>Running 101>Beginners knee pain?
Hello everyone! I'm new not only on this website, but to running as well. I started running back in May, and was jogging around 3 miles a day, 4-5 days a week just for the heck of it. (of course I introduced everything slowly) I haven't jogged much for the past two weeks, and went for a 3 mile walk today to get back into running. Well, by the half mile mark, my knee was feeling really weird. Almost like there was something against it, and it felt very flat. There was pain, and I even limped a little. I've only started having problems with this knee for the past 2 weeks, and it's really bothering me. Back and knee problems run high in my family, so it's not hard to guess that I might have knee problems down the road. I'm just wondering if I'm pushing too hard, and asking for knee troubles later on down the road, and if this knee pain is normal. I'm almost 14 and I really don't want to screw up my joints. I take 4 500mg calcium vitamins every day, drink 1-2 glasses of milk daily, and down 6-8 eight ounce glasses of water. I eat all organic (75% of the time) but sometimes eat something unhealthy every few days, like a burger or something. I weigh 106 pounds, so I highly doubt it's a weight problem. I run barefoot, but today I walked in crocs. What am I doing wrong, and is this a sign that I am not supposed to be running? Thank you! -Meghan
Oh, and I also ride horses 3-4 days a week to if that matters. It's the only other form of exercise I get besides 15 minutes of bike riding every day of the week, 5-10 pound weight lifting sessions (I work on everything from calves, to triceps and biceps, and sometimes do sit ups/crunches). I also kayak every weekend, and the occasional 11 mile bike ride is thrown into the mix. Thanks! -Meghan
Team 9 from Outer Space
How old are the shoes you are running in?
"Don't feel like running today...suck it up and run ...you're an athlete." (John Stanton, founder & owner of The Running Room)
Three half marathons later, I got a number. Half Fanatic #9292. :)
I don't run in shoes, I run barefoot. But yesterday I ran in crocs just because I didn't want my feet to get cut up from the grass, I wanted the cuts to heal before I ran barefoot again.
Since shoes aren't part of the equation, maybe your form and stride need improvement; or else, you're just running too much, too hard, or too fast. I hesitate to tell you to make conscious changes to your stride, as that could do more harm than good, but keep your steps pretty short and quick, and don't try to reach forward with your feet; keep them underneath your hips. I think barefoot running is a great way to develop a natural stride. The horseback riding angle is interesting; it certainly does put your hips and legs in a different position. Maybe some of our other riding runners have some wisdom on this.
Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject. - S.J.
I agree LedLincoln. I don't know the first thing about stride position. :/ I think I might have to just start swimming, as it has no effect on your joints until my bones are more formed - I don't want to screw anything up right now. Thanks.
My Pilates instructor says that most problems below the waist are a result of a weak core. You're body ends up overcompensating to make up for it and results in injury. Its a pretty generic statement, some situations are a result of medical condition. Try a core strengthening program and see if that helps your knee.
Another cause of knee problems is weak hip flexor muscles. It has something to do with certain weak muscles causing your knee to wobble sideways.
The remedy is cross training or specific exercises to strengthen the weak muscles. Good cross training might be tennis or soccer, where you work your hip flexors.
I'm a beginner to, my experience was that my muscles and tendons just had to acclimate ( get stronger) it only took a few weeks but I weight trained and walked for a year and a half first including squats and lunges etc. Now I feel like I can run forever. When my knee starts to hurt a little I just change my pace (run a little faster) and the pain go's away. When it stay's away for a while I slow my pace a little again.
I'm also a beginner who has had similar problems, although I suspect that mine come from my flat feet. I do agree that other exercises will help, like strengthening your core, but I also went to see my doctor who recommended some special stretching exercises to strengthen my knees and my ankles. Here's an article on it that I found from Runner's World: http://www.runnersworld.com/health/build-better-knee?page=single. These exercises, for me personally, do help.
Interval Junkie --Nobby
Your description isn't detailed enough to figure out if things are similar [and I'm not a doctor so it wouldn't help anyway], but I had knee issues when I first started running. Several things helped:
A lot of it was letting my body get used to the pounding.
The only other thing I might mention is that if you're not wearing shoes, and heel-striking (land on your heel first), then you might be causing too much impact to your knee -- maybe try running in running shoes [though I realize that's not the fashion right now].
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I say this to all beginners: get a heart rate monitor and run or walk at an aerobic heart rate. You can research such things and choose the heart rate you like the best. Let's say's it 70% of your maximum heart rate. Then run at or below that heart rate. Don't go over. What might happen is that you have to walk in order to stay at that heart rate, or you'll run slower. Beginners tend to run way too fast. Either way, it'll help you to ease into getting into shape, and lessen the probability of an injury (which is the reason many beginners give up the running experiment, as it is proof that running is indeed bad for your knees). What you're looking for as you go is to get faster at the same heart rate, and if you're walking now, being able to run everything without having to walk. By the time you're running all the time, you will have improved your aerobic system, and strengthened a lot of what needs to be strengthened in order for you to withstand the stress that running puts on the body. Research heart rate training, monitors (you can get one cheap--doesn't have to be fancy), base-training, John L. Parker, Dr. Phil Maffetone, Mark Allen and base-training, training for endurance, the importance of recovery, over-training, hard/easy training, and training load. Take it or leave all of this of course. Good luck!
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