Day 17 – Knees and Motivation

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Runner’s knee:  Imagine, a whole ‘ache’ that is named after our sport!  Runner’s knee is a general term, but I wanted to say something about pain in the knees.  For sure it will stop you from wanting to run, but there are preventative things you can do to ward off some possible issues you can have, and keep you running!

Basically with runner’s knee, your knees ache in some way.  I’ve found this is usually (but not always) indicative of a tight IT Band (a tendon running from your hips to your knees).  Sometimes your hip may hurt as well.  A question to ask yourself:  if you are running easy on it, after 10-20 minutes, does the pain subside?  If so, it is probably a tight IT Band.  

A workout will actually sometimes cause it to tighten, especially if you are pushing yourself by going faster or running hills.  If it subsides after running an easy warm up, you’ve just warmed up the muscles around it loosening everything up and making it comfortable.

Once again, what does this have to do with motivation?  Take care of the small things that prevent larger hurts and aches that will stop you from going out for a run.  Keep a healthy body and you will be more motivated to go out for a run more often.

Preventative

1.  Stretching is key and you can’t stretch the upper part of your legs enough, or for that your whole body.   Do it and then do it some more.

2.  You can also strengthen your quads by lifting weights to help give support to your knee.

3.  Movement exercises and dynamic stretching are great for your entire body.  We did hurdle drills to create movement, strengthening, and stretching in the hip area.  Most likely you don’t have access to hurdles, and the process is much like yoga – you need to get the movement correct in order to be effective.  Speaking of yoga, it goes great with running! You can find a lot of dynamic stretching exercises online too. Many of my runners would come back from the doctor letting me know the doc told them to do the same stretching and movement exercises we were doing.  My runners only weren’t taking them as seriously or doing them enough.

4.  Ladies, stop crossing your legs.  Yep – apparently you cause your bands to be put in a position that creates tightness when you cross your legs for long intervals.

5.  Finally, the best is the foam roller – put your entire body weight on it so you can get a good massage down the length of your leg.  If the upper legs get tight enough it can take a good week or two to get them loosened back up.  But you have to make sure you roll your legs a lot and stretch a lot.  Before a run, after a run, before you go to bed and after you wake up.  When you sleep your muscles constrict making them tight and achy, which is why it is good to roll before and after bed.

Now, there are other problems with knees, and I’ve seen my share even in high school athletes, and there are different causes, symptoms, and/or relief efforts for those problems.  This isn’t a diagnosis, it is just an option and good preventative measures to ward off knee issues.  Prevent knee issues, and you’ll find yourself running more and more happily. 

Day 1:  Introduction
Day 2:  Start Small, Build Slow
Day 3:  It Doesn’t Have To Be Boring
Day 4:  Stitches
Day 5:  Keep a Diary
Day 6:  Dangerous Thoughts
Day 7:  Week 1 Done – Some Suggestions
Day 8:  Treadmill Training – Baby it’s cold (or raining) outside
Day 9:  A Motivational Quote for You
Day 10:  Distractions
Day 11:  Partner Up!
Day 12:  Another Motivational Quote to Ponder
Day 13:  A Word on Dehydration and Motivation
Day 14:  Week 2 Flew!  Check in
Day 15:  Mornings
Day 16:  Visual Motivators
Day 17:  Knees
Day 18:  Another Motivational Quote

Also, if you want more motivation, you might want to follow my Pin Board ‘Run’!

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