Hello everyone. Thanks for posting some great topics and excellent discussions!
I've been running since May and everything has been going well. I'm up to about 20-25 miles per week with my last long run being 14 miles. I have a long history of being barefoot, though not running (barefoot or otherwise), so I run in VFFs. Again, everything was going great until the last few weeks. I had an NP diagnose my left knee with Patellar Tendonitis. Stinks too - the rest of body wants to run, but this one small area is keeping me from moving.
What can I do? I've tried working on my mechanics, but it doesn't help. The pain only lasts for a few days and then I feel like I can get back out and run again...but the next day I always regret it. I can't even run 4 miles without needing a week off.
I have a 1/2 at the end of September and my first full mid-October and at this "run once, then take a week off" pace, I'll never be ready.
I'm about half way through Born To Run, and it seems so easy. Why can't I just take off running like everyone seems to in the book - with no issues? I should note that I have zero other pain - back, foot, Achilles or otherwise.
Hey Josh - kudos on your running. Many times what you are experiencing is not so much a knee issue but stemming from tight quads. Try stretching your quads before and during a run when you feel the knee flair up. having tight quads and specifically a tight sartorius can pull on the knee and muscles around the knee, causing the knee to not track properly. Better yet, have someone massage the quads well, then stretch and then test the knee.
I see this a lot in barefoot runners. One common mistake I see with barefoot runners is they keep the knees bent as they run, which places a tremendous amount of stress on the quads, creating tightness.
In your form, look to get more extension with your stance leg and "open" at the hip. This will help activate your glute and create more muscle equilibrium.
Hope this helps - E
Thanks so much for the tip!
Something that's really bugging me is that it's only in my left knee. My right knee is perfectly fine. Is it normal to have this type of issue on only one leg? Seems to me that if there's a mechanic or even a stretching problem, it should present on both sides. It's not as if I'm stretching my right side more than my left before/after. I don't have any history of injury on one side or the other which might cause this either.
I've been trying to "lead with my core" rather than bending over and leading with my shoulders. Is this the right approach? My goal this off-season is to spend more time strength training (did P90X last March-May in prep for starting running), but I'm trying to find a quicker solution for this season so I can keep running for my race goals in Sept/Oct.
One knee is most common. Tightness and quad dominance tends to be the most common reasons for this, but som much can go into it. Foot strength, cadence, foot strike placement, pace/effort, form on hills, etc.
I do have a strength DVD system that is aimed at this and meant to be for runners who do not have the time to devote hours in the gym but still need something that is potent and that attacks the feet first - which will always help.
Sorry for the pitch, but this is exactly what this is for.