Category Archives: injury and training

Knee Maintenance for Runners

Every fall when I decide it’s time to ramp up mileage I hit a point where my knees require more attention. In addition to following some of Dr. Kelly Starrett’s preventative advice from his encyclopedic Becoming a Supple Leopard: The Ultimate Guide to Resolving Pain, Preventing Injury, and Optimizing Athletic Performance with voodoo bands and other self torture devices, these two circuits using bodyweight, a mini band, and two 35 pound dumbbells have really helped keep my knees in check. Perform them once or twice a week. I usually do three sets with a rest between each circuit.

Circuit 1

Bodyweight squats (as many as possible or if pressed for time around 50)

Dumbell deadlifts (amap or if pressed for time around 25)

Glute clamshells (amap)

Rest and repeat circuit 2 more times

Circuit 2

Bulgarian split squat (20-25 per leg) or single leg squats on a decline stool (amap)

Single leg glute bridges (amap)

Lateral walk/squat with mini-bands (20-30 steps)

Rest and repeat circuit 2 more times

Keep those knees healthy!

 

 

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INJURED BUT NOT SIDELINED

Running a lot can really take a toll on your body if you have issues with moderation. I’ve been itching to start ramping up running mileage but do not want to do it while I still have unresolved issues. Knees have suffered but I am now incorporating (as prescribed after much research and a visit to my orthopedic doctor and physical therapist) LOTS of single leg squats at a very slight decline (like 5 sets of 20 for each leg before a strength workout). Apparently, the eccentric component of this exercise stresses the patellar tendon enough to increase blood flow which in turn jump starts more effective healing. So far, it’s sort of been miraculous. I haven’t taped up my knees for the running that I am doing and they are not as sore, if at all. After I ran a 50k in October, I was too eager to get back into training and after a quick run felt a twinge and tightness in what appears to be my left gluteus minimus (though I keep 2nd guessing that it may be a strained tfl). The problem manifests itself as tightness near the insertion point to my upper pelvic crest. Nevertheless, it is for this reason that I am not wholeheartedly ramping up the miles. So, scaled back miles, icing after diminished runs, rolling around on the foam roller, and strength training to support running are what I’ve been doing lately so that when I can ramp up, everything is functional and strong. Here is one particularly tough strength workout I’ve been incorporating into my week 2 times (once the day after my long run to get that back to back action) to make up for less mileage. It was inspired by Dr. Metzl’s workout for runners but I’ve modified it to help sort out my own issues. As a side note, I do it fasted (though I do have water and electrolytes). It’s not easy.

Strength Workout (running focus)–

2 sets bodyweight 25-30 reps

4-5 sets single leg squat 20 reps/leg

6-8 sets squat jumps 15 reps

circuit 1 (2-3x)

pull-ups (max)

push-ups (max)

bicycle 25 reps

circuit 2 (2-3x)

walking lunges with weighted vest or jump lunge 10 reps/leg

dumbbell deadlifts 12 reps

circuit 3 (2-3x)

mountain climbers 30 reps

flutter kicks or sit-ups 30 reps

circuit 4 (2-3 x)

squat with weighted vest and dumbbells 15 reps

dumbbell overhead presses 10-15 reps

bicep curls (mimic running arm movement) 10-15 reps

End with:

6-10 sets burpees 10 reps

side/front/other side plank 60-90 seconds each