Work got crazy again, so I couldn’t do the one run I wanted to do during this last week. So far, I’ve been running on Saturdays, which is crazy to do for training for a half marathon I know. I’ve been doing really well, but maybe that’s why my left knee and my right ankle is easily prone to injury or at least prone to tightness and overall hurting that sucks. And, no it isn’t because I decided to combine hopscotch and running haha.
I kind of figured that not running more than once during the week was the main instigator, but writing it out makes it more concrete in addition to my feeling a little dumb. Oh well, you live and you learn, right?
From what research (or Google) has told me, runners tend to get the same injuries or type of injuries. For me, it’s mostly been inflammation. Roughly around 8 miles, I found myself hurting from Runner’s Knee, but weirdly only on my left knee. I discovered that Runner’s World is one of my new favorite magazines and websites. According to an article on the website, “bio-mechanical issues may be to blame, [but] the cause [of runner’s knee] can often be traced back to poorly conditioned quadriceps and tight hamstrings. Weak quads aren’t able to support the patella, leading it to track out of alignment, and inflexible hamstrings can put pressure on the knee.”
Adding strength exercises will greatly help prevent it in the future. I think my injury was a mixture between runner’s knee and IT band syndrome. Similar to runner’s knee, Illiotibial Band Syndrome is one of the most common overuse injuries seen in runners. Runner’s World describes that “the most notable symptom is typically swelling and pain on the outside of the knee … [a] result from any activity that causes the leg to turn inward repeatedly”. Further reasons can range from wearing worn out shoes to simply running too many miles.
The article gives a more detailed list on possible preventions; i’ve added the link at the end of the post. For me, I found that rolling out me IT band and icing for 20 minutes (2-3 times) has been the most helpful. I roll out at least twice on the weekend, once right after my run, another time later in the afternoon of the same day; and sometimes I’ll roll out once on Sunday. I ice after the first time I roll out, sometimes after the second time too, but once has been fine the last couple of weeks.
I’ve had to do the icing for my ankle too. Yes, I got an ankle injury too. I remember my ankle started to hurt during a run, but then my knee was fine, although the next week both were hurting. The first couple of weeks that my ankle was bothering me, I figured it was because the trail I was running had sections that were covered in pebbles, making the ground uneven. I discovered the hard way that my ankles are not as strong as I thought. While I believe that was the main reason, I think overuse and the long miles didn’t help either, because I figured out that the tendons in my foot were inflamed. Initially, I was scared that my achilles tendon was inflamed, which if not taken care of could lead to many other more serious injuries. My research told me that the best thing to do if it were the inflamed tendon, would be to stay off of it for several weeks. Well, with the half marathon coming up, that was the last thing I wanted to do.
Luckily – well sort of – I researched more and discovered that it was actually my peroneal tendons on the outside of my ankle that were inflamed, thus I had – or have – Peroneal Tendonitis. I did take one week off from running, I rode a bike instead, and went back the following week feeling pretty good. I made sure to ice afterwards for 20 minutes, twice. While it only faintly bothered me for the next day, I decided to try taping. I bought KT Tape, looked up how to tape my foot for peroneal tendonitis, and ran my scheduled mileage. And my ankle felt pretty awesome! I did end up with a few aches and pains elsewhere, but nothing that rolling out and stretching didn’t help.
Hopefully the lesson received from this, is that it is critical you take care of your body – it’s muscles, joints, everything – when running, especially long distances. Actually, this goes for any form of exercise you may be doing. Be safe, and happy running! Or happy exercising! :)
Look out for my next (Hopscotch) Running Chronicles: food! I also hope to post some new recipes soon too!
First Runner’s World article on runner’s knee can be found here.
Second Runner’s world article on IT Band Syndrome can be found here.