Fixing and Preventing Runner’s Knee
Hello friends. Welcome to another week. I hope you rocked your weekend. I had a lot of fun checking out the Toronto Aquarium, spending some time with my best friends from university and of course, doing the Waterloo 10 KM Classic race which I will have a full review of for Friday.
I have received a few questions about my vague updates on my knee and I thought I would do a post on it and update you on the issue and what I have done to resolve it.
Just so we are 100% clear, I am not always a perfect runner. I get over eager, I train too hard, I don’t rest enough, and sometimes, I get soft tissue damage. About 4 weeks ago, the sharp pain on the lateral side of my knee (characteristic of IT Band issues, by the way) turned into a dull ache on the medial side of my knee.
I continued running and doing weight bearing exercises as before, because as I mentioned, I am NOT always a perfect runner, but I am almost always a typical runner.
It steadily became worse until I hit an evening where my personal trainer wrapped my knee in the most painful compression ever, asked me to do exercises and when it didn’t even come close to fixing the problem, he told me to get an MRI.
Well. I still haven’t gotten that MRI but I began to take it seriously. I chatted with my coach and he gave me some exercises to help solve the problem.
Problem – Runner’s Knee:
Basically, the issue consists of an over used IT Band combined with weak glutes. I cover the issue here, here and here. I was neglecting my glute strengthening in favour of other exercises and it caused extra strain on my IT Bands.
I was also over training. No, my mileage was not too high, but my intensity was. I was doing two speed workouts a week and racing every weekend.
I stopped. This is often the best thing that you can do as a runner. In total, I took 3 weeks of dialing it back and it healed itself.
I iced. I kept some Ziploc bags by my desk and I would ice the inflamed side of my knee while editing press releases at work for about 10 minutes a day.
I strengthened my glutes. I work out at a local Goodlife Fitness and I headed there in the mornings to do monster walks with resistance bands, clam shells and leg lifts in addition to cross training such as elliptical and biking. (See below).
I had active recovery. I took up golf. I went swimming. I played baseball and catch with my friends. I went to my favourite class at Goodlife. I went on long road rides. Basically anything that would keep me from going off and running intensely. I kept my interval training incorporated so I would not lose fitness by doing sets on the road bike and elliptical.
The best news is? It worked! I am now back to racing harder and smarter than ever, working on continuing to build slowly and surely and keeping my eyes on the podium for my upcoming races.
What was the last injury that you had? How did you overcome it?