Hi there all, I would really appreciate any help or advice out there in regards to my current problem...first though a little background...I stumbled upon Eric via 'Born to Run' last November - changed. my. life. Boom, I thought, I'm going to be an ultra runner, I also happen to live in paradise, a little town called Arrowtown, nestled into the mountains of the Queenstown/Lakes District in the South Island of New Zealand - trail runners paradise for sure and I love being out in the mountains, I just could never get very far very fast - running solved my problem. Now I had never run before (I was a volleyball player) and have 2 small kids so my fitness was rock bottom, I'm talking starting with 4 x 5 min runs the first week, 10 mins the second week etc and wholly heck were my calves crippled (but the good kind of crippled) other than them I was pain free and loving it making great progress, increasing my distances, picking up my cadence and generally just really enjoying running for the first time in my life. But...just recently (like 3 week ago, so about 3 months into building my running foundation my knees started to hurt - both of them, and both in the same place, on the outer side of each knee (one side is worse however). It starts pretty much as soon as I start running and can last for a few days after, its stiff and sore but I'm not sure I would call it an injury. I have no idea what I'm doing differently or why this would have just started happening...does anyone have a clue...? Help...Please...gotta keep running!
Maybe take a week off from running. Then get the Cool Impossible book and do the strength exercises. The fitness ball ones in particular are meant to help with this sort of thing. I am not a coach or anything. Just trying to help.
You guys are amazing! Thanks so much for the advice. You are all totally right. This was 6 weeks ago now and I did take a week totally off, started seeing a physio and it is almost, definitely an IT band issue stemming from totally hopeless glutes - I couldn't even deliberately activate my glute med doing a clam exercise...so...6 weeks later, lots of muscle activation exercises, lots more of Eric's strength exercises and slowly building my running times again and I am back up to 40 min runs with zero pain, not only that I have really focused on getting my cadence up (I was a shockingly slow 70-72 ish naturally) and am now consistently 88 (and aiming higher) and my stride length is much shorter (I think I was also over striding). With your help, advice and support my running career is still (slowly) on track!
Hi Clair, I have exactly the same background (including the two little athletes).
I did sometimes feel that pain you describe on the outside of the knees. Thanks to years of martials arts, I was able to identify the cause as too much tightness in the IT band, and not enough strength in the inner side of the thigh. Two things helped. Slant board and, as I run, visualizing that my IT band is nice and relaxed and that I'm controlling my leg movement with the many other muscles in my legs and glutes. This requires a lot of concentration to get the forefoot strike right.
Keep up the good work with your cadence. This is my focus now and i noticed that there is a lot of difference between running at 175 and running at 180. I'm no expert but I noticed that my muscles don't work the same way. I also used not to know where my glutes were ! No more !