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I am training for a half marathon in October and have started my training two weeks ago. I used to run as part of my boxing training but gave it up 7 years ago as I broke my arm. I never ran far either, usually 2/3 miles.

However, when I first start to run both knees feel really sore. I carry on though and rather 10 minutes the pain eases a lot or goes away completely.

I am worried that I am doing severe damage to my knees because of this pain. I am a big guy (6ft 3, 18st) but I have the proper trainers for my running style.

Have I hurt something or is there a warm up I could do to ease/solve this pain? I am taking Glucosamine in liquid form and doing various stretches at the moment.

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Where is the pain located and what kind of pain is it (dull/sharp)? This could be tendonitis but could be something more. –  ngramsky Feb 24 '12 at 0:40
    
It feels like it's below the kneecap, and is a dull pain. Sometimes though I get a sharp pain on the front of the kneecap when going up the stairs a day after running. –  mickburkejnr Feb 24 '12 at 10:08

4 Answers 4

Another thing to look at is your footware. Nerd Fitness has a pretty interesting article on running barefoot or using shoes like the Vigram Five-Finger.

The idea is that, as a species, we developed for thousands of years to run barefoot, or mostly barefoot. The advent of shoes, and sneakers, has supposedly helped increase injuries when running. The idea being that we're now running more on our heels than the balls of our feet and putting pressure where it's not supposed to be.

Running barefoot, or mostly barefoot, with shoes like the vibrams, are supposed to allow your body to act the way it wants to.

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If you feel any form of discomfort when you start running, then it is a good idea to extend your warm up a bit to properly warm the affected joints or muscles.

Exactly which type of warm up you should use, depends on many different factors, and the easiest way is simply to google for warm up before running. As a rule of thumb use dynamic rather than static exercises! EDIT: This article pretty much sums up my opinion on dynamic vs static stretches in warm-up...

I usually use a couple of minutes to exercise all my joints to make sure they are all properly lubricated before I start. That often match the time it takes before my watch have found the current location... For races, interval training and other high intensity runs, it is a completely different story... Then I usually make sure all the core muscles are properly warmed up as well - e.g. by jogging slowly for 20 minutes...

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Thanks for the advice. I'm taking tonight off from training but tomorrow I will give your advice a try and report back. Thanks! :) –  mickburkejnr Feb 22 '12 at 16:29

Over on the nerdfitness.com forums a lot of members state that doing proper squats (no machines) have helped eliminate their knee pains.

The logic is that the squats help strenghten the muscles around your knee, helping stabalize it and preventing it from moving in inappropriate ways.

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FYI, my own knee problems actually prevent me from doing squats unless they're against a wall with no weight. They may help prevent knee problems, but for those with knee problems, squats with free weights might not be an option. –  alord1689 Feb 22 '12 at 22:41
    
I did to squats with a medicine ball the other day and found a bit of a twinge in the knee, but nothing as bad as what I have when running. I shall give this a try as well! –  mickburkejnr Feb 23 '12 at 10:30
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@mickburkejnr check out this blog for how to do squats the right way nerdfitness.com/blog/2009/07/08/… –  DForck42 Feb 23 '12 at 14:14
    
@DForck42 Cheers for the link, but I can use a medicine ball when squatting though? Can't I? –  mickburkejnr Feb 23 '12 at 14:59
    
@mickburkejnr sounds like a great question to ask ;) –  DForck42 Feb 23 '12 at 15:01

Agreed, warm up longer. Also, be sure to stretch EVERYTHING. Not just the legs, but your back and shoulders may make your legs tighter than they need to be.

Be sure to do a semi "intense" warm up. Walking around the block is not a warm up. Make sure your whole body actually feels WARM, and it should be a tiny bit tiring to the point of raising your heart rate. I usually get to the point of breaking a sweat when doing a warm up for something like football, so running should be similar.

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I disagree strongly! Static exercises - e.g. stretches - has been shown to provoke many different forms on injuries. I'll find a reference later today. –  Tonny Madsen Feb 23 '12 at 6:12
    
Stretching is always recommended. I'm not saying to stretch BEFORE warming up, but just include it before the "real" workout. Always warm up first, then stretch, then work out. –  Matt Feb 23 '12 at 14:46
    
Here is a reference that pretty much sumes up my opinion: shine.yahoo.com/green/… –  Tonny Madsen Feb 23 '12 at 19:32
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@Tonny - Static CAN be ok if you do it correctly. There's nothing wrong with static stretching provided you do it correctly, though active isolated stretching is considered optimal, though I'm not there are enough scientific studies to prove that. –  ngramsky Feb 24 '12 at 0:42
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Here's another post about stretching, while the question is about stretching afterwards, I believe my answer was general enough to apply to either scenario. Conclusion, stretching doesn't help prevent injuries. But that doesn't mean you can't do any exercises to increase your Range of Motion outside of the actual running –  Ivo Flipse Feb 24 '12 at 9:15

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