I have been running a lot this year and feeling really good. The runs have gotten more and more fun as they get longer, so naturally I would like to keep the progression going. At this point my left knee gets a little bit sore when I run too much. It is likely to become a bottleneck in my running if I don't put some focus into overcoming it. I'd like to keep a little journal here to map out a plan, and track progress.
Summary of the Soreness
My right knee was sore after the Melbourne Music Marathon in February. I'm actually surprised to see that this was a different knee than the one I'm feeling now. That's actually a good thing, it means that what I'm looking at isn't really a chronic thing.
My left knee was sore during some of the training runs leading up to the Wakely Dam 55k trail run, like during the Pharoah Lake Wilderness run. For a week or so after Wakely the knee soreness continued while I kept up with a fair amount of running.
Runs leading up to the Soreness
6/15-16 - B2B (Back-to-back) runs (15m on the Appalachian Trail, 9.3 miles at Moreau) followed by left knee soreness during the week.
6/22-23 - B2B runs (20m@Moreau, 10@Skidmore) w/mild left knee soreness
7/5-6 - B2B runs (22m@Pharoah, 10@Clifton Park) w/very mild lknee soreness
7/27 - B2B runs (32@Wakely, 9@Clifon Park) followed by lknee soreness
8/4 - Ran a brutal barefoot 15k on gravel. Backed off on running for a bit and rested knee while Morton's Neuroma on left foot recovered for 2 weeks.
8/10 - Ran 15m Vanderwhacker overnight fastpack on sore foot
8/21 - Ran 30m just for the heck of it, felt pretty good
8/31-9/2 - B2B2B runs (after a week with a fair amount of running) (20@ Grafton, 15@Grafton, 6.5@Plotter Kill), knee soreness reared it's head around mile 8 on day 2 and stuck with me which is why I'm writing this now.
I am psyched that I have have been able to cram this much running fun into two-and-a-half months. I suppose it's pretty obvious that backing off a little for a bit would do wonders.
Keep up the running, but back it off a little for a bit. Save some adventures for another day.
Avoid known knee aggravators:
- Sleep w/sweatpants (otherwise knees are uncomfortable)
- Walk around at work once in a while
- Sit in rocking chair/on floor, not the lazy-boy
Focus on recovery
- Floss regularly (to steer recovery away from gums)
- Avoid "stuffed" feeling from big meals (steer recovery away from digestion)
- Easy walks/bike rides while not running
- Eat lots of beans&rice, sardines, chia&fruit juice, oatmeal, green smoothie.
Look into *and do* exercises to strengthen knee: Start here
Do some ab excersizes - work towards situps
Regular yoga - 3 times a week
Try to run at least 50/50 barefoot, easier on the knees.
Look into activities that will help with strength - more upper body/etc, perhaps rock gym.
This really doesn't look too hard to do and I believe is all it should take.