Tag Archives: knee pain

Pain or not? And what do I do when I’m not running…

Hi again,

If you’ve read my blog or follow me on instagram you might be aware that I’m still struggling with a knee injury. It started in May but because I kept ignoring it the marathon at the beginning of October made it a lot worse. It’s been almost 6 weeks now since the marathon and I’ve gradually built myself up to running about 20 minutes. It’s been the slowest recovery process I’ve ever experienced. Even with the broken ankle once the boot and crutches were off I was almost immediately back to running 20-30 minute runs whereas this time I’ve had to start with little 5 min segments.

running

With the last few 20 min runs I’m not sure if they are pain-free either. I don’t know if anyone else gets this but when you’ve been injured for a long time or had an ongoing niggle can you almost feel it on every run? I’m not sure anymore if I have pain or is it just normal sensation on the knee or is it just because I’m so used to the pain that I think it’s still there? Does that make any sense? With my previous ITB injury I had the same thing; when I started back running I could “feel” the ITB on every run, it wasn’t pain but I was very aware of it for a long time. At the moment my knee isn’t hurting in a way that I would need to stop and it’s not uncomfortable but I am not running without noticing it either. Weird. Maybe that’s just me.

Anyhow so what have I been doing to keep some sort of overall fitness and more importantly how have I justified all the chocolate eating in the past 6 weeks?

The answer is gym, swimming and pilates.

gymbike

At the gym I’ve mainly focused on just maintaining fitness rather than pushing for improvement. I’ve done a lot of cycling on the bike, hill walking on the treadmill and crosstrainer. Plus this time around I’ve actually tried to do legs, arms and abs as well which I normally tend to ignore. I do find the bikes and crosstrainers quite boring, however, so occasionally I’ve done some intervals like 10*2 min hard with 1 min recovery for instance, just to keep the exercising a bit more exciting and exhausting.

I’ve also been going to pilates. I try to go once a week but it hasn’t happened every week just because.. well life.

pilates

As a new thing I’ve started going swimming. The pool is really far from where I live plus I lost my swimming suit so I haven’t been going before but I do like swimming because of the low impact. I originally went there because I wanted to go aquajogging; my favourite way to crosstrain, but turns out you need to bring your own belt. In Swansea the national pool let you borrow theirs and In Finland you can use theirs as well so I was a bit disappointed. Looks like I’m going to have to invest in one.

swimming

So an example training week for me:

Monday: Gym. Hard effort on cross trainer (plus warmup and cool down), legs & arms.

Tuesday: Hill walking + abs.

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: Gym. Easy 25 min bike, 20 min crosstrainer, legs & arms.

Friday: Gym. Easy 30 min bike, 30 min walking uphill on the treadmill, abs + back.

Saturday: Off.

Sunday: 2*5 min of running plus walking, total of 7km.

The following week included small attempts of running on Monday, Thursday, and Sunday, swimming on Tuesday and Gym on Saturday.

autumnpicture
I miss this weather already!

As you might notice, the training is quite easy and not as frequent at the moment. I have big plans for next year runningwise but for now I’m focusing on getting my knee better. I have no pressure to be exercising I’m just doing it to keep myself happy and half-fit  (and to be able to continue my chocolate-eating habits).

It’s completely normal to have a chocolate cupboard like this right?

chocolatecupboardP.S. I have to mention that my brother came 15th in his age group of up to 8-year olds in a Chess World Youth Championships in Greece last week! 🙂

(And I don’t even understand the rules of chess).

Chester Marathon week.. Not as excited as I should be

SO the week of the marathon is here and I don’t even know how I’m feeling.
I was meant to do my last “long” run on Sunday which was going to be 15km. My knee started hurting from the start and just got worse from then on. Normally I run through the pain if it’s mild and just try and stretch it out.. I could count with one hand the times I’ve cut a run short. Call it determination or stupidity but even when I’ve been in pain I have finished the distance I’ve planned to do. This Sunday I turned back and cut the run just under 2km short running 13.3km. My leg was in agony for the rest of the day.. even walking hurt.. So I obviously got a bit terrified as I knew it was just a week left for the marathon. I’ve had this similar knee/IT band pain before and also on my right leg and it took forever to completely disappear. I’m not sure what eventually made it go away as I did so many things, hence I’m trying everything possible now as well.

I’ve been icing the leg like there’s no tomorrow, stretching, foam rolling, wearing compression sleeves, spraying magnesium joint spray, using ice power gel, ibuprofein gel…kneepain
I’ve been doing glute and quad strengthening exercises and tried to mobilise my ankle in case it’s to do with some other weaknesses in the kinetic chain.. In case it’s inflammation I’ve been taking cod liver oil, turmeric and black pepper as they all have anti-inflammatory effects.

foamroll2

I tweeted about the pain asking advice using the hashtag  #ukrunchat (which is great for advice btw!) and many people recommend physios. I don’t think that a physio can necessarily help me this close to the day. Often when I’ve been to see any experts they take so long doing the first assessment of the injury, then diagnose it and tell you to come back for treatments.. Or even worse, they just tell you to rest. As I don’t really have time or money for that and I know vaguely what kind of exercises and stretches to do I decided not to go see anyone.

After the marathon (if I can run it) I have promised myself to take a good few weeks off running and let all my injuries properly heal. Then I might go and see a physio as well to get assessed and treated without relying on just google 🙂

Today I was going to run 8km but instead I used the crosstrainer for 45 minutes. Rest of the day will be resting..
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At the moment I’m sitting here with a salt compression around my knee drinking ridiculous amounts of water. Who knows, maybe I just need to be hydrated and then the pain will disappear.. I’ll believe in anything right now 😀 Keep your fingers crossed for me so I can run the marathon on Sunday.

Do you have any quick fixes for knee/IT band pain??