As a physical therapist, runner, and powerlifter, runners knee is something i’ve dealt with and something that i’ve helped many clients recover from.
There are several reasons why your runner’s knee is sticking around longer than you thought it would.
- You’re only resting
- You’re only stretching
- You’re still running at the same intensity and flaring up symptoms more
- You’re not doing any strength training.
In the rest of the this article I’ll give a bit more information with the reasons listed above.
Reason #1 You’re Only Resting
Rest is the appropriate solution for a few days but it’s important to get back to training, gradually, over the next couple days and weeks. This is best facilitated by working with a physical therapist if the symptoms are severe.
If symptoms are manageable, you can likely handle progressing this on your own. Check out this article I wrote about how to modify your exercises when you’re dealing with pain.
Reason# 2 You Are Only Stretching
While stretching is great, it’s generally not the most effective method for improving runners knee. A combination of strength training, and lower intensity running is generally my go-to for my runner, clients.
Reason # 3 You’re Still Running at the Same Intensity
If you’re having significant pain and you’re just trying to push through while keeping your pace the same, stop doing
Back off, reduce your pace, decrease your mileage for a couple weeks, and see if that improves symptoms.
Sometimes, runners knee is just telling you that you need to back off your training to a degree and utilize recovery.
Reason # 4 You Don’t Do Any Strength Training
Strength training in the running community is often neglected. If you want to be the healthiest and best runner you can be, you’d be smart to start lifting weights 2x/weeks.
If you aren’t sure where to start hire a strength and conditioning coach to help guide you through a strength training routine that works for you.
If you want to be at your best here is the list of do’s and don’t do’s:
- Stop resting for several weeks or months at a time, it’s counterproductive
- If you are stretching, that’s fine, but you probably need to do more than that to recover
- Decrease your pace and how often you’re running for a few weeks and see if symptoms reduce
- Start strength training. Hire a coach.
As always, send any questions to [email protected]!