When you begin to run more miles every week you need to make sure your body and joints are ready for it. With more running comes the horrid runners knee, or pain and inflammation that can occur around or under the kneecap. The issues can be different from those that occur from IT band issues, but runner’s knee can make it hard to find the motivation to continue running.
Bad Knee Pain – Runners Knee
If you do experience runner’s knee in some variation, be sure to rest, ice, compress and elevate (R.I.C.E). To prevent it from happening again, you’ll need to strengthen and stretch your quads, calves and hamstrings, incorporating different levels and movements to strengthen those muscles around your knee joint.
To help strengthen your quads, look no further than wall sits. These are perfect as you can do them anywhere, and they are extremely effective for helping to strengthen your quads.
With tight hamstrings, these can hinder your run or leave you with minimal enthusiasm. To work on weak and tight hamstrings, in the gym you can work on some light weight stiff legged deadlifts. To loosen up your hamstrings before a run, be sure to stretch them out thoroughly, by tipping your body over in front touching your toes.
If your calves are tight, you shouldn’t run, make sure they are as stretched out and loose as possible as this will help to alleviate runner’s knee. By leaning forward onto one bent leg, stretch out your other leg by leaving it straight behind you with the sole of your foot stuck to the ground as much as possible.
Many people will neglect their side muscles, which can mean that the muscles surrounding the knee joint can be weakened. Incorporating lateral work into your routine can help to strengthen those smaller and neglected muscles. Try doing alternating side lunges to help strengthen all areas of your butt, hips and thighs, these muscles all support your legs throughout the running movement.