Knee pain flared up suddenly at phase 1 week 7. :-(

Hi Eric, I was at phase 1 week 7 of the run foundation programme and had made excellent progress,  The day after the long run that week (which went really well - and prompted me to leave a post on the Cool Impossible forum) I noticed a bit of knee pain.  I've now had it for a week.  It is not severe, but is noticeable under the knee cap and it feels like I have been kicked on the bone on the outside of each knee.  It is more evident after runs than during runs.

I took most of last week off (week 7 is a recovery week anyway) and have tried stretching my quads morning and evening.  I did a test run (37 mins HRz 1 / 5 m) yesterday and it is still there.  I clearly cannot carry on with the programme without getting more injured.

I noticed that my mileage has increased from about 25 - 30 miles week 4 / 5/ 6 to 40 - 45 miles week 6 and 7 and the long run increased from 10 / 12/ 14 miles to 20 miles.  This is a result of adding 15 mins each week per the plan (which obviously increases the distance), but also a step change in the speed I run at in HR z2 over distance (c8:15 miles to c7:20 miles over 10 - 20 miles average).  Basically, it seems that my fitness has improved faster than my muscular strength.  I have always struggled with the fitball lunge exercise which bring on knee pain although I have never had any knee pain before as a direct result of running.  

It is particularly galling as everything seemed to be going so well and I was hoping to run a marathon <3 hrs in mid April (8 weeks time).

I will not "be a hero" (aka idiot) and will visit my physio this week, but their responses tend to be mainly "textbook" and will likely result in months of rehab - whereas your slant board strength training fixed a serious calf related problem that had had 6 months of physic in a matter of weeks.  I wondered whether you had any additional suggestions for my knee?  Any help gratefully received.


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Hi RT - Based on where you are feeling the discomfort, simply try rolling and stretching the quad of that leg.  The quad might have become really tight and not allowing the knee to track properly.  If this is the case, you should feel an immediate relief.

Give this a try.

Thanks, Eric.  I will give it a go and let you know.  



Are you doing the slant and wobble board exercises?

Yes, I am.  I have been doing them 2 - 4 x a week for most of the last 12 weeks save for the past 2 - 3 when I let them slip because I was too busy at work / home.  When I can I balance for 2 mins w/out poles (I generally fall off a few times) in all 3 positions as a warm up before running.  

Having said that, I had a major stretching session yesterday and ran today for 30 mins w/out any pain.  I will do the same tomorrow and I think I might go back into normal phase 1 / week 8 training from then.

Eric's advice seems to be working (fingers crossed).  What I'd like to know, is why did the stretching not work when I identified the solution by general searching, but it seems to work now that Eric has said it! Go figure.  

It also shows the benefit of warming up properly.  I really believe in the slant board.

Well, you have been more consistent with your slant/wobble work than I. I have only experienced that kind of knee pain a couple of times myself, and it went away quickly each time. In the past, I noticed more joint pain (knees and ankles) when increasing mileage and intensity by a lot. Maybe that is what happened for you. Good to hear that it is improving.

I get little flare ups here and there, and can usually identify the trigger as a tight muscle putting stress on the tendon that insert. My R Achilles and plantar fascia are the areas I deal with from time to time. Really working that calf muscle with my fingers and breaking up any knows, softening tightness seems to keep everything more in check and does the most to "fix" my problem. Usually the source of the pain is not the problem for's up the chain, the larger muscle groups that control the tendons that insert Into the bone. Don't know if that's helpful or not for I sit here massaging my calf ;)

I have continued with the stretching and massages and ran my session today with no problems at all (15' warm up / 4 x 30" fast with 1' RI / 4 x 8' with 2'RI at HRz5+ / warm down).

So, I have learned that sore knees can be fixed by lots of massage and stretching and work on the slant / wobble board.  This is big news.  4 days ago I could hardly walk.

Very grateful indeed for all of the advice.  Thank you!

I had the same thing after adding extra time. to my runs... I started foam rolling my IT band, quads, and gluteals religiously, and the slight pain went away. rolling the IT band will be hard at first, but gets easier the more you do it.

I just finished phase 1 week 7's long run yesterday and today my knees are so sore.  Hard to walk down stairs. I'm going to try the quad stretching.  What exactly do you do, and what massages?


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