in the next month and a half. Again, don’t push. Hope all goes well. Keep us updated. Feel better soon!
Really glad to see this site tonight! Ive been training for my first half since the summer, and just spent 2 months in PT for glutes, then started running again this week, and bam, runners knee on the 2nd run!!! My half is in a month, and I was so down tonight after having to walk after only 3 miles of running, and was thinking there is no way I can get back to 13 in time for the race. BUT- your words are really inspiring, whether I can make the run or not. Thank you for all the time you put in to helping all these runners on their journey 🙂
Hey Nicole…continue to keep your head up!! You already sound like you have a great attitude and that will definitely help in your healing. Honestly, you still have a lot of time and there is still a chance you can run your race. Don’t stress about it and be really patient. I know coming out of PT it was nice to start again, but don’t forget to start again slowly. My physical therapist keeps stressing that to me. It’s hard to listen, but when you do it’s so worth it. You are going to be ok just stay positive and be proactive. Good luck and keep me updated!! 🙂
I commented back in December and thought I would write a follow up to my post! I did exactly what was recommended to me…rest, ice, rest, ice…on and on for 6 weeks. Per my original post, I had been training for a marathon for a long time and didn’t have a problem until one of my long runs.
I I thought a lot about things leading up to the injusry. One being, I play soccer and I had taken a direct hit to my knee cap after I fell during a game. The other one was during that long run…I saw a friend and stopped to talk to him for about 15 minutes after running 14 miles. After I was done, I started sprinting and finished my remaining two miles way too fast and strong.
I dont know if those two things had anything to do with my injury, but i’m sure it didn’t help.
During my time resting, I used some of the tips on this site for strenghening and stretching. I also saw a massage therapist that did a few massages on the muscles surrounding my knee. He also taped my knee with kinesio tape in a way that held my knee cap in place and supported the interior part of my knee where it hurt the most.
I ended up running a 4 mile run the week before the race to test the taping to make sure it was ok..which it was, so the marathon was a go
Race day was yesterday and my knee felt no pain whatsoever until about mile 21. It was pretty painful, but with a combination of power walking and jogging, myself and my running partner made it to the end of the 26.2!! My knee now is back to where it was at the beginning of my original pain, but I’ll just repeat the rest and ice!
Moral of the story, resting and icing are key to recovery! It sucks to have to rest, but it’s really important. The other thing is..check out the kinesio tape; it worked wonders and helped me out a great deal! I dont think I would have made it 10 miles without it!
Thanks again for your help!
Hey Jessica…so glad to hear you made it through your race!! But, sad to hear you are in pain again!! Just follow your advice and you will be fine 🙂 Thanks for updating and providing hope to everyone that is worried about their own injuries. It really does help. Just continue to take it slow and recover soon!! Want to hear about the many runs to come. 🙂
I commeneted in October last year after being told i had runners knee by a physio. I tried to slowly return to training but its falred up again 😦 I took slowly to a whole new level only adding 2/3 minuiets a session not wanting it to come back! Anyway, I was just wondering if you think its normal to get sharp pain with it, i feels like it feels like comes from the inside of my knee. I get sorness and other symptoms people have described but the stabbling pain is making me wonder if its something else?
Thanks in advance for your help
Hey Rose…I know when I had it I got a stabbing pain at times. Continue to rest it and stretch it when possible, making sure it doesn’t add or cause pain. I know you went slowly getting back and it’s frustrating. However, I do think you will be ok in the long run. Just stay positive. It’s going to take time but it’s worth it in the end. I am, however, sorry to hear it’s back. I would make sure you strengthen the area around the knee, as well as doing your stretches…both are very important. Also, after every run make sure you ice. Take your time…you will get there. You are going to be fine Rose. 🙂
I’ve been reading over your blog and there is a lot of helpful informtation in here! I am currently training for a 10k. I know, not 13-26 miles, but I just started at the beginning of this month. I was running yesterday, and got that stabbing feeling under my knee cap…It was a 6 miler, so what I’m wondering is, is it possible to experience this pain at such a short distance?
Hey Allyson!! Sorry to hear about your knee pain. Let me start by saying that 6 miles is not a short distance. I would honestly say that anything over 3 miles is not a short distance, especially if you are not a runner. You should be proud of yourself for getting up to 6 miles already. Now, in terms of pain at that distance it is very possible. 6 miles is a long time to be running, especially if it is not something that you have been doing for a long period of time. It takes time for the body to get used to the mileage. You want to make sure that you are stretching before and after every run and icing if you feel any pain. If you continue to experience pain after resting I would ease up on the running and work your way back slowly. Don’t push too much. Let it be a gradual process. Just rest and you should be fine. Don’t push the knee if you are already feeling the pain. Good luck!!! 🙂
On my 5th day off from running because of a sore knee. Been running almost 2 years and it came out of nowhere. Well actually going down a big hill may have caused it. Hoping to get back to it in a couple of days.
I laughed because I found myself pressing on it a lot to see if it still hurt.
Sorry to hear that!! Make sure you rest. Don’t press on it!! lol Who am I kidding, I did that too. Just try not to do it too much.
It’s been a few months since my injury, had to take about a month off before hitting the streets again, but very slowly and gradually. Made it back up to 4 miles today. Did my stretches before and after and shortened my pace on hills. So far so good. If you’ve just been injured, take heart, it will get better fairly quickly.
Update: I went to the chiropractor and they put some icy gel on it and scraped away scar tissue. I gradually added back running to my training plan. The week I was going to do 22 miles I exercised on the Gazelle for 1 hour, Nordic-Track for 30 minutes, repeated that routine then ran for 5 miles for a total time of 3:45. I also added 1 hour to my original goal time of 3:30. I completed the marathon with a fast walking shuffle that kept pressure off the knee. My pace was around 9:50 at the start and 12:00 at the end. The last 4 miles I did the Galloway method where I would run (fast walk) for 4 minutes and walk slower for 30 seconds and I finished in 4:37:13.
Hey Keith congrats on finishing your marathon!! I know it wasn’t your goal time, but that was still a great time!!! After everything you had to go through to get there you should be really proud of yourself!! I am sure at 100% health you can obliterate your original time of 3:30. I’m glad you were able to run your race. I hope you enjoyed every minute of it. I am sure with all the trials and tribulations it made crossing the finish line even more special. Congrats again!!
Hello~ 1st off, I can’t believe how loyal you’ve stayed to this site. It appears you’ve helped/inspired many people. Now I need your help…yep, runners knee. I’ve been training “very hard” for my 1st half marathon. Even though I’m training for the half marathon, I just love to run. Me and the open road..it doesn’t get any better. I’ve been running off and on for the last 5 yrs but the last year and a half has been hardcore. I started running 5K’s, then 10k’s and then worked on speed for awhile. Then I decided a half marathon, why not? Then I went back to distance training. I actually surprised myself on how far I could run. Then it was like I just couldn’t wait to get back out there again & again & again 🙂 My longest run to date is 12 miles and I average between 18-22 miles per week. ey. My half marathon is Feb 24th in Disney World. I figure half marathon, why not do it in the happiest place in the world (thats what the commercial says…lol) Now my issue..runners knee. I’ve noticed for the last month my right knees “acting up” But I was still able to power thru the runs. At 1st it would be around mile 10 that I’d have to stop due to pain, then mile 7 then mile 3 and this past Sunday I didn’t make it two miles when it literally stopped me in my tracks. I have been doing some more stretching and after reading all your feedbacks, i’ll also be icing more frequently and purchasing a running band. Basically, I know what I need to do. I guess I just needed to vent to other people that understand what I’m and so many others go thru for this love of running. If you have any add’l feed back, I’d be more than happy to hear it!
Hey Missy…sorry to hear about your knee pain. The good thing is you have time to heal before your big race. Keep doing your stretching before every run and make sure you are icing after every run as well. I know what it’s like to want to run so badly you are willing to disregard the pain. However, as you have noticed sometimes it’s impossible to keep going. Don’t be afraid to rest for a few days until the pain has subsided significantly. You don’t want to keep irritating it and thus allow it to stay inflamed. You have already gotten up to 12 miles. In my training runs I never ran more than 11 so you are good to go mentally and I am sure physically if you can get the pain to subside. A few days off, even up to a week won’t hurt you. I think it’s great you are running a half marathon, especially in such a wonderful place!! Can’t wait to hear about your experience. Keep us updated and pay attention to your body. If you need to stop then stop. Remember, you have a lot of time to get better. Don’t be afraid to rest now. 🙂 Good luck!!!
First of all this is great reading, very informative, and helps keep things in perspective. Thanks for that! I ran my first half marathon last Sunday, increased my miles from 10 the previous week to 13.1, celebrated my success by allowing myself one rest day and eating lots of peanut butter, on Tuesday got right out back running. After finishing the half I was too tired, hungry, and in need of a shower to think about icing my knee. My left knee had been giving me trouble on and off throughout the training process but since I could always run through the pain I ignored it. On the day of my half I was mentally prepared to have to walk some of it but when it was 20 degrees and starting to sleet I pushed myself to maintain a ten minute pace throughout. My problem is that after running three days in a row post half marathon I was noticing the knee pain getting worse.off After reading your blog I decided to take a few days off. As a stay at home mom of three kids under the age of 4, I feel as though I need to run to maintain some sanity! I ran the miles a day throughout my last pregnancy up until the day my now five month old was born… I guess what I am wondering is when I should give myself the green light to get back into my training for the next half in May. After running for fifteen minutes today I started to feel the pain flare up and stopped. I am not sure what to do in the meantime, don’t have access to a stationary bike like some, and I know my stubborn (and dedicated) personality won’t allow me to rest for much longer. I also need to confess stretching is rarely part of my routine and just made myself promise to start implementing that today. Do I rest more until I feel completely better or is it ok to keep going the short distances ? I don’t want to make things worse even though I am coming out of my skin. I was feeling so great for doing my half that I expected it would all be down hill from here! Any comments are greatly appreciated! Thanks
First off…congrats on finishing your half marathon. That’s a huge accomplishment whether it’s your first, second, third and so on. Now, I am sure you don’t want to hear it but you need to…it’s time to rest. 🙂 I know, I know…it sucks. But, I give you permission to have a whole jar of peanut butter and a tub of ice cream. 🙂 Seriously though, if you don’t stop running for a few days, maybe a week to two weeks, the injury will not heal. It will become chronic and something you will have to deal with over a much longer period of time. As I have told many others, it’s not worth it. My back issues are the perfect example. Almost 8 months later I am still recovering because I didn’t know how to rest. When I felt it get a little better I pushed it and kept re-injuring it to the point that I had to go to physical therapy. Basically I was told I just kept doing too much. Now I am forced to stretch 3 times a day and do a series of weight exercises in hopes of recovering completely. All because I didn’t want to not run or lift weights for 1 to 2 months. I know 1 to 2 months sounds long, but now it doesn’t to me. So, 1 to 2 weeks shouldn’t seem so bad when you consider you could be hurting for much longer. Basically your knee is inflamed right now. Give it some time for the inflammation to subside. In the meantime you can do stretches. I wouldn’t recommend not walking or anything, but I surely wouldn’t run. I know that’s hard to say when you have children. What I mean is, do your best not to run. 🙂 You don’t want to put too much pressure on that knee. I know it’s hard to do any workouts without access to a stationary bike. You could always fill a bathtub with water and get on your stomach and kick like your swimming. OK Ok, I’m kidding. But, part of me is wondering if that in any way could ever work. Anyway, I digress. Your focus now should be healing. I know it’s hard to not workout…trust me…I know. But, you won’t lose your ability to run. I have just recently gotten back to running for 20 minutes pain free. The funny thing is you never really lose that ability to run for long distances after running a half marathon. It just stays with you. A lot of it is mental. You have a lot of time before your next race. Just rest for now. When you notice you can walk for a while without pain than run for 10 minutes very slowly…less if you are worried about how you will react to 10 minutes. Then gradually work your way back up. Make sure you ice afterwards. That’s extremely important. Also, stretch before your runs. I know it’s annoying…trust me…I know. But, at least take the time to do it to get your body ready. You can even walk for like 10 minutes before you start running. Stretching, I have learned the hard way, is very important and necessary. Don’t worry, you are going to be just fine. Keep your head up and stay positive. You will feel better sooner than you think. Just be proactive in order to heal sooner. Can’t wait to hear about your next run…Good Luck!!! 🙂
PS found one typo in my last post, which should read ran three miles a day everyday during my last pregnancy!! Sorry for the auto correct mistake. Just wanted to be sure it all made sense.
I like your style. You have a great way of breaking hearts and building hope at the same time. Basically what you are saying is I can’t run but I can still drink wine. Amen! Thanks for taking the time to reply. Hope to see you at the metaphorical finish line soon 🙂
Hi there, My name is Yoshi. I am relatively new to running and only started as I needed to get fit for my Army Officer Selection Board for British Army. I have always despised Running. My running technique is to try and run as far as I can then stop and carry on walking then run again. So I have this stop start technique and my aim is to be able to run continuously as i get fitter. I have stumbled across this blog and was wondering if I am suffering from Runner’s Knee. I have one of those Nike GPS watches, which have been a Godsend and allowed me to push myself slowly. On Saturday I did my longest run of 4 miles and went out with some friends. Previous to this run, I did a run of 3.25 miles. I wonder if I have been increasing my distance too quickly. I don’t know if I damaged my knee on the night out or from the run. I been to A&E and they said I sprained my ‘lateral collateral ligament’ and need to be off it a while. The pain is located down the outside of the knee and under the kneecap, This pain would be agonizing going down the stairs and general walking. The knee was tender on the outside. It has been about a week and the pain has subsidized enough so that i am able to walk without much difficulty. However the knee doesn’t feel strong enough for a run. I tried going for a run and I felt the slight pain coming in the outside ligament of the knee. If I sit down or rest the leg too much and then move the leg, the knee cap clicks/cracks very loudly. I don’t feel very confident with the knee to be honest and it is putting me off the running. My legs have always been screwed from previous rugby injuries and football injuries. I can’t do barbell squats or dumbell squats as i feel the pain in my knees. Any advice on sorting out my knees and my injuries would heavily appreciated. What exercises do you recommend and stretches in order to prevent this from reoccurring? My aim is to be every saturday running regularly 10 miles as I would need this for the army. Any advice in achieving this would also much appreciated.
Hey Yoshi! Sorry to hear about your knee pain. First off, it’s good you have been working your way up slowly. You have to have that mindset when you first start running. Now that you are feeling pain you need to work your way back into running even slower. You need to make sure you give your knee some time to heal, especially with a ligament strain. This is when physical therapy would be most beneficial. They would be able to give you some stretches specifically tailored for your injury, as well as some exercises to help strengthen the area. Being as I am not a professional I will refrain from giving you any specific regiment because I would hate to tell you to do something that could further hinder your progress. But, I would advise that you not run in the mean time. Don’t try it, especially if you don’t feel very confident. It’s best to focus on stretches at this time that don’t cause pain. Discomfort and pain are two different things so make sure you aren’t feeling pain when stretching. A bit of discomfort may present itself. I think with the proper regiment you can get back to 100% soon. Right now let the sprain heal before trying anything. Make sure you have comfort when walking for a long periods of time before you start running. Don’t push too much. I think you will be better soon!! Good luck!! I’m sorry I couldn’t provide any more help.
Firstly I’d like to say I’m so pleased to hear your getting back to your running after your back injury 🙂
I’ve had a nightmare time over the last 5 months and have posted before. My physio told me I had runners knee and I was gutted with this news. Months later still in pain I was sent to a consultant who brake my heart my saying he though I had damaged my cartilage so sent me for an MRI scan. Three long long weeks of waiting for the results and it came back all clear 😀 Now I’m back in the runners knee club, frustrating to say the least but relived its not something worse!
Just wanted to tell you all my good(ish) news !
Hey Rose!! That’s great news. Glad it’s not something worse! I know that 5 months is a very long time, but even though the recovery is gradual, it is, nonetheless, headed in the right direction. I hope some day very soon we are both running at 100%!! Until that day comes let us continue to have hope, be patient and keep a smile on our faces. 🙂
I hurt my knee over a MONTH ago after a 10 miler. I was diagnosed with runner’s knee. I have not been able to do a whole lot actually because the pain was pretty severe. I tried running a few times and just didn’t want to risk hurting it even more. So now I have been doing everything in my power to heal. I am doing acupuncture, PT, gym, swim, herbs, ibuprophen, ice, rest. OMG…when will this end?! I have a half May 26th and would love to start my training again big time! Give me hope please!
Hey Amanda!! Sorry to hear about your runner’s knee. However, if you are looking for hope…it is hope I can provide. As long as you keep doing what you are doing I think you will heal sooner than you think. The good thing is that you are being proactive in your attempt to heal. Everything you said you are doing sounds great. I think PT is very important to the healing process and it’s great that you are taking advantage of it. If they give you an assignment to stretch twice a day, than make sure you do it. You have a long time before May 26th. There is a great possibility that you will heal in time. However, stay clear of setting a date for yourself. I have done that too many times only to push too hard and re-injure myself. Remember, healing is a gradual process and can have its ups and downs. Be patient with it and you will surely get the reward. Remember to always, and I mean always, STAY POSITIVE! You are going to be all right. 🙂
This is great! I was especially having a bad day today so this cheered me up! I told my husband if I can’t run it, he will have to. He took a huge gulp and said no way! You’re gonna be fine haha! On a good note I did my second round of acupuncture tonight and shockingly I went to PT and they added more weight, and I felt NOTHING. Strange, coincidence? Not sure. But I still only feel a level 1/2 for pain. Weird. I HOPE this was it. In the mean time more and more and more PT. I guess they want to try running again next week! Thanks so much for the blog. You are right, there is not much out there from “real” people talking about runner’s knee! Good luck in your endeavors!
That’s great to hear Amanda!! Keep me updated on your progress. Excited that things are getting better!! Keep it up!!
I wanted to let you know that I DID run my 1st half marathon February 24th! My knee gave me some issues at mile 11. I didn’t finish as strong as I wanted, but I finished. My time, 2 hrs 42 mins. As I mentioned, I did my half in Disney World and how amazing. The only draw back….24,000 runners! Since my half I’ve been running 4 to 5 miles 3 times a week. I have no issues if I keep my mileage down. My hometown is having a 10 mile race March 24th and I’ve signed up. Really hoping the knee holds out for me. Thanks for all the advice and inspiration!
Hey Missy!! Congrats on running your 1st half marathon. That’s Awesome!! So glad you were able to finish your race. There will be plenty of other races to get an even better time. You should be so proud of your accomplishment, especially since you continued after facing adversity. It is something that you will never forget. Continue to stay proactive in terms of preventing another injury. Keep up the great work and enjoy your run on March 24th!!
Hello! My name is Mirna Garza, I’m from Mexico, and as many people I started to look for information regarding runner’s knee because of a bad knee pain. Here’s my story: I’m a crossfiter and I do a lot of jumping and weight lifting (not that heavy yet..) I’ve always been very active, when I was younger I played soccer, afterwards attended a globo gim, I’m insanity graduated, and recently, about 8 months ago I discovered Crossfit. I started running with my fellow crossfit friends every Sunday, a small 3.5 K race, and slowly worked my way to 7K in preparation of my first Spartan Sprint Race in Mexico City, everything went perfect until 3 days ago (Tuesday). I was resting because a small neck injury (I hurted myself doing a pull up) but it was nothing serious, I rested for a week just in case, and then I decided to go for a run for a whole week before going back to crossfit. Yes the remedy turned out badly..
I did the usual 5K distance, I did not added more distance, speed or anything weird. But a few meters before completing the 5K I started to feel discomfort on my left knee which escalated quickly to an unbearable pain in less than 2 minutes. I stopped immediately and it didn’t hurt at all while walking. I went home, took a pill just in case and the next morning the pain was HORRIBLE in so many ways! I could feel a lot of pain just by bending my knee, and let’s not talk about walking or going down the stairs…. I took another pill for the swollenness and pain and put on the knee band, but it was horrible. Today after 2 days my knee hurts little to nothing.. I’m in absolute rest right now (this is my 3rd day), and I plan to keep it that way until Monday, I just do a little stretching (I’ll start with the ice today) but I’m very anxious about going back to crossfit on Monday, but I’m not sure if it is a good idea 😦 what do you suggest??????? Like many people I CAN’T STAND THE RESTING PART! But I will if I have to 😦
Please help :(…………….. i’ve never had pain on my knee before, and I’m really concerned it will affect my training
Hey Mirna…sorry for taking so long to respond. 😦 I know it’s difficult to rest your knee, especially when you are so focused on staying healthy and continuing to exercise. Rest, however, is extremely important during this time. You want to make sure that you are healed before starting your old routine again. You want to make sure that you work your way back up slowly and not jump right back into crossfit before you are completely healed. You could end up re-injuring your knee, which would force you to take off much longer than first anticipated. I would make sure that your are doing stretches to strengthen the area around the knee. Also, if you do anything that puts pressure on the knee it’s important that you ice immediately after to keep any possible swelling down. If you feel like you need more rest, than don’t be afraid to rest. Everyone hates taking time off, but sometimes it’s a necessity to prevent further injury. If you remain proactive and don’t do anything to upset the injury you will be better much sooner thank you think. Good Luck!! Remember, if you need to rest than rest. Crossfit will wait as long as you need it to. 🙂 Don’t worry, you are going to be fine. 🙂
Thank you for all this info!!! Last year I ran 38 races from the 5K to a full marathon (7minute 5k pace once). I ending the year with hip pain and during mile 8 of a 1/2 marathon that I was running for fun not speed during late January my right knee started feeling achy behind my knee cap…Inflammation according to the doctor. I cut down on my running a lot but based on what I’m reading not enough. I also contiued Yoga for runners and strenghth training for lower body (again not a good idea based on what I’m reading). It’s March and I’m still not running. My doctor had told me to actually keep running with adjustments (speed, distance) and listen to my body. Now based on what I’m reading I figured I’ve only extended my injury and my recovery time. Time is very important to my happiness (I know it shouldn’t determine it) and I miss it and the social life that goes along with it. Thanks for all the advice.
Hey Antoinette…Sorry for the long delay in responding. I would never go against Dr.’s order, seeing as I am not a Dr, nor do I play one on the internet. I am, however, surprised he/she told you to keep running. But, like I said, I am not a Dr. I think it’s just a matter of truly listening to your body and making sure you are at or very close to 100% before you get back into running long distances. Give your body time to heal. I can’t stress that enough. If you don’t it usually just leads to you being out much longer than first anticipated. I know running is very important, but just because you suffered an injury doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. It just means you need some time away. Trust me, you will appreciate it even more than you ever imagined. When I say stop running it doesn’t mean give up all physical exercise. You just have to do other things. Also, I don’t mean don’t walk around at all, because it’s important to continue to move around. You don’t want your body to get used to being dormant. Just be very careful. Try taking at least two weeks off of running. You may not even need that long. Don’t do leg weights either. Let it heal. Stretches are fine, so long as they don’t cause pain. Stretching is necessary, but again, should not cause pain. Don’t worry, you will be fine and you will be running again soon. Just take it easy. When you start running again…start slowly. I mean like a 10 minute run at like 5.5 to 6 mph slow…You will be fine. 🙂
Hi I am 21 and I have been a couch potato for about 3 years and I used to be a good runner so I started walking for 4 days straight then I started going to my community college track and started to jog and do some stairs while I am over there I would walk about 1 and a half and stretch about 1min(I didn’t think it was a major issue not stretching for more than 5mins thinking that walking over there was my warm up/exercise) I jogged around the track every 2 days and I would walk at the beach on the sand the next day to give my legs some relaxation but at the same time give my legs some more stamina. I have had this knee problem for about 4 days now I have been reading some other problems that people had in the past and I have been icing for about 2 days now I am just kinda worried how much is too much for my body since i am 5’5 and i weigh 135 pounds currently and my entire body is soar from not just working my legs but my body in general with weights.
Lucky you…you are 21 years young! Oh, if I could be 21 again!! Anyway, I digress. First off, you are going to be fine. 🙂 The good thing for you is that you are young. You will realize what I mean when you are in your 30’s. It sounds to me like this all might just be a case of too much too soon. If you were a couch potato for 3 years then it’s important and very necessary for you to ease back into working out. The area that you might have gone wrong is doing the stairs. Stuff like that can wreak havoc on your knees, especially after jogging. If, even when I was training for half marathons, I had done stairs I would definitely have suffered more injuries. However, we are all different. I would highly recommend you not doing the stairs until you have been running for a while and you feel confident your body is ready to go to the next level. Also, you said you were walking on sand and that can also mess with your knees as well. It’s not a very flat surface, actually, it can be pretty uneven. That could also have hurt a bit. It’s normal for your body to be sore, especially after working your legs and upper body. You have to remember you are using a whole lot of muscles that you have not used in a long time. These are muscles you don’t even use on a daily basis. They are used to basically sleeping all day and night. All of a sudden you are screaming at them to get moving. It takes time for them to get used to waking up early, until, well, it becomes a routine. There are times you will be more sore than others. You just have to make sure that the soreness isn’t pain. If it’s pain than stop doing what you are doing. It’s normal for soreness to not creep in until 1 or 2 days after an activity. There are times I do weights or run and I don’t feel the soreness until 2 days later, and it’s a crazy soreness. But, it’s normal. Once your workouts become routine it will subside because your body will get used to the various motions. For now I would rest until the pain goes away. I would stretch the next few days, at least two times a day. There are some stretches in the comments that you could do. But, don’t do them if they cause pain. They may cause discomfort, but make sure no pain. Give your injury time to heal. When you feel better start walking again. Do that for a few days to ensure you are getting back to normal. Then, start jogging again – no stairs. Slowly work your way back into jogging and weights. It’s a slow process but you will get there. Don’t be in a hurry. It doesn’t matter how fast you run. Don’t worry about speed or anything like that. Just worry about getting healthy. I am confident you will be fine. Good luck and keep it up!!
I posted my story here a couple of months back and wanted to update, as I feel like I have been on an emotional roller coaster. After reading the advice on this site I rested two weeks. When I still had pain I went to see my general practitioner who also said it sounds like runners knee caused by increasing the mileage too quickly while training for my half marathon back in January. After taking off another two weeks I realized the pain persisted. Really? I allowed myself a few moments of wondering why me, and then I met with a physical therapist who determined I had a patellar tracking problem. Then I went to another pt to validate that claim as I am getting desperate to run and have been diligent about doing my exercises and also foam rolling every single day!!! I must have a severe case of runners knee because the bike and elliptical also cause my knees to feel pain. My sister in law dragged me to yoga and surprisingly it has amazing benefits built in to the practice . It is true certain styles of yoga are more challenging, but I encourage any recovering athlete to try a class or two! Yoga has helped me deal with the stress of not running and also has taught me to respect my body and listen when it tells me something doesn’t feel right! Had I done that three months ago I might not be in this mess now. In the meantime, I feel as though I am grieving the loss of my athletic self. I am bargaining, I promise never to run downhill on concrete, and I will be happy running only three miles a day if only I can run again! I have been praying to st. Anthony and thinking about buying a punching bag at the same time. Now being eight weeks in, I am reading the new posts and all I want to say to any runner dealing with this problem is STOP. I get it now. Listen to this wise man and ask yourself if you would rather take two weeks off or two months off. Also I think it is important to urge people to stick to a reputable training plan. I ran on some of my cross training days and walked on my rest days. I felt infallible and ignored people who said listen to your body and limit your running to four to five days a week. Its great if you can handle more and your body is ok with running seven days a week. If that is true, however, you shouldn’t be reading this post or viewing this Web page! Just a note to all – Be smart to stay safe!I wish you good luck and patience on the path…. Namaste!
Thanks for the follow up!! I think all of your advice is perfect!! I hope all of you readers out there listen and heed the warning. It’s okay to stop running for a couple of weeks or even a month after first experiencing an injury such as this. It has been 9 months – 9 months!!!! since my back injury. I couldn’t run, sit or lift weights for 7 of those. I am just barely getting back into weights…all because I didn’t listen to my body!! I pushed when I needed to rest. I started to get better and then pushed again. Make sure you are healed and be proactive.
I am so glad you went to PT…two at that. It can do wonders. I am thinking about doing Yoga myself. I worry sometimes it may hurt my back, but I also think it may help too!! Hearing about your experience has made me want to try it even more. I am glad to hear that you are starting to feel better. I know what you are going through. I have bargained and I have prayed!! I may start praying to St. Anthony too – a saint that can help me find lost things (health). 🙂 I remember saying all I wanted to do was run a mile again. Of course when I could do that I wanted to run three. 🙂 I know that when you are suffering an injury you feel like a shell of your former self. You see yourself just going through the motions, hoping desperately that tomorrow things may get just a little better. I know that feeling all too well. I still worry that I will never be the same. But, I have HOPE. It’s something that you can never let go of. Hope is what helps your faith remain strong. There are times when I have felt that my prayers go unanswered, but I have to remember that, no matter what, I have to have hope. If I lose that I will lose everything. Never lose that hope. Keep praying. I know that things are going to get even better for you. Keep us all updated. I will be sending extra prayers your way. 🙂
For all of you out there suffering with an injury, don’t be afraid to rest. It’s ok to be vulnerable. Just because you can’t run doesn’t mean you will lose your strength. Good luck to all the runners out there!! NEVER GIVE UP HOPE…THERE’S ALWAYS TOMORROW!
Reblogged this on aleprimera and commented:
I am just facing this issue, I was running 3 times per week a minimum of 10 km when I had to stop due to a discomfort in my knees, having said that I must admit I do not stretch that much before the run. I really enjoyed running so much and hope to get back to it soon, meanwhile I am swimming to compensate and strenght the muscles around the knee.
I am running Boston in a week and half and have a severe case of runner’s knee. The pain has gotten progressively worse since my 16 miler, and after the 20 miler it is bordering on unbearable during/after any physical activity. I tried to do my long workout on a Cybex arc trainer last weekend and my knee was killing me when I finished. I ran 5 miles last night after 4 days of total rest and have a lot of pain today. So basically, I am going to run the marathon, but didn’t know if you have any suggestions as to what I should do between now and then (other than ice and stretching) Should I just rest as much as possible, and keep my runs really short? I’m freaking out about how bad it’s gotten with the marathon so soon. Thanks!
Your best bet is to rest. Your knee is inflamed and the more you run on it the worse it will get. Nothing good ever comes from pushing an injury to it’s limit. You can end up taking a much much longer rest from running than you ever planned. I wouldn’t run the next few days. If you do there is a good chance you won’t be able to run the marathon at all. Remember, you don’t want this to become a chronic injury or something you regret. Trust me, it’s really not worth it in the end for one race. Pay attention to your body and what it’s trying to tell you. Remember, don’t push. Stay positive and be patient. You don’t tell it when to feel better…believe me…it tells you. Without rest it will not get better. If 4 days of rest didn’t help it then you must rest longer. After four days of rest I would not have run 5 miles. It’s all about baby steps. I would have done a mile slowly just to ensure the pain didn’t start afterwards. Don’t get so focused on having to run the marathon. Focus on the now and getting yourself healthy. Look back at all the comments and those who said they pushed too much and have had to take an extended absence from running. I pushed my back to the limits and 9 months and physical therapy later I am still recovering. I know it’s not what you want to hear, but I don’t want to set expectations too high and you ruin your knee. I have gone through too much with my own injuries to ever take them from granted. I hope, as well as pray that you will be able to run your race. I am pulling for you. Rest and ice for now. Running will not help. Good luck and let us know how it goes regardless. I am really pulling for you!! Think positive…be patient.
Hi I am looking for some advice I am running the Brighton marathon next Sunday, this will be the 2nd time I have done it. However I have developed symptoms of runners knee. I have see a physio and said that I have a displaced knee, which I have been using tape to try and realign. I went for a very gently 5k today and it was ok, a very slight twinge to the left of my knee but I don’t know if the knee strap was to tight. Can anyone give me and further advice, and tips for running as I so desperately don’t want to pull out now.
Hi Fiona, I’m running Brighton too! Well at least I hope I will, my knee buckled inwards at mile 21.5 of my 22miler two weeks ago, didn’t hurt after or for the next week (3x40min runs) but when I tried a short run yesterday the pain on the outside of my knee cap was shooting up to my hip and I had to stop after 4.5. I’ve been icing, elevating and complete rest since but sooo worried- this is my first marathon and I’ve been training for a year pulling out is not an option. I’m waiting on a physio friend who is finding me a hardcore support to wear on the day- will post what it is when I have it. Likewise any advice, tips, greatly appreciated and best of luck to you Fiona
this website has been a godsend! I have been out of commission for a couple weeks now,and the depression and despair are really starting to get the better of me. I read this blog and all of the comments over and over again while I am icing and resting. your words of encouragement is one of the only things keeping me positive. Thank you!
Don’t worry…you are going to be better very soon!! Just keep doing what you are doing and everything will work out fine. Glad this site has aided in your recovery. That was the hope when I created it. Never lose hope and always be patient. You will be running again soon!! Keep up the awesome work!!
Fiona this is the support I’ve been recommended, i’m going to have it fitted tonight. With the hinges and double strap system it feels very supportive and sturdy, will stop any side to side movement of knee cap. Fingers crossed it works! Hope you are feeling better and ready X
I am so so glad I bumped into your blog in my google search to know more about runner’s knee. Thank you! It started with an ITB injury when I upped from 10k to 15k in the same week. And then the week after that, ran a 10k race. Yeah, now I know its stupid. Then I thought I was awesome :l
Did everything you mentioned – stayed off running for a week, cycled and power walked instead and did pilates and exercises like clams, hip lifts and side leg lifts to strengthen my glutes and abs. Looks like it worked because now, after two weeks of all that, there is no more pain and I ran 5k today! This time, I am not going to do the moronic thing and stretch things beyond 1k per week until at least a month before I attempt 10k again. Learnt my lesson well and good.
Running is bliss for me and I’d rather be able to run smaller distances every day than be laid down with injury for months and not be able to run! Thank you again for your blog and motivating comments and advice. Happy feet!
Glad to hear you are doing great!! It just takes a little patience. Good luck in the future and keep up the awesome work!! You will be running longer distances again in no time because you did the smart thing and rested. 🙂 It’s not always about how far you run…it’s that you run. 🙂
Hi this is a great read. I have had the same issue for about over a year would icing the knee and following your tips still help or is it better to just get an x ray or mri done if it can be detected with those ?
Hey Moe…sorry that you have been dealing with your injury for so long. Honestly I would see a Dr. to ensure it’s not something more severe. He/She will tell you if you need an x-ray or mri. For something like runner’s knee you likely wouldn’t need an x-ray or mri. I am sure the Dr would prescribe physical therapy, which would definitely help. I always say that it’s best to err on the side of caution. Being that you have had this injury for so long it’s best to seek expert advice. Good luck and let us know if you find out anything new. I am sure it’s not as bad as you might think. You may just need extended rest.
I have had Runner’s Knee for 5 weeks. I’ve been doing EVERYTHING to fix it. Even acupuncture, nothings working? The pain when i walk is still there? I’ve lost so much strength and muscle mass and I had to miss Track and Field in my school. I’m 14, and my knees still grind and crack when bent, and they force me to limp when i walk. I’m not saying it hurts a lot, it’s more of a out of place feeling. I’ve been doing the strengthening exercises for my knee every day. What else could I do? Just wait say another week?
My best suggestion would be to see an Orthopedic Doctor so they he/she can assess the injury. You just want to make sure it’s nothing too severe, which I am sure it’s not. However, I am not a Doctor. It’s best to go to the Doc as soon as possible just to have them take a closer look. A Orthopedist will know what he/she is doing and should be able to find out what the cause of the pain is. He/she would likely prescribe physical therapy which would be great. They will help you strengthen the area and give you specific exercises and stretches to help you in the long run. You will be back to Track and Field when it’s all said and done and likely come out much stronger in the end. Since you have had it for 5 weeks I’d rather you be proactive and seek professional advice instead of letting it linger for another week. It’s not worth it. It’s best that you get started on a program to help alleviate the pain. You will be fine soon…no need to worry. I know what it’s like to want to get back to feeling normal again and you will sooner than you think. Just be patient and be proactive. Again, go to an orthopedic doctor since they specialize in these types of injuries. Let us know if you find out anything. Keep in mind that you will get better…
Wow, so glad i came across this blog!! So much great input from everyone on here. I’m 42 years old and ran my first 5k back in Oct. at 27 min 33 sec.. Better than I expected, but really had me discover a bone spur in my heel. Ouch!! Limped around for a month. So- ended up getting an ejection for the spur, but takes weeks to get the full effect. Kept me out of running for over a month on top of that. Started back up again in late Dec. — Decided to register for my first 10 miler in Philadelphia which on May 5th. Been training since the beginning of January. I thought i was just getting a sore knee after the runs(which I had done some hills, now know not to do that), till April 15th- when i Couldn’t even run without pain, I had to stop and walk. Here it is two days later and I haven’t run since then-and finding your blog will keep me off the track till at least April 21st. With 2 and half weeks to go, it makes me feel better after reading your blog. I’ve already ran 8 miles and felt great ….. and know I can do the 10miles. Just hoping to be as close to pain free as possible. Also just watched your documentary…. makes me wanna go run right now!!! Ugh… ;( …. sticking to the rest. I’ll keep you posted ….. and thank you for this info!!
Man I know how it feels to have an injury so close to a big run. It’s all good though, because the rest will definitely help you in the end. It will make you stronger and less beaten down for the 10 miler. The good thing, like you said, is that you already ran 8 miles and felt great!! That’s huge because the mental side of running is the hardest thing to overcome.
I am sure the hills are the main culprit for the pain. Hills are never a good idea for me, which is frustrating. When you start running again take it easy. Just run a mile or less and run slowly. Do that a couple of times before you start getting your mileage up again. I would maybe do a bike machine if you start to feel better to help with the endurance side of it. You are doing the smart thing in resting. I would do some light stretches two times a day…make sure none cause pain. After you stretch I would ice. Stay off it a few more days. Make sure the pain goes away. It really was crazy how mine went away almost overnight. It was there for over a week. But, I didn’t run the next day. I did the bike and after that I walked for like 5 minutes and ran for 10 minutes slowly. Run on a treadmill to start. It will help. Less pounding overall. You just need the inflammation to go down. That’s the key. Be patient. You should be better in no time. Keep up the great work and keep me updated. I always love to hear success stories. It gives everyone hope and hope is what everyone needs on a daily basis.
Thanks, I’ll keep you posted- with good news I hope!
Well, after not running all week and icing my knee when I could….. I went to the track today to do the short 10 minute easy paced run. Made sure to stretch before hand- could tell the knee was still a little stiff compared to the other one, set my mapmyrun app on, and took an easy jog. Next thing I know my app tells me it’s 8 min 46 secs and I’m at one mile…. which i could not believe when i was taking it easy for a nice 10 min mile. Knock on wood, NO PAIN at all in my knee!!! Needless to say, I just just stayed at that pace …. and did 2 miles in 18 minutes. Longer than planned, but I just couldnt believe how not running all this time made such a huge difference, even my legs felt a little stronger- felt great. Walked another 5 minutes, stretched, came home and iced down for about 20 minutes. Been up and down stairs with no pain. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for this blog!!!! So much great info. Now i’ve got two weeks till my first 10 miler race… i registered at 1 hour and 40 min when entering…just shooting to do that or better. Any tips you have let me know thanks!
Sorry for the long delay in responding I’ve had some computer issues.
That is great news!! I am glad you were able to do your run without pain. I would say continue to be proactive. Make sure you are icing after every running and stretching before every run, even if you aren’t feeling pain. You want to do it for preventative measures. Also, I wouldn’t worry about running for speed these next two weeks. Save it for race day. You saw how time off actually helped your body. It always does. So I would not push speed on any of your runs and then let loose during your race. I think you will benefit in the end from this. When you run your 10 miler, don’t start fast, even if everyone around you does. Ease into your run…get comfortable. Save all your energy for the last few miles. You will thank me for this. Start at a temperate pace, just like you are doing a training run. You will realize how much more energy you have in the end. Oh, and trust your training. It has prepared you more than you know. You will be just fine. Don’t try and race anyone, especially in the beginning. Granted you will see people run pass you that you don’t think should. 🙂 Don’t worry about them. Worry about yourself. Chances are you will pass them later. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen people start too fast when the horn goes off and I end up seeing them a couple of miles later on the side of the road breathing heavy. When you start running just think, it’s ok, I will see you later. Take your time and then sprint at the end. When we ran our first half marathon we were hoping to be under 2 hours and 10 minutes. We finished under 2 hours. That was with starting slow like a training run and saving it till the end. You will be amazed at how many people you will be passing.
Can’t wait to hear about your run!! Let me know how it goes!! You are going to do much better than you think.
I just wanted to pass on a thank you for this blog post and all of the comments that followed. I was getting very frustrated with what I had self diagnosed as runner’s knee, so I went to google and typed in “I’m 2 weeks from my first half marathon and I am having knee pain.” I was directed here and read through the entry and several comments. I took your advice and just let my knees rest for around a week, then eased into some short runs, leading up to some 3 mile runs a few days from the race. Now I am proud to say that I finished my first half marathon! And 7 minutes better than my goal time that I set for myself before the injury (the 2nd injury I experienced during my training…argh.)
Before reading your blog, I was frustrated with all the websites telling me to not run for a few weeks, and possibly miss the race. That sounded like a terrible option. And on top of that, there were several people who agreed to run the race with me.
Now, after 3 days of rest after the half marathon, I haven’t had any knee pain, other than general soreness throughout my entire legs from the race, but even that has mostly passed. Now I am making plans for a 25k in a few months and then a full marathon before I turn 30 next year.
Thanks again for keeping this thread going, giving tons of frustrated runners hope. It was a serious help to me!
Hey Drew!! So glad I could help!! Thanks for your story. It will definitely help inspire others who are in the same predicament. Stories like yours are why I keep the thread going. Your story will give so many people hope. The reason I wrote this blog is because I had been experiencing the same exact things you were. Every site I read was telling me to not run. I was upset and dejected. But, I stayed hopeful and patient. When I healed and ran my half marathon I thought, wait, I need to tell others that there’s a chance they will heal in time.
It’s so awesome you finished 7 minutes better than your goal time!!! That’s a huge huge huge accomplishment. I can imagine how great that must have felt!!! You did the good thing by resting at the onset of pain. That’s why I stress that so much, because if you are proactive it greatly increases the chances of healing sooner!
I think it’s cool you plan to run your full marathon before 30!! Do it!! I wish I did mine before 30. I got into running just before 30 and haven’t stopped since.
I have experienced injuries before all of my races, or at least some type of adversity I have had to overcome. But, I have noticed that it has made each race more enjoyable in the end. Just keep in mind that there are going to be setbacks sometimes when you train. You just have to stay positive and be patient. Remember that the full marathon is a different beast altogether, so be patient with your training. I have no doubt you are going to run your full marathon. I am sure you knew it the second you crossed the finish line of your half marathon. You are going to do great. Stay positive and keep up the great work!! Keep me updated on your progress. Can’t wait till you come back on here and let us know about your experience in the full!!!
I just wanted to post an update to my comment a few weeks ago. At that time I was a few weeks out from the Boston Marathon and tapering my training. I essentially stopped all training for the last week and half before the race. The rest seemed to help considerably. I was able to run the race with little to no pain in my knee. I wanted to share this link to an application using KT tape that is designed specifically for runner’s knee. If you haven’t tried KT tape, I highly recommend it! They have videos for self application of the tape for all sorts of injuries. http://www.kttape.com/instructions/inner-knee/#pnlReadMoreAfter
The good news in this post is that runner’s knee did not stop me from running the marathon. However, I was sadly stopped a half mile from the finish line due to the bombing. I am so grateful that my friends and family were all safe, but very sad for my city and all the victims who were not as fortunate.
I am so glad to hear that you were able to run, and even more glad to hear that you are safe. What happened in Boston was such a tragedy. In some ways I am still in shock from it. I am glad that all of your friends and family are ok.
I appreciate the update, as I am sure all the runner’s who visit your blog are. It’s always nice to see that despite an injury it is possible to overcome it in time for a big run. Keep up the great work and continue to keep us posted. Congrats on your injury free run. Also, thanks for the KT Tape link…it is much appreciated!!!
Hi there all! ive been training for a marathon.Trainning has’nt been to bad not full on as it should be due to injuries,been building up adding 1 mile on every week to the long run,2 weeks ago managed to reach 21 miles but due to knee problems i walked and run around! when i got home i had knee pain on the outer side i have been seeing a physio for a couple of weeks for the other knee(differnt problem)! this weekend i could only manage 9 miles and had to stop, i was gutted husband had to run home and get th car.Ive ice packed it and still doing small knee lunges and glute exercises to strenthen knees, i didnt run today just went on bike not sure if thats ok doesnt hurt,but still not right,am i going to have time to sort it out before the marathon its on the 26th May.IIm getting so frustrated im putting all the right fuel in but the bodies turning out to be a morris minor!!As Jodie said not completting isn’nt an opption,I will have to crawle round! Please help !! Lesley
Hey Lesley…sorry to hear about your injury. You still have a few weeks to get better. For now I would just take it easy and don’t push too much. I would focus on mainly doing stretches, but make sure none of the stretches cause pain. Don’t try and run on it for a few days, because it will just aggravate the injury. I am sure if you other knee was hurt than the good knee (the knee that is now hurt) was taking the brunt of the force from running. You have to keep in mind that your knee is inflamed right now. You need to give it some time off so the inflammation can subside. Remember, you have a little more than three weeks which is great!!! Just give it a rest and bring it to the attention of the physio. See if you can get some good stretches. Just be patient with the injury. There’s no use worrying about possibly not running the race…it’s still a long way away. Just be proactive with your injury and make sure you don’t push too much. As I am sure you read, Jodie was able to run her race. 🙂 In fact, many people with the same problem on here were able to run their races and far exceed their expectations. Just stay positive. I have yet to train for a race where I didn’t have to deal with injuries. Trust me, these injuries will make you appreciate your race so much more. Good luck and keep us updated!!
Hi runtobefit many thanks for getting back to me,your advice has given me a lot more confidence! the trouble is with me im so inpatient with myself at times,not good! Mind you I did give up running last year when I had planta faseitis I just did bike workouts for 7 months.Have physio tomorrow so will get plenty of advice, I have heard getting acupuncture so may be an option.i will do my best to be patient!! thanks again will let you know how its goes.
Had some progress visited a private podiatrist who pointed out my knees went quite matching up with the feet how there were suppossed too. My nhs podiatrist although very good never saw that ,it not until you do the extra milage you notice more problems if your skeletor structure isnt quite right so was told i could make do with flimsy insoles i had from nhs or get proper feet cast done for much sturdier insoles that will last longer,which after the marathon im going to do.He did make my trainer insoles up,and i did a small run and did 20 the weekend!!.As i would like to carry on with my running after i would like to do it with less pain!!Also not having a car now i do a lot of walking so i would say to anyone having problem with there body skeletor wise i would look at the feet first,i think its best to invest a bit rather than pay for treatment in physios thats not going to working because theres some other underling problem.
Will be in touch.lesley
Hi again runtobefit I have asked for help before on March 19, 2013. I want to thank you for helping me stop trying to run when I had the runner’s knee. I have a question about running every time I start to run my calf’s start to hurt and I feel like stopping right away after 2 minutes of running the pain goes away and when I am done running my calf’s hurt from walking and my shin’s start to hurt also and the next day they are sore but I always walk and have this sharp pain when ever I take a step on my shins. My friend tells me it’s shin splints but I always have this problem every time I run and the next day it’s like this I am walking with pain and I have been running for 5 weeks now twice a week at the beach on the bicycle path. The pain goes away if I walk to a minimum everyday but it comes back when I run. I have running shoes and I have been eating healthy and drinking low fat milk and I drink water mostly. I have tried walking to strengthening my legs but after 1hr of walking my legs start to feel like how after I finished running with pain that takes a day to go away so I try to not walk as much before the day that I run.
Hey Again!! Glad to hear that you are keeping up with your commitment to running. I know all these injuries can be aggravating. First off, it does sound like you may have shin splints. I oftentimes go through spells where my shins will get aggravated. It did stop when I got myself a good pair of running shoes and by good pair I mean expect to pay $130. Good shoes make a big big difference. If you have never had your gait analyzed I highly recommend going to a real running store, and by real I don’t mean like a foot locker, academy…stores like that. I mean a store that focuses specifically on running. They will have people there that can see how you run and determine which shoes would work best for you. Again, good shoes make a world of a difference. Now, you if have already done than just disregard everything I just said. Next, you want to make sure you are running on a good surface like a track. If you are running on concrete that could hurt your shins as well. I have also felt the calf pain too. I actually wrote a whole blog on that a while back. That pain lasted about two weeks because I kept trying to run on it. It’s just like runner’s knee…you have to take some time off. My calf would start to feel like a cramp and it got to the point where it even hurt to walk. I finally made myself rest, which did make all the difference. I try to focus more on stretching before long runs and focusing some stretches on the calves to prevent it from happening again. Also, I try to strengthen my calves by doing calf raises. I wouldn’t do those now, but when you start to feel better I would focus on strengthening those areas as well. My shin splints, if I haven’t run in a while, start to try and creep back in. I usually have to slow down and make sure I build back up slowly. Also, it sometimes means I need new shoes. Make sure you ice your shins after a long run. Again, try not to push too much. Work your way up slowly. If you have to take more than a day off between runs go ahead and do that. It will benefit you in the end. You are going to be fine. Just always be proactive and patient.
Hi, I wanted to again thank you for the advice you pass on. Following my PB in a marathon last July, I have just recently completed my ultimate goal in running the MdS, a 250km run through the Sahara. None of which I thought would eventuate in Jan last year when I was really struggling with my knee. I now have little if any problems with my knee, although I still use a bit of KT tape on the long runs. Not only is your advice absolutely spot on, but you take the time to read and respond to every single post, which must be a huge undertaking, and is extremely generous of you to give up your time. You have clearly helped a lot of people. Thank you.
I am so glad to hear that your knees are doing great!! That’s awesome!!! Wow, a 250km run is unbelievable!! That must have been such a fulfilling experience! 🙂 I am glad that you never gave up and came back even stronger from your injury. Instead of quitting and giving up you remained focused and accomplished your goal, as well as exceeded your expectations. Thank you so much for taking the time to provide an update. It will give hope to so many people dealing with injuries. You are proof that an injury will not hold you down. It just takes patience and desire.
I feel lucky to be able to give runner’s hope in times of distress. I know it is always nice to know that there is someone out there that knows what you are going through. My hope is that I encourage people to never give up, especially when they face adversity. Thank you for making me feel like I am making a difference.
Again, I am so excited for you!! You are proof that if you set goals you can accomplish them no matter what. Keep up the great work!! You are a true inspiration!! 🙂
I injured my knee at the beginning of XC last year, I’m still dealing with chronic pain. When I first felt runners knee I kept running for three weeks so I definitely caused more damage, it was my first year running and I was told I could push through the pain. I was wondering what I could do to get rid of the pain.
I’m sorry to hear about your knee pain. I completely understand why you kept running. Sometimes we feel that it’s a form of weakness if we stop running because of a little pain. Oftentimes, actually, we think we can run through it and it will eventually heal on it’s own. Unfortunately, that is not the case. When it’s pain, it’s pain, and you need to rest. Pain and soreness are two very different things and should be treated as such. If you ever feel pain it’s smart to rest and give it time to heal. I know you have been running for a while with this pain. If you haven’t gone to a specialist I would highly suggest doing so. Let them evaluate the pain and search for possible answers. If anything, you could at least get physical therapy out of it which would help dramatically. However, I understand if going to the Dr. is not possible at the moment. I would then suggest resting in order for the knee to heal. I don’t mean you can’t do anything. I mean maybe focusing on a bike machine or swimming if possible. Also, make sure you are stretching well before any physical activity and icing your knee afterward. Also, make sure you have a good pair of running shoes. That’s always the first thing I would check. I am sure that you have already done that though. But, you never know. I would just be as proactive as possible. I have been one to avoid the Dr. but lately I have found that going gives me piece of mind and moves me much closer to healing. If anything they can tell you what it is you need to do to heal. Like I said, make sure you rest. If you feel pain then stop. Ice afterward. Stretch before. Strengthen your legs when possible with leg exercises. You can even maybe try a runner’s knee brace. It might provide some relief.
I hope you heal soon. Stay positive and don’t let it get you down. Sometimes injuries take a while to heal. Just be patient and do what you can to be proactive. You don’t want to spend your time being reactive. Don’t worry, you will be fine.
I have followed this post for a long time now! I wrote to you a while back about my diagnosis of runner’s knee. I did some acupuncture, PT and slowly eased my way back into it. I bought a patella strap and wore that faithfully. Then the big day came for the half marathon last weekend and I ran in it 1:47! My first one! I have rarely any pain in my knee now! Thanks for all your helpful information!
Wow!! That’s an awesome time, especially for your first half marathon!!! Congrats!!! So glad you are feeling great!! That is a really really really great time!!! Keep it up!!! Can’t even imagine what your next time will be. 🙂 I’m really happy for you!!
wondering if I can do any leg machines without applying pressure to knee
I wouldn’t recommend leg machines if you are feeling pain. It’s a lot for your knee to take if it is inflamed. Wait till the pain is gone before you jump into leg machines.
Hi I guess I just have a quick couple of questions but first my background. I am 25 years old and have just quit smoking. During high school I was an avid swimmer with great endurance and on my dry days(non swimming workouts I used to run between 12 and 15 miles with no problem. Well needless to say college and smoking have not helped me to run but since I am done with both I thought that I would start again. So I decided to start the novice hal higdon training. My first week went great until I hit the 4 mile run on Sunday. Both of my knees started having a lot of pain around 3.5 miles. I have been off of running for almost a week now with no improvement. I have a half marathon coming up in September and I was wondering if you think that I might be ready by then it am I just going to keep pushing to hard? Also I know the pain that was discussed was behind the kneecap but I also feel pain on the inner portions of my knees towards the groin side. Could this be helped with the same string?
Hey Ken, sorry for the really late response as work was really busy. I hope you are feeling much better now. Rest is always the best medicine. Also, I would look at what shoes you are wearing to see if those could be the reason for your pain. If you have not had your gait analyzed I would go to a running store and have it done so they can fit your with the best shoes. Sometimes something as simple as that can fix knee pain. Also, work your way slowly into running. I have come to realize it does not matter what you have done in the past, your body still needs time to adjust to a new workout regiment. Ease in slowly. Also, do some leg strengthening exercises. They will help. Also, swim in the meantime while you heal from knee pain. Swimming is always a great workout for your body and you are lucky that you have a background in that. It will definitely help with endurance. I hope things are better and your knee pain has subsided. When it doubt it’s always best to rest.
I was wondering if you could help me. I went out to run a night ago, and 2 1/2 miles into my run my knee started bothering. I ignored it thinking it would go away, but it only got worse slowly. I ended up walking a half mile, and had to call someone to pick me up after that because it hurt to even walk a few steps. Any idea of what it might be? I’m leaving in less than two weeks for the military, so i’m really concerned! If you could help me by telling me what it might be, it would be awesome!
Hey Julio…so so so sorry I wasn’t able to write you sooner. I really hope your knee is much better now. I hope you rested before leaving for the military because I am sure it helped. Let me know how things are going. I hope the best for you and I am so sorry I didn’t respond sooner. Again, I hope your knee is doing much better. It sounds like it was just a bit aggravated and should be better by now.
I am having knee pain that I think is runners knee. It is a swollen pain that affects the flex of my knee. I can’t quiet bend it all the way. The soreness is not directly under the knee cap. It is sore to the touch, just inside my left knee.I can run for short stints without a lot of pain, but then it feels like it catches. I can walk a little, then run some more. I have been doing hill repeats and tempo runs to increase my speed, when I aggravated it. I need to shave 5 minutes off my 1st marathon time to qualify for Boston. I’m still 16 weeks out, but hate to rest. I know after reading this I have to. Thanks for the information. It was very helpful.
Hey Steve…so sorry for the late response!! I hope you are doing much better now. I know that your knee pain resulted in the hill in tempo runs…that’s how I first injured my knee. It’s a lot for you body, especially knees, to take when you increase speed as well as shock with hills. I am sure a little bit of rest has definitely helped you!! I think it’s awesome you are trying to qualify for Boston and I don’t blame you for training hard. Just be careful and don’t be afraid to rest when it is necessary. I am just now getting back into running after a year absence because I wouldn’t rest my back and just kept running. It wasn’t worth it. I would rather have rested for a month instead of a whole year. But, it’s the price I paid for not resting. A little rest goes a long way to recovering and has always made me stronger in the end. Let me know when you qualify for Boston because I am certain you will. Keep up the good work!! What an awesome goal to be working towards!!!
I’ve had knee pain for the past 3 weeks. I used to work out for 6 days a week and jog/walk 5 miles once a week. Then we went on a vacation and didn’t work out for the entire week and jogged/walked almost 8 miles that week. That’s when my knee started to hurt. I thought at first it was nothing, so when we got back from vacation, I started working out again for 6 days a week, then jogged/walked again for 5 miles. But I started getting worried because the pain won’t go away and that’s when I did some researching and found out that I have runners knee.
After that discovery, I stopped working out and jogging. The pain has lessen but not completely gone. It won’t hurt when I wake up in the morning but as soon as I started walking then it would hurt. I can only feel the pain if I try to fold my knees, but not while standing. Then as soon as I rest my knees, the pain would be gone. So that has been a cycle for almost 2 weeks now.
I’ve been doing some exercises for my quads everyday for a week now but I am not seeing any changes. And honestly, I am not sure if I should be doing that everyday. And I just started doing warm epsom salt bath yesterday. I am hoping it would make a difference.
I am also considering doing stationary bikes. How many times a week should I do stationary bikes? I have read about taking glucosamine would also help with knees. Do you have experience with that?
Hey Belle…so sorry for the delayed response as I have been away on vacation. The pain did probably result from getting back into your workout regiment too soon after taking a week off. I have done that many times. I hope that your knee is much better now. However, if it’s not my advice is that you rest for however long it takes for the pain to significantly subside. I would not do quad exercises simply because they can irritate the knee. I would focus on light stretches. I would stay away from stairs when possible. Right now your knee is inflamed and needs a few days to taper off. I think icing for 20 minutes at a time does definitely help as well as taking anti-inflammatories in the mean time. I would maybe ride a bike machine every other day just to keep your leg moving. It’s best to not allow it to remain too stagnant, but also not put too much pressure on it. Your knee will get better it’s just a matter of allowing it time to heal and easing back in. Run maybe 10 minutes or less the first time. Jog slowly, stretch and ice immediately after. Do that every other day for 2-3 times and then increase your mileage slowly. Get your knee used to working again. You will be amazed at how quickly you will increase your mileage so don’t worry about that.
The pain will subside just give it time. I apologize for not writing back sooner. I hope to hear that you are doing much better now. 🙂 Remember to rest and don’t worry…you will be fine!
Thank you for getting back to me. I have been busy and had some things to deal with so I am only on my second week of really trying to take care of my knees. I’ve been doing hamstring, hips, and bun exercises for 2 weeks now. I’ve also been doing stationary bike for 2 weeks too. The first week, I did 3 times a week for 15 minutes each day and in medium resistance (I think 5 or 6). This week I am doing 4 times a week for 20 minutes and in medium resistance. The pain has significantly diminished after the second day I did stationary bike and lower body exercise. Now, I no longer feel pain on my knees when I am sitting for long periods of time. I do, however, feel a little pain (very manageable and when I can’t) when going up and down the stairs. Sometimes I don’t if it’s just a few flights of stairs. Also, sometimes I don’t feel pain when standing or sitting (but I think this only happens if the chair is high enough), but sometimes I do. Also, when I stand for probably 5 minutes or longer I start to feel like there’s a weight on my knees but it really doesn’t help. I’m just not sure it’s normal. I am planning to increase my stationary bike ride next week to 25 minutes for 5 times a week.
To be honest, I am now afraid of running. It just sucks when it’s raining and I don’t have an umbrella and I can’t even run to get into a shade or something. I have to walk now every time it’s raining.
Do you think my knees are getting better? Will the little pain I’m feeling now ever go away?
I am training for my 2nd marathon for Nov 3rd of this year. My longest run thus far has been 15 miles. After that run I did a 6 mile run the next day and experienced pain below my knee to the outside. I have been able to run up to 6 miles recently with minimal pain. I have iced and taken anti inflammatory medication which I feel has helped some what. However, the stoppage of my long runs is worrying me. Am I going to be able to do 26.2 come November and what if this knee is the same at that date. Is there any advice or some encouragement that might keep me from beating myself up. I’m 53 years old- the rest of the body feels great. It is just this left knee that is slowing me down.
Hey Todd!! Sorry to hear about your injury. The best advice I can give is to rest immediately. The pain will surely subside if you allow yourself to rest your knee. If you continue to run the inflammation will not go down and you risk a worse injury. November is a very very long time away. If you have already gotten up to 15 miles I see no reason why you will not be able to run the full marathon come November. However, if you don’t rest now you run the risk of not being able to run. Do not think about all the miles you will be missing if you don’t run for a week. If you wait to rest you can miss many many many more miles. Give yourself a few days rest and ease back into running. Stop thinking ahead and worry about right now. Worrying about possibly not running the race is just going to make it harder. Focus on healing and surely you will be just fine.
It doesn’t surprise me that you hurt your knee following a 6 mile run after running 15 miles the day before. Try to not run two days straight. You have to give your body time to recover. A 15 mile run is long for everyone. There’s no need to run a 6 miler the next day. If you feel the need to work out then do a bike machine or something that is much easier on your joints. Pull back on the reigns a bit in your training. I don’t blame you for wanting to run well, but focus on recovering right now.
Again, don’t worry, you are going to be fine. Remember to rest and ice. When you start running again ease back in. Take at least a week off. Trust me, you will be better off for it…Trust Me! You are going to be running that marathon in November so don’t worry.
Thank you for getting back to me. I have taken a few runs lately (only 6 miles though) and there is a little bit of pain but not like before. I’m going to take a week off and continue with perhaps elliptical training and upper body weights. I have also started to shorten my strides; I’ve been told that takes some of the pressure off the joints. I had recently began to lengthen my strides (my sons said that I ran like their Grandpa walked that was enough insensitive). The longer strides helped my time but I think may have put extra pressure on the joints. I’ll also concentrate on dropping some weight which might alleviate the pressure. Any other advice is certainly appreciated and once again thanks for getting back to me. Todd
I think it would be really good to take a week off. Be careful on the elliptical because it can put unwanted pressure on the knee. If you feel pressure or even slight pain I would get off of it immediately. Upper body weights are good, although I would try to do most from a sitting position. If you stand with weights it can put indirect pressure on your knee since you have to stabilize yourself.
If you have never used a foam roller I would highly recommend it. It definitely helps with the IT band which can indirectly affect the knees. There are some stretches that are great for runner’s knee which are in the comments section somewhere that someone posted a while back. They definitely helped me and I still use a variation of them to this day, especially after my runs. Also, I do think the runner’s knee brace helped. I don’t use it anymore, but after my injury I used it on two half marathons. It’s such a simple and cheap little thing, but if anything it at least puts your mind at ease while wearing it.
Good luck on your race!!
I don’t know if I have runner Knee but it hurts a lot behind y patella, been out for 4 month already and its driving me crazy the fact that I can’t run. all I hear is stop running rest so its good to hear sometimes other stories that you are not the only one out there with this crazy pain.
cheers guys. safe running
Hey Luis!! Just be patient. You will heal and be back to running again before you know it. Be proactive in your approach to your injury and remember to never lose hope. There’s a reason for the injury and something good will come of it. Stay positive and again, be patient. Good luck!!
Thank you for your informative comments. I think I may have runner’s knee. I am scheduled to run my first 1/2 marathon on Aug 31st. My training has been going great. I’ve worked up gradually using the 10% rule and never added more than a mile to any run. I’ve also been using a modified FIRST plan, so I never run 2 days in a row and do XTing and strength training 2 days a week. Last Saturday was my last long run (12 miles). After I finished stretching, I was walking back to my car and felt like my knee was going to give out. No pain. Just makes a cracking sound when I bend it in and out and occasionally feels like it could give out when I’m walking. Iced it and took ibuprofen. Total rest on Sunday, XTing (cycling) Mon and Tues. Tried running on Wed. No pain, but more cracking and weird feeling after this. Can this still be runner’s knee without any pain? Most advice about runner’s knee seems geared toward using pain as in indicator of healing, but my never hurts. What do you think?
Hey Michele! Sorry to hear about your injury. Unfortunately, there are a number of injuries that can occur with the knee and sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what the specific injury is. The good thing is that it doesn’t sound like an injury that occurred at a specific moment…like an ACL or MCL tear. It’s likely caused by the training in general and, although I am not a Dr., it will likely get better with rest. I have had moments such as yourself after a long run. I remember walking to the car with my wife and telling her that I felt as though my knee were going to give out. After a few days rest it went away. I think with the pounding our knees take over time with running it’s bound to feel that way at some points. Cracking in the knee or joints isn’t necessarily a sign of anything bad. Sometimes it’s just ligaments moving around. It’s good that you are not feeling any aches or pains, which would be a bit more concerning. If you are still able to walk around and not feel pain then I would take that as a very positive sign. It could just be the affects of running the 12 miles. My runner’s knee occurred even when I was working my way up slowly. No matter what, your legs and knees still take a beating.
When you start to feel better I would focus on strengthening exercises for the legs to build up the area around the knee. I said myself lastnight after a 3 mile run that I have to strengthen my legs. I honestly hate leg exercises with a passion!! But, I know it’s necessary to prevent injury. Plus, you burn more calories when you work the legs, so I don’t know why I don’t do it more!! Also, make sure you are stretching before and after your runs and icing your knee or knees if you are feeling any pain or anything weird. Also, invest in a foam roller if you haven’t already. They work…they really do! It will help your IT band, which indirectly affects your knee.
I would just rest for a few days right now. Do not put too much pressure on knee and definitely no running. Ease back in and don’t run fast. Give it time to get going again. Your knee might just need some rest if it’s feeling weird. Like I said, it’s good that there is no pain. If the cracking and odd feeling persist then I would go to an ortho just to have it checked out. But, I don’t think it’s anything to immediately worry about. Give it a few days after rest to see how it reacts and see if pain becomes apparent. Good luck!! You will be fine!
Thank you for your prompt reply! I do use a foam roller on my ITBs. Will continue with that and icing. Since I’m not actually having pain, do you think after few days’ rest I will be ready to run a half next week? Should I still get a knee brace?
Honestly, since there is no pain I do think you will be able to run next week. I would definitely rest to allow it to heal in time. You are ready for your run even if you don’t do much until next week, so don’t worry if you have to take a few days off. It’s not going to hurt you. Your knee will thank you in the end. Just monitor your knee and make sure the pain isn’t getting worse. The knee brace is completely up to you. If you feel it will help I would get it, but if it doesn’t feel like it provides anything substantial than go without. I would buy it before to test it out before running your half though, just to make sure it’s comfortable. They are pretty cheap. If you don’t like it you can always take it back. It’s worth a try.
Hello. This looks like good information…..I really hope it works. I have almost 3 weeks till a 1/2 marathon. Did 13m this week and have the pain in my knee.
Went for a run this morning and had to stop. Came home and found this! Thanks….will rest. Can I still walk the dog?
Hi. I regularly run. And I think I have the same symptoms as runners knee. I ran 11.5 j and every run I do now after 3k my knee hurts at the back and all around knee feels like I can hardly bend my knee and struggle to walk down stairs withought pain after the 2nd k my knee feels like it’s going to give in so I have been stopping after this time. I have rested for a couple of weeks and Tryed to get back into it slowly but the pain is still there what should I do? Thank u x
Thank you for this post I’m 33 and going into the Army and my first week of running my knees hurt so bad that I thought I might have to reconsider in going in I read this post tired your advice and they are feeling much better!
Hey guys – looking for some advice. I am almost done with training for my first full marathon! I’ve been training for 5 months and the race is NEXT sunday. a little over a week ago I did my 20 mile run. i felt great and I felt like I could have definitely gone farther at the time. That night my knee got kind of stiff and uncomfortable. I iced it that night and took some ibuprofen and the next day it was a little sore, but not stiff at all and felt just like normal long run soreness. Tues and Wed I started my taper and ran an easy 5 miles and then 8 miles…by Thursday morning my knee was bothering me again and getting stiff. This time it seemed a little worse. No pain when running, just mostly after. I rest/iced for a few days (skipped my thurs 5 mile and sunday 12 mile) and ran again on the following Tuesday (2 days ago). just an easy 4 miles…no pain while running or directly after…but then the next day, worse pain than ever. I bought a knee brace and some KT tape and have decided to not run at all until the marathon (10 days away…). Is this extreme “taper” going to ruin my marathon? Is this enough time for my knee to heal? I want to run so badly and have been anxious for this day since last April! Any advice? KT tape, ice and ibuprofen seem to help.
Hi there. Thanks for all of the information! I have had 2-3 bouts of runner’s knee since I started running distances in 2005. I am currently training for the NYC marathon (November 3rd). I have been training for 15 weeks using Hal Higdon’s Novice 2 plan and haven’t missed a beat. Training has been going well. All of sudden last Friday I noticed my knees were hurting a little. Saturday, I went out and had to cut my run short (didn’t bother me that much). Tuesday I ran 5 miles and it wasn’t too bad, but Wednesday I only ran a mile before I had to quit. I have been icing (20 min on each knee as many times a day as possible), took an epsom bath last night (and will continue to do so) and have been stretching and doing quad exercises (although I think this might be making it worse). I have 5 weeks until the marathon and I’m scared. I did a 19 miler on 09/14/13 and only have two more “long” runs on my schedule (a 19 next weekend and a 20 after that). Here is the other kicker-I have a 10 mile race on Sunday (which is my favorite). As I type this, my knee feels warm and maybe swollen. It could also be that my mind is making it worse than it is. I know that I shouldn’t run the race on Sunday, but is there any way that I can? And do you think I can recover prior to the marathon?
Hi! I’m pretty sure that I’ve got a runner’s knee. I’ve got it 10 days ago during a 10km run. Since then I’ve only been running twice, both 3 km(1,8 mile) The first run was a week after my knee started to hurt and I only felt some pain around 2,6 km. At the second run, which was yesterday, I didn’t feel a thing.
The pain isn’t noticeable when I’m walking, only when I touch the knee and a bit above it. Do you think I’ll be able to run longer now or should I wait till I don’t feel pain when I touch the knee?
Thank you so much for this site. I’ve been reading for an hour. I started running two months ago. I started very slowly with intervals of running and walking. I just recently pushed myself and did about 4 miles one night (running and walking). I also do squats and lunges during the day to try and strengthen my legs. It could have been a combo of doing all three things that has hurt my knee. It’s felt bruised for about 10 days now. I stopped running but continued to walk and do work out videos like kickboxing and Pilates. I have recently lost 35 pounds with diet and exercise. I have exercised EVERYDAY for 4.5 months. I’m so scared to not exercise until my knee starts feeling better. I don’t want to get out of the habit and my routine. I’m so sad. I feel so frustrated 😦
Hi I just recently started running about three months ago and I have been having problems with both of my knees. I’m not sure if it’s runners knee or not. My symptoms are pain on insides if knees just below the knee cap on the inside. It does feel worse if I walk down stairs though. I started off running about 2 miles a day for about two weeks and then the pain started. So I took some time off to heal. I thought I was just doing too much too soon. After a couple weeks the pain went away. I started doing 1 mile every other day for a week. And seemed to be fine so I upped it to 2.5 to 3 miles every other day. I ran a couple of 5ks and was doing good until about a week ago. Now I have the same symptoms it’s been about a week and they are feeling better. I am 37 years old and am a recovering alcoholic. I haven’t had a drink in three years anyway I rediscovered running and have been really enjoying it!! I ran a lot when I was younger but haven’t in the last 15 years. My goal is to run in the Cleveland half marathon on May 18 th. I hope I can overcome this. I’m starting to get discouraged a bit. Maybe I’m just pushing myself too hard too soon. Need some help here! Can’t wait to hear from ya!!!
I just wanted to say thanks for writing the article for the last month i have been battling runners knee without knowing it medical term. The recovery tips will help.
thank you for the advices. I have been told that I have runners knee. I am 38 years old women and was not a real runner from start, 5km once or twice a week. But was doing pilate and swim. I have stopped running for more than a year now since I first experienced discomfort that did not go away for a week. But now any activity even as light as swimming and pilate causes slight swollen and discomfort. Even standing as long as 10 min bothers. Walking seems easier than standing. Cannot do stairs at all for past 6 months. Do physio, foam roller and all stretches have been told daily bases. I am quite frustrated about the time time line for recovery. Any body experienced runner knee for such long time.
Thank you all,
Hello, thank you for an informative blog. I think I have runner’s knee, but it didn’t seem to bother me until I ran a 10K over the weekend and added 3 miles yesterday. You see, I ran a 1/2 Marathon two Sunday’s ago and ran a 10K this pass weekend. During my 10K I felt like my legs were giving out by mile 3 and telling me to stop. At the same time my knees started hurting. Two days after the race I decided to try to add 4 miles into my training (because I’m preparing for another 1/2 marathon next week), but ended up only doing 3. However, well into my second mile, the same thing happened. Legs felt super tired and my knees started hurting. I’m hoping to add another run or two before my race next week (using next week as my rest week, except I’ll be doing a lot of walking since my race is in the east coast and I’ve been planning to do a lot of sigh seeing). I’m afraid that if I don’t add the extra two run, I’ll be feeling really bad during my race next week. But if I do add the two runs, I’m afraid that I’ll make it worse. What would you suggest?
Thank you. I rest and test out the knee brace and let you know how it goes next week 🙂
This is a very helpful website. Though reading it, it got me pretty much scared. So I have been having knee problems ever since my first marathon and now I’m training for my third one. Since I’m a student I’m training with SRLA, and every month we have a distance race. My knee has been hurting horribly this week and tomorrow is my 15k race. I’ve been icing it and stretching my knee but I’m just scared for tomorrow’s race. Especially since it’s a up hill race. I’m so worried how I’m going to feel during the race. 😦
Thanks for this article. It’s one of the most rational and useful discussions of runner’s knee that I’ve been able to find. I think I’m in a situation very similar to the one you experienced when you wrote it. I was on an 11 mile trail run this weekend when I felt the unmistakable twinge of runners’ knee in my left knee (I had this same condition in my right knee last year). I was probably being hard on my legs- the trail had quite a few inclines and patches that were covered in tree rocks and rocks. My knee probably got tired of shock absorbing and gave out a bit. Normally, I’d just rest it, but I am signed up for a half marathon in two weeks. How should I rest / train so that I can still participate?
need some help- Hurt my knee training for a marathon. Took many weeks off and got back to training but it didn’t go smoothly. Ran my marathon and dropped out at mile 15. Went to an orthopedic surgeon and got an MRI which he said looked OK. I’m still having nagging problems with my knee after only 3 miles. I suspect this could be runners knee. My next step is a cortisone shot in the knee. I have received some physical therapy (therapists suspects flexibility issues). The knee pain is on the side near the front toward the outside. I’m 53 years old. I’m 200 lbs but I’ve run one marathon 1 year ago at 189 lbs. Does anyone have any advice as to which direction I should go. Giving up running is out of the question.
I am 53 years old and completed my first marathon last year. This year while training for my second marathon I hurt my knee. I was unable to complete my second marathon dropping out at mile 15 with knee pain. An x-ray plus an MRI has showed no damage at all to the knee. A physical therapists told me that I have a flexibility problem. If the flexibility exercises do not work an orthopedic Dr. has suggested a cortisone shot in the knee. Long story short, the knee isn’t any better. I I am heavier now and wondered if my weight gain may be part of the problem combined with “runner’s knee.” I intend to run the Marine Corps marathon in October of 2014 but right now I can only manage 3 miles before pain returns to the left knee (lower part, outside and at the bottom, now where near the knee cap). I’m just looking for a suggestion since there seems to be nothing structurally wrong with the knee. Where to go from here??
thanks for this info. I dono what made me to feel pain while descending after running marathon. but by looking at ur page I realized this is what (Runner’s Knee) exactly happend to me.. Thank U 🙂
Thanks for this post. I got a mild case of Runner’s Knee at the end of my half marathon last year, took a 6 month break, and was a little panicked that I got it again after a 5 mile run this past weekend in training for another half marathon in 2 months. Most other articles mention the symptoms, what it does to the knee, but not how to get over it quickly when you’re training for something soon. I identified with your experience a lot and now have practical guidelines on what I should do between now and my half. Thanks for the reassurance, it’s helpful to know someone else has bounced back quickly!
PS: Does running on snow make runner’s knee worse? That’s one thing I know I did differently this time around that I haven’t done before. I wonder if I changed my form to avoid slipping on ice and snow, and that’s why I got runner’s knee so early in my training.
Wow. This has been like a mini therapy session for me (and I’m a counselor, so that is high praise)! Thank you for this post and all of the time and thoughtful feedback you have put into it – you are incredibly kind and helpful. I’m going to attempt to take this dialogue into 2014 with some questions of my own. I have been running for a little over a year. I had never run, or particularly liked exercise, and it has changed my life forever. I started for the mental health benefits – I had been through some major life changes and I wanted to do something to get out of my head and into my body. I started running in November of 2012 and, following a training program, I ran my first half marathon in February of 2013 (and, yes, I agree with you, BEST FEELING EVER)! I have lived in Florida for 20 years but Boston is home. After the tragic events last April in Boston, I decided to commit to running in the same race as my first half, this coming February, but to go for the FULL marathon – in the spirit of Boston AND because I feel so fortunate that I can lace up my shoes and run every day. All has been great. I continued running throughout the year and started an 18 week training program to lead up to the full. As part of the training, I ran another half this past fall and beat my February PR by 22 minutes! The weekend before last, I hit 18 miles and all was great. A few days later I did a slightly hillier route for my midweek 8 miler. The next day, on my 5 miler, my knee started hurting around mile 3. Having NEVER experienced an injury or real pain in the entire year and 3 months I have been running, I figured it was just a little strain and I would be fine for my long run on Saturday. That was a dip week of 13. I only made it 7 before I had to walk and call it a day. I COULD have pushed it but I was being cautious out of fear of damage or losing my run. Pain was completely new to me. I iced a bit, gave it 3 days and went out for another 5 on Wednesday. Felt a little discomfort in the beginning and did the 5 – the knee started talking to me a bit at that point. I rested Thursday and Friday and found your blog last night. Today is supposed to be a 19 mile run. I made myself stay put, iced, and read most of your entire blog and thread! THANK YOU. I don’t have to tell you, or anyone reading this, how DIFFICULT it is to stop and how great the fear is that I won’t be able to keep going. Here is the issue I face. Marathon is on February 19th. I am missing my 19. My long runs from here on out should be 12, 20, 12, 8 (and the 19 missed today). Midweek starts to taper in 2 – going from 5, 8, 5 to decreasing numbers. SO, questions. 1) SInce I have NOT pushed it, would you still recommend a full week off? Or might I try a few days? 2) What might you alter about the training schedule? I had NO problems increasing miles but I am afraid to push too much (but I am just as afraid of losing how far I have come and not doing enough). Would you skip the 19 and try and resume with 12 next week? All in all, I realize I must listen to my body. That said, I have one month left and I want to make the most of my training without further injury. Again, thank you so much for your help – you’re wonderful to be doing this for others!
Kristin – I am so sorry I was never able to comment back. I have been extremely busy with work and I have neglected my blog. My apologies. I would love to know how your marathon went and if you are doing much better today!
I have a HALF-Marathon in 2 weeks and I am kind of freaking out since I ran 8 miles a day ago and after my run my right knee was pretty sore. I think I pushed my pace to0 much towards the last 2 miles and was running about 8:21 per mile than my usual 930-10min pace. I feel fine and the soreness only lasted the rest of that day. I read your advice and I was wondering if you can PLEASE give me some extra pointers as I am running the ING Miami Marathon (half 13.1) on February 2nd. Will i Make it? My back ground – (I ran the half last year and i usually train 5-6 days a week doing crossfit and olympic lifts and run often) – which i will not be doing until after the race, all i want to focus on is being ready. Please help!!!
Hi. I am training for the Paris Marathon in April. I have been running since November but have recently upped my training to 30+ Miles a week. Including a lot of hill work that I had previously not been doing as intensively. I have never had issues with knee or muscles or any other joints when running before. I ran 13 Miles in training last Friday. About half way through I started feeling pain under my left knee cap. I stopped, stretched and walked for five minutes before continuing. It felt better and I finished my run. Unfortunately the next morning as I walked to work the pain returned and intensified as I walked. Throughout the day the pain slowly diminished only to reoccur when walking up or downstairs. The same thing happened the next two days. It has now been four days since that last run and I now experience pain most of the time. I have booked a doctors appointment to get it checked but am really worried that it’s just going to keep getting worse. It’s not so painful to touch just a little inflamed and very sore when moving the knee. Is this what you experienced? I really want to run the Marathon on the 6th March in two months. I have already run up to 16 Miles and was getting fairly confident I would get a good time. Now I’m skeptical I’ll be able to run at all.
Is it normal for the pain to slowly increase before it gets better? Thanks Noah
I just started to build up endurance to run. On a off day from work, I decided to take an eighteen mile run/walk. My normal run is about 2 to 3 miles and I wanted to see how long I could last. The day after it started hurting. It hurts when it bends, or is bent.
It’s been hurting for 3 days. I was wondering if or when it would be okay to continue my endurance training?
I’m so glad I found this! I hurt my knee about 2 weeks ago. I took a week off and went running on Saturday, but the pain came back! Do you think I didn’t give myself enough rest? I have a half marathon coming up in 2 and a half weeks. Have any other suggestions? I started biking outdoors and that does not seem to bother it. But I really want to get back running a little so I can run this half marathon! eeek
I have runners knee and I got it from soccer.
I’ve had mine over a year now(because I never saught help) and it still hurts.
It flares up most times I play soccer, about 45mins in to be precise.
I will try all your tips and hopefully it will help, I bought some kinesiologie tape recently to try.
Would the tape help and have I left it too late to start recovery? I’m assuming no.
I went for a 4 mile run in the morning 6 months ago and ever since then i have the runners knee, even now it is still swollen after icing it many times. My doctors are not even helping me my xrays are coming back fine and physio is telling me same thing all the time “just do 1 legs squats to get strengthen up your quads and it will stabalise the knee”. im 19 now and can not resume with my boxing training i do weigh 17 stone so that might have a bit of an impact to the pain. i have stopped all training for a while because i got back in training a month ago and the left side of my left knee (where the joint is) has started hurting along with the pain under the kneecap. please tell me if there are any exercises or any medication or straps or anything that will speed up the process so i can atleast walk down the stairs or punch a bag properly again. Thank you to everyone that helps as this is a big problem to get over.
My first marathon is in three weeks time and after running and preparing all winter I find it harsh and unjust to give up what has been my main focus and dream in the last months. I share the same symptoms of most of you. I can run pain free for 3/4 Km then it kicks off and now I can’t even complete 10k because the pain becomes intollerable and I don’t want to aggrevate the situation. I have been training in the gym recently, mainly with cross-trainer where the knee surprisingly doesn’t hurt. Tomorrow is my last long run (32km) in my schedule, I was going to give it a desperate go and probably withdraw from the race after if it doesn’t work. I ice my knee basically everyday but I haven’t tried the salt bath. I’ll try that too.
Thank you everybody for all the tips, at least I don’t feel alone in the frustration!
How crazy is it that I waited until i had no more pain at all before I looked up post 1\2 marathon knee pain? Woke up today with none of the debilitating knee pain that started exactly 2 days after PRing my first half(duh). Could barely walk, didn’t even try to run. Thanks for the info about this “now I know its common” problem. Glad I didn’t push it, even gladder that I’m ok. Ten min on the treadmill tonight!
thank you so much for the information . u wanted to reduce my overweight.so started walking amonth back. and recently started running slowly after a week below my right knee started paining. ofter reafing ur blog started ice and rest. hope i will back to walk and run soon. i am practicing yog
a can i continue or stop. waiting for reply
thanks a lot once again.
Just found your page after having to bow out of my half marathon this weekend due to runner’s knee. I am pissed and sad that I have to miss it and have been cursing my knee all week. Thank you for the optimistic view on recovery! I was afraid I was never going to get back to training. I supposed I can love on my knee a bit and hope that I have a short recovery.
Andrea – I am sorry but I have been out of pocket for a while. I am your knee is doing much better!
Any tips for RA? I’m previously a runner and I’m unconfident now because of this disease. I think runner’s knee’s pain is very similar to gout and RA I guess?
Okay… I just came across your page and I’m pretty upset right now. So yesterday during my run I felt pain in my right knee which I now know is runners knee. The reason I’m so emotional about it is because I have my first 1/2 marathon in 8 days! I’m flying to CA for the Disney half marathon with friends and we’ve worked so hard and now I’m not sure how I’m going to do it. I don’t want to disappoint them but most if all I don’t want to fail myself. Will I be okay in time? Can I walk it fast enough? It’s a 16 min per mile min. Any advance or encouragement is welcome. I’m kind of panicking over here:(
Jenny no need to worry yet. Sometime my knee flares up after a run and is better the next day. Just rest and ice. Don’t do too much on it and let it heal. You are ready to run so don’t worry about missing training runs. Just focus on healing. Don’t obsess about it. You have to think positive. Just ice and elevate for now. You will see from reading all the comments many people thought they wouldn’t be able to run and healed in time. 8 days is a long time. Remember no training runs. Just rest and ice. Let me know how great your half marathon experience goes. 🙂
I am so grateful I found your blog! I have my first half marathon this Sunday, and I think I’ve got runners knee on the side of my left knee cap. I was meant to do my last long run today (16km) but had to stop at 10km because my knee hurt.
I’m going to take your advice and ice it every night until Sunday, and maybe have an Epsom Balt bath every couple of days.
I will give the stationary bike a go on Wednesday and Thursday, to keep up a bit of cardio.
Would you recommends taping the knee on the day? I haven’t used tape before, but I just want to make sure I don’t cause any permanent damage!
Hey Nat! I would definitely take precautions. Don’t worry about your last long run. you are more ready for your half marathon than you think. Your body will actually probably enjoy the rest and you will run even better come race day. If your knee is still hurting too much don’t worry about the bike. Take it easy and rest rest rest. Make sure you ice and elevate today and maybe a little tomorrow. Enjoy your first half marathon. Nothing beats the feeling of finishing that first half marathon. I will never forget it!
Just want to say thank you for this article…I was so down before I read it now I see the light at the end after reading this. thank you!
Thank you, thank you, what a blessing when someone shared this article with me. I had goggled and searched for information and help for the knee pain that popped up in my life after over 400 miles of running this year. I was so bummed and discouraged, and didn’t know if I’d be able to run again. After reading your article, and all the subsequent comments, I’ve had an attitude adjustment, and I’m so thankful for it.
Until about 10 months ago, I had never run for fun. I did a “fun run” 5K with my daughter and son in law and it was indeed fun. Keep in mind that although I didn’t lingeringly walk the course, I didn’t feel any pressure for time either. My daughter warned me “Be careful Mom, 5Ks can be addictive”. Duhhh….was she ever right!
A different daughter had had surgery, and needed to find an exercise routine, so we chose running. We did the Thanksgiving day 5K and decided that next year (this year) we’d do the Thanksgiving 1/2 marathon. A 1/2 marathon is on my daughter’s bucket list.
We’ve run 14 5Ks, one 8K, one 10K, and have been involved in 3 different training programs all leading up to the the 1/2 marathon.
I suddenly start having knee pain. I wasn’t very smart, and because my training schedule said I had to do 5 miles, well by golly, I did 5 miles. Sure, the fact that the last 2 1/2 miles was ridiculously slow and painful…I did it! Grrrr, why didn’t I just listen to my body.
Anyway, I was imagining I’d never run again. I read, and read, and searched for a helpline. My nephew shared your link with me, and I’m so very thankful.
I stopped running, rested my knee, and have hope again that I’ll be running again.
I’ve appreciated all that you’ve shared with everyone, and I’ve re-adjusted my attitude. Yes, I want to do the Thanksgiving 1/2 marathon, but if I’m not able to, there are others races around the corner that I might be ready for. If I do do the Thanksgiving 1/2 marathon, since it is my first, that PR will be the one to beat. Although throughout the year it has been fun trying to best my last PR, the fact that I’m out accomplishing a goal might have be enough for some races.
Yesterday I walked with co-workers for the “National Run at Work Day” and was so happy that I felt no pain. I even jogged back to my building and felt wonderful. Last night we went to a ATL Braves Game with lots of walking and stairs. This morning I’m feeling a little something in my knee. I’m sure you can relate to the acute radar we develop when any source of pain is involved. I’m sitting up in bed with an ice pack on my knee typing this disjointed letter.
Two weeks from today I’m supposed to run a 10K. I REALLY hope I can do it. We’ve had a “Grand Prix” series with our track club consisting of 6 different races. I’ve done 5 of the 6, and the 10K is the last of the series. Three weeks after that I’m signed up for a 10 miler. and then one month later is the Thanksgiving 1/2 marathon. These 3 next races are what I’ve trained for all year. If it doesn’t happen, I’ll be disappointed, but it won’t be the end of the story.
I learned though all of this that I am indeed a runner. I’m not a fast runner, but I’m faster than I was a year ago. I always used to think, Why am I doing this…I don’t love running. This wasn’t on my bucket list, this was my daughter’s bucket list….I’m just supporting her!
Then when the pain entered, and I couldn’t run….I realized running has become a huge part of my life, and I WANT to run. I WANT to do the races we are signed up for….it was a nice realization. 🙂
Thank you again for all the time and energy you’ve spent in encouraging all of us.
I am glad you are feeling better Jill! Sometimes we need to experience a little adversity to realize how much we really love something. It’s important to always see the positive in it and do our best to move forward no matter what. This adversity will make finishing your upcoming races a wonderful experience. Now go out there and kick some running butt!!!!
I ended up finishing 2 half marathons last year and tallied up 630 miles of running for the year!
You sure have helped and impacted a lot of lives through this blog! Thank you again.
I’ve been running nearly a year now and over last few months been having a bit of trouble with my right knee. I now only run about 4 miles 4 times a week and this seems to keep this is a good amount to run without any pain in my knee. I have been offered a place in the London marathon and I’m wondering if I’m silly to even conceder training for it? In worried if I start running any further than 4 miles again my knee will become bad again
Hi Anna! Just work your way up slowly in mileage. Running 4 miles 4 times a week can take it’s toll on the body. I would scale back on your running a bit and maybe do some cross training as well. Focus on strengthening the legs so that your knees don’t take all the pressure. In addition, make sure you have a great pair of running shoes. Also, I would consider getting a foam roller. That can really help. I don’t think it’s silly to consider training for the marathon. If you listen to your body and rest when you need to rest and train properly I think it’s definitely a possibility.
Hi I am running the NY marathon in Nov and have just had a problem with my knees. Didn’t know what it was till I read your article above. I have all the symptoms!
My left kills when I walk on it and I’m ok for a few hrs with pain killers. I work as a salesman and am on my feet most of the day.
Any advise or words of wisdom for me?
Thanks for the article, it’s super helpful. I have my second half-marathon coming up in exactly 1 month. About 2 weeks ago my right knee started hurting. It was more of a swelling feeling under my knee. It wasn’t too bad at first, but unfortunately I ran on it the following day. That night I iced my knee and it hurt so much to move. I decided to take a week off of running. Yesterday I ran again for the first time (6 miles, bad idea I see now), and I could feel it start to slightly come back (swelling feeling under knee). Last night my knee had a slight ache to it. After just reading your article now, I plan to stay off my knee for a few days, icing it, and then going into riding the stationary bike. So far in my training, my farthest run has been 10 miles. I did that probably about 4 weeks ago. I’m worried about losing my endurance and having to deal with this nagging injury, which may prevent me from doing the half-marathon. At this point, is the run too soon to recover for and be in decent enough shape?
I have written here before. About 2-3 years ago, I was a novice runner and developed runner’s knee in both knees. I now know that I did everything wrong (wore the wrong shoes, ran too much too soon, and ran longer distances every time I ran). After 8 weeks of physical therapy, I recovered. Before getting injured, I had made such progress, and it was gone in an instant. It took me a long time to get back and progress, as I think I was afraid I would get injured again. I started running again really slowly. After about a year, I started trying to increase mileage. Last spring, I started to train and began working toward my goals again. It felt great! Training the right way allowed me to accomplish my goals (I know – duh! But you don’t know what you don’t know.). I ran my first race ever, a 10K, in early September. I felt like I had conquered the world! Since then, I have run 2 5Ks. I haven’t had any problems with my knees and have been feeling great! I have my 2nd 10K coming up this weekend (Sunday). Unfortunately, this past Tuesday, I was at work, just walking in my office. All of a sudden and out of nowhere, I felt a sharp pain in my knee for a second. I’m worried about what that means. I haven’t had the same pain since that moment, but it is a little sore. I’m trying to stay off of it as much as possible and am not running at all this week. I don’t know what to do about Sunday or how to determine if I can run or not. Any advice? Help!
Thank you, a really excellent blog, you gave me confidence to test my knee when I was worried it would take ages to get better, and so far…..so good! All the best, thanks, Ed
Good evening from Holland, after a lot of searching the internet about my knee, I found this great website.
I am 33, and I am running for 1,5 years now and since beginning of december my knee starts to hurt like they where sticking knives in it. I continued to run 3 times a week and bit through the pain, even sometimes limping, thinking it will go over, because 14 months of no pain at all training from 3 km per run to 10 km per run and 1 per month now 20-25 km, in my opnion I was doing a-ok with my build up schedule. I whent to get new shoes because I ran more km’s with them as I thought and the guys at the runshop where shocked at how the shoe looked like and how I run with my right leg as an O instead of straight line and moving my upperbody way to much. So with full new confidence and 5 days of rest, I started on my new shoes and new running methode but sadly after 4-5 km’s it came back, now after my last run, 10 km last tuesday 06-01-2015 I decided, this is enough, my knee explodes after running, it;s soar and I can’t even walk the stairs and the pain goes away after 2 days. I have a docctors appointment tomorrow just to be sure, but everything indicates to me that I have a case of runners knee. My Rotterdam marathon (my first 1) is in april and I am affraid that I will miss this out due to the lack of km’s I can run now to build up the restitance in my body for running so far.
I forgot to mention that now my knee hurts so much that after cooling, it’s impossible to bend or walk it, it has to get warm again.
i really hope it subdues fast
2015 and your ~3+ yr old blog post is STILL helping runners! Great post! I’m a new runner… Every year my family & I walk the 5k Silicon Valley Turkey Trot 5k but I relocated to TX and recently set a goal of 10 runs for 2015, a half (or two!) in 2016 and finally a full marathon in 2017. Unfortunately I’m in the same boat as many others and have been living in Epsom salt baths every night. My next 10k run is tomorrow, still a little sore but I should be fine. Better to try than wonder what if, right? Anyways, it’s nice to know I’m not the only one who got ahead of their training, I’m feeling like we’re all in it together. Thanks!
Very encouraging page. I just started running a month or so ago and was doing so well. But then came the knee pain. I rested and iced for a week and this morning felt sure I was ready to get back to running. Wrong! I ran on grass, but must have done too much again. Now my knee is back to square one. So frustrating! I was beginning to think I was just not going to be cut out for running, but having read this (and all the comments) I’m feeling more positive again. I’v done so much exercise in my life and enjoyed it all, but there is something special about running. I really don’t want to have to give it up when I’ve only just found out how great it is. Well, now I will follow the advice here and when I do start again, I’ll build up very gradually.