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I went through a period of having recurring knee pain while mainly been using a treadmill. I stopped running on the treadmill and took up road running and also did more swimming. So now my current training per week is:

  • Swimming, high intensity, 40 minutes, 2 times.
  • Weight lifting, all-body weights & machines, 2 times.
  • Running, 10 miles (16km), in 100 minutes, 2 times.

I'm slightly concerned that I could be over-doing it on the running. Given my history of having recurring knee pain, my question is: Am I overdoing the running?

I don't feel any ill effects from it (at the moment), but I'm also not training for a half marathon or anything like that - I just want to maximise my fitness without risking injury.

Update: I don't cycle because it aggravates my knees even more than running used to - 10 mins on the bike machine pretty much guarantees that I wake up the following night with pain the quadriceps tendon (or sometimes the lateral collateral ligament) in one of my knees (but never both). I've had my knees looked at by a few doctors but they have never gotten to the root of the problem (or even a consistent diagnosis). I had some physio a couple of months ago but it didn't help at all. It seems I've somehow managed to get lucky and settle into a program were my knees are happy ! But as I said, I just worry a bit about 100 mins running - thinking I should cut it back to maybe half the distance but faster ?

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could you make the question itself more specific. I have given an answer, but the question itself remains a bit vague for what you are asking. Please note that asking for medical advice is discouraged on this site. –  Baarn Sep 2 '12 at 12:07
    
Thanks @Informaficker - I have updated the question with the details of the comment I made to your answer. I hope it's a bit less vague now.. ? –  P Sellaz Sep 2 '12 at 16:15
    
Whether it is too much depends on so many factors... For how long have you been training like this? How long did you use to get to the current training level? On what type of surface are you running? –  Tonny Madsen Sep 3 '12 at 17:31
    
Have you tryed suplementation for your joints. Anything with glucosamine, msm, Boswellia Serrata, collagen type II –  user5279 Feb 21 '13 at 21:35
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2 Answers 2

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Many people make the mistake in running that they think it's ok to just go out and run, without any base training. This misconception leads to a lot of injuries. My LONG run for the entire week is 10ish miles, and that's when I'm running between 30-40 miles/week.

If you don't have a lot of base, then 10 miles twice a week is not what I would recommend. Plus, if you are just doing it for general fitness, then it is way overkill, and in all likelihood, contributing to your knee aggravation. (Especially if your shoes are unsuited/old). If I were coaching someone that wanted to do two 10 miles runs a week as their only training, I'd have expected them to get to the neighborhood of 50-60 miles/week as a base before that, and take into consideration that you will lose some running ability by dropping to just two runs a week. One other consideration, is that recovery will be impacted and possibly interfere with other workouts by limiting yourself to two long runs.

As far as the knee pain on the bike, I would suspect that you have some sort of positional setup that is wrong, or that you are approaching the bike the way you are the run, getting on and hammering at a super high cadence. Just about all cardio activities, you need to have good form, and a good base, otherwise it's easy to hurt yourself.

For general fitness, I would have you do 3-5 miles twice a week, moderate pace with a few :30 second pickups where you increase your pace 20-30% then back to moderate pace. General fitness is not that hard to achieve, and you definitely can do it without two 10 mile runs.

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+1, but can you elaborate "if you don't have a lot of base"? What would be the base for long runs (let say 10 miles twice per week)? –  StupidOne Sep 3 '12 at 18:58
    
+1 - exercise bikes in gyms can sometimes have horrible geometries that can aggreviiate knee problems. I can tell a big difference between my road bike (that I had fitted) and gym exercise bike. –  DavidR Sep 3 '12 at 20:55
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Without the specific diagnosis this question is hard to answer and you should better seek out professional help and ask if you can keep on running.

If you are really concerned about your knee and just want some cardio workout I'd recommend cycling as a substitute.

  • less stress to the knee (although you still put stress on your knee, of course)
  • comparable muscle groups (depending on the type of biking, eg MTB or road)
  • you can do it for the same time or even longer
  • you can go further, more variation in what you see

Of course cycling brings in other risks and problems, but this should be the case with every sport you can do. If you really need specific help, I recommend again to ask a professional (eg a sports physician or physiotherapist).

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Actually, I don't cycle because it aggravates my knees even more than running used to - 10 mins on the bike machine pretty much guarantees that I wake up the following night with pain the quadriceps tendon (or sometimes the lateral collateral ligament) in one of my knees (but never both). I've had my knees looked at by a few doctors but they have never gotten to the root of the problem (or even a consistent diagnosis). I had some physio a couple of months ago but it didn't help at all. –  P Sellaz Sep 2 '12 at 16:11
    
..[cont] It seems I've somehow managed to get lucky and settle into a program were my knees are happy ! But as I said, I just worry a bit about 100 mins running - thinking I should cut it back to maybe half the distance but faster ? –  P Sellaz Sep 2 '12 at 16:12
    
I am not running myself at the moment because of problems I have with one of my legs (that don't show or worsen when cycling). They hopefully will be fixed until next year but until then I am bad help with running itself. :) I wont delete this answer (for now) as it might help other people. –  Baarn Sep 2 '12 at 17:52
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