It’s marathon season, and that means you or your favorite runner will be training for the big day.
We also find this to be a busy time for us as people tend to push themselves too far, too soon. This is the first in a series of articles with tips to keep you injury-free as you train.
If you find yourself training for this year’s marathon, one thing to keep an eye out for is Runner’s Knee.
What is Runner’s Knee?
The simple answer is that Runner’s Knee is pain in the knee caused by running. It encompasses a lot of different conditions such as patellar tendinitis, chondromalacia and ITB Syndrome to name a few. These conditions are usually caused by pushing yourself too far, too soon. If you’re feeling pain, that’s an indication you need to take a step back.
Here are some sneaky ways to avoid the pain before it starts:
1. Change only one variable at a time in your training
Training consists of three variables: frequency, intensity and duration. One way to keep your knees healthy is to only change one of these variables at a time.
So if you’re going to increase your training by running more frequently, focus only on that variable. Don’t try increase your intensity or duration at the same time.
2. Slowly increase your mileage
When you’re first starting: don’t try to do too much.
Most likely you’re following one of the New York Road Runners programs.
Be sure to base your training on your current fitness level.
It’s okay to adjust your program as you get to know your body.
3. Continue your stretching and strengthening.
No matter what your training program, it should always include stretching and strengthening. Above all else don’t underestimate the importance of stretching to keep your knees injury-free. If you find yourself short on time and have to choose between running or stretching, choose the stretch. If you only have 45 minutes. Stretch and then run for 30 minutes.
How do you know if you’ve done too much?
There’s a distinct difference in the pain you’ll feel. Muscle soreness is normal. Muscle soreness can last 2-3 days. But if you find yourself with pain under the knee cap. That’s different than pain in your muscles. If there’s an increase of discomfort it’s a sign of a bigger problem.
If you think you have signs or symptoms of Runner’s Knee you should see someone. Give a call. One or two Tune-Up sessions may be all you need to get back on track.
Otherwise be sure to follow these 3 sneaky tips while you train:
- Change only one variable at a time
- Slowly increase your mileage
- Continue your stretching and strengthening
Stay tuned for more tips for runners next month!
To your health,
Jon, Pete and Michelle
P.S. If you have any questions please feel free to give us a call at the office!