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westis

Running twice per week, to use third day for knee rehab?

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I used to run quite far, 10-20K, up to about 10 years ago. Then I got knee problems and although I've started over a few times over the years, I have either fallen back to laziness or got some problems with my knee or foot. It's some version of patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), with pains under the knee cap of my left knee, when walking down stairs or similar.

 

I have started C25K, and after a week I don't really feel anything in my knee. But I know I will if I increase too fast, as I'm usually not very active these days and work a lot by the computer.

 

My question is, could I do C25K twice per week, and use the third day for some kind of rehab program for patellofemoral pain syndrome? Should I then just push the days, so I do as many days of running in total, but over a longer period than the normal 9 weeks of the C25K program?

 

I find rehab and gym exercise quite boring and unmotivating, running is what I want to do. So I'm trying to find some kind of mix, where I can find motivation by running, but not increasing too fast and still doing some rehab training for my knee (or rather the muscles around it), in order to hopefully avoid having to quit after a few weeks with knee pain...

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Thanks LELady and KellyAnn. My knee is usually ok when I start running, but get worse if I increase too quickly, or after having trained for a few weeks. I do feel when I go down the stairs etc., though, which is why I'm trying to do some rehab to increase long-term strength.

 

I have been twice to the physiotherapist to get a gym program. But I can't seem to drag myself to the gym, so I'm trying some home exercises instead, and hoping that C25K twice a week is a slow enough increase. So far, after only two weeks (four C25K sessions), everything feels fine. That is, it feels like it usually does, still having some pain when walking downstairs but usually ok.

 

This is how it's been more or less for the last 11 years actually, as I've never really done any serious rehab before... :/

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An update... I've more or less kept the 2 days/week routine for the C25K program, apart from a couple of week when I wasn't well. The knee seems to manage ok so far, which I'm very happy about.

 

I'm running a forest route that isn't flat, about 30 m climb per 2K lap. However, I'm trying to keep the distance runs (starting from the 20 min run on W5D3) at around 6 min/km and the "interval runs" at a faster pace. But i'm getting confused by the pace in the C25K program. Walking seems to be at around 7:30 min/km, which is VERY fast walking, particularly since the running parts seem to be around 6:15-6:45 min/km. Should I "jog walk" instead of simply walking fast?

 

As I've been running quite a bit when I was younger, before the problems with my knees, should I try to run faster during the "interval runs" and try to slow myself down during the distance runs to avoid pushing my knees too hard?

 

Anyway, I'm happy my knees are ok so far and I already look forward to continue moving towards 10K!

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I don't find knee pain related so much to speed as form. Is your front leg reaching way out in front of your body or is it landing under you? Smaller steps AKA higher cadence makes you land less on our heels and reduces the force transmitted to the knee. Try and run taller. Good posture is key. Try and imagine a string pulling your head upwards. Also imagine a brick wall in front of your body. Don't let your toes hit that wall. This visualization will help your legs land more underneath you and take pressure off your knees.

 

If you don't strength train, please consider it. Exercises like lunges and squats do wonders for your leg muscles and stronger leg muscles = less actual pressure on the knee joint.

 

As for your distance runs they should be slow. In fact, all of your runs aside from your speed training day should be at an easy comfortable, conversational pace.

 

Also, a few exercises to help with the knee rehab (I've unfortunately done the PFPS). Balance stuff. Stand on one leg for 30 seconds at a time. Stand on one leg and spell the alphabet in the air with the other. Increase dorsiflexion (Flexability to curl your toes upward). Look at calf stretches on a wall for example. Also google Piriformis stretch.

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If your pain comes back head to an orthopedic surgeon, not for surgery but possibly for a script for physical therapy. I have really bad pfps, and knee caps that like to dislocate. After a round of therapy I was able to finally get relief with tape and getting my kneecaps into a more normal position. I am now at a point where I might only need to tape them once a month.

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I agree with Azatol. It's best to run as slow as possible. Elite runners train at relatively slow paces in order to maximize their distance.

 

Walk and run at a pace that's comfortable for you. I find the speed in the app to be odd. Running at 6 mph and walking just a little slower than that. Don't listen to that. Listen to your body.

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