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Running Issues and Fixing Them Cheaply

Hello everyone. Three months ago I started running again, the last time I seriously ran was in 2006 although I did try to run at least a few km here and there. In 2009 I was able to run 5km easily but then stopped. Now in that time I have not changed the brand of shoes I have used, which I got after a foot analysis at a shoe store. Since starting again and increasing distances, I can now run about 40km per week or about 20ish miles. My problem is I have been getting quite bad knee pain which has been impacting on my ability. On the flat the pain is not so bad but up and downhills the pain can be intense. The pain occurs above the knees, I have no pain anywhere else on my legs. Sadly where I live is very hilly its the place where Arthur Lydiard trained all of his champs so in a way I love the hills but going up and down is being a drag.

I have started to ice my knees after running, increasing rest periods and stretching much longer. These are not helping much. Funnily enough the pain dissipates after about 30 minutes of running sometimes... As I've said my shoes are the same and they served me well when I was running 21km (not the same pair by the way!!!) and Ibuprofen really wrecks my stomach and I hate it. Any ideas of other things I can do? Also big issue is I am unemployed so expensive options like buying a whole new pair are out. Anyone one else think I need to give up running like I suspect?

Do you have a history of knee problems/surgery?

You can try to strengthen your quadriceps... also make sure you are fit enough for the mileage you're running. Don't give up! Make sure your shoes aren't the issue; do you have a pronation/supination problem? Doing form drills and strengthening my legs corrected early knee pain when I started running. Some people recommend an over the counter orthotic, but I feel like that's just a band-aid. Running too many hills early will give you bad knee pain if your legs aren't strong enough/used to it. Best of luck!

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Cheers thanks for the reply, I tried a week of anti-immflams and they have helped alot! But on the down side the big problem is they make my tummy quite upset.

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I used to do that... Don't take them right before or during a run, very taxing on your kidneys. Remember (some) inflammation is necessary for your body to heal. If you like, try incorporating sweet potatoes into your diet... They're highly anti-inflammatory because they have 7 days worth of vitamin A (which is great to rebuild tissue). I eat those things like nobody's business and seem to recover from tougher workouts faster. Lots of greens, too. Happy running. 

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Really appreciate that last comment, I will eat more sweet potato, I love the stuff so it won't be hard.

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+1 on anti-infammatory foods- omega-3 fatty acids and basically all fresh fruits and veggies are anti-inflammatory.  I do notice that I recover more quickly when I eat healthier.
Depending on NSAIDs too much can cause awful stomach problems- a girl on my XC team took Ibuprofen daily for her freshman year for shin splints and whatnot, and now she has an ulceration-type thing (I'm no doctor) in her stomach and can't run  :(
Yeah, they're fine for a few weeks... but more than that, I'd say no.  When you do take them, don't take them right before a run- I usually take them about 1/2 hour AFTER I run.

Pain in any area of the body can be caused by weaknesses in other areas of the body-basically,  if one muscle/group can't take the impact, it gets transferred to another muscle group which is then overstressed.  I was having hip pain in XC season, starting swimmin 2x week and core/strength workouts 2x week, and it got SO much better after just a week.
Worth trying.

How many days you run a week?  If you run 6-7, you may need to take another rest/XT day or two.  My body starts breaking down when I try to train every day; some of my runningfriends start getting overuse injuries at 6 days a week. 

Also it might be simply that you pushed up your mileage too quickly.  As a general rule of thumb, you shouldn't increase it by more than 10% a week.  Going from few km here and there to 20mpw is a big switch. 

Have you ever had any knee problems?  Anything at all?  My mom has problems with her kneecaps- the doctor says they basically move from side to side a bit in addition to up and down, and she has pain and swelling after running.  I know you probably can't see a doctor, but if you've ever had ANY type of knee problem I'd lay off the running of cut down to about 10-15mpw for a while.

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