Two months ago I came down with the infamous runner’s knee during a trail race. IT band syndrome coupled with patellofemoral pain syndrome. Fun. I didn’t know what it was at the time, just that running was out of the question.

To celebrate 8 weeks of being run & [almost entirely] exercise free, I ran.

And I rannnnn……. (Sorry, can’t help but singing that song every time I say I ran ;))

It’s day 2 of my orthotics, and by following the rules of slowly breaking them in, I need to wear them for 4 hours today. I essentially sit all day long- even though that counts as “orthotics time”, I wanted to actually experience what they feel like.

I stretched, I foam rolled, I warmed up. I walked. Feeling good…

So I ran. I only planned to do a loop around the neighborhood- less than a mile.

But instead I did 5 miles.

running

Jussssst kidding. I didn’t even make it a 1/2 mile before the evil knee pain struck. Not the “I haven’t done this in a while pain”- injury pain. I stopped.

Apparently the reason I’ve been doing so well and “healing” so well has been because of my diligent rest. Fact of the matter is, I’m a lot further behind than I thought I was. *Sees tri fizzle into thin air.*

You can bet Mr. PT man is hearing about this tomorrow. To be sure, I marked where it hurt when I was running since it eases up after I stop. Yes, I’m a little psycho.

knee markings knee

Nothing like running pain to remind you that you didn’t have to be here in the first place. I thought I did everything right, but still ended up injured, so obviously there was room for improvement.

Tips for Running Injury Free

1. Know your limits. Setting your goals high is admirable. But get there slowly- build mileage, intensity, and frequency gradually. You can always do more tomorrow.

2. Wear the right shoes. Get your gait analyzed at a running store. It’s free & doesn’t take long. A running shoe expert can point you in the right direction- neutral, cushioned, stability, minimalist, barefoot, whatever. Tell them what you’re looking to accomplish. Most importantly, your feet & legs need to feel good in the shoes you’ve selected.

3. Listen to your body. This seems obvious, but is often overlooked. If something hurts, take note of it. Determine why it’s hurting- is it sore because you overworked it, or is it the beginning of injury? Do not ignore it.

4. Warm up, cool down, stretch. Yes, these are the boring parts of running. It makes each run take a little longer. But it’s what’s going to keep you running.

4b. Ice & foam roll if needed. Ice doesn’t make you a wimp. It reduces inflammation and can nip an injury in the butt.

5. Rest. Rest is what lets your body recover and heal. It will not ruin your fitness or your training!! If you have trouble knowing when to rest, build it into a training plan.

Common training plan guidelines: don’t increase by more than 10% each week & every 4th week, cut back a little.

What’s your best injury prevention tip?