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runner's knee during training

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Back in 2016,  with just 3 weeks to go in a 10 week training program for the Chicago half marathon, I was hit with a sudden and extremely painful episode of runner's knee. The pain would suddenly emerge after about 5 or 6 miles, and stick with me for the remainder of my run. I invested in a knee strap and a foam roller, and though these things helped a little bit, I still got hit with really bad knee pain at only mile 3 on the actual day of the race. I had another race 2 weeks afterwards, and chose to not run at all for the 2 weeks in-between both races, and though the time off helped the knee pain a little, I also suffered from diminished aerobic ability (struggled a lot more than usual with breathing during the second race). 


Now fast forward to the present day- I just started a training program for the NYC half marathon, and to my dismay, the familiar knee pain has started to slowly build up again. Now as some background info, I should mention that this race took a lot of work to qualify for- I had to run 4 qualifying races in 2017 (three of which were in extreme conditions, which really pushed my willpower), just to be able to sign up for the 2018 race. I haven't run regularly since October and the program so far has consisted of very short 3-4 mile runs (so overuse should really not be an issue), and this pain started to creep up again after a mere 1.5 weeks into a 10 week program. I can't exactly take time off and not run for the next couple of weeks, because now is crunch time to get my act together and take my training seriously. I'm really stressed and worried that as I increase in my milage for my training program, the pain is only going to increase as well, to the point of completely debilitating pain like I had in 2016. I would really hate for a year's worth of hard work to be rendered pointless, if a condition I have little control over were to greatly hinder my ability to actually take part in the race. 


I'm currently running every training race going forward with my knee strap, and am using my foam roller daily. Does anyone happen to have any additional advice on what I can do to help with my situation? 

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First off, are you confident you have Runner's Knee? (Patellofemorol Pain syndrome). Your symptoms could also be Plica on the Knee (AKA Plica Syndrome), or even tendonitis(and if the pain is on the outside of the knee it's most likely IT Band Syndrome). I have suffered from multiples. Plica syndrome is a loose piece of cartilage from birth and shy of surgery it's often handled with a cortisone shot (Mine's not bothered me in 2 seasons since I got a shot). Now for Runners Knee, doing nothing is a good way to let the bruised cartilage heal but does not address the issue. Proper exercising and stretching to strengthen and loosen the leg muscles so it joint properly tracks in the groove. This includes exercises like calf stretches on a block. Soleus stretches, various balance exercises like diagonal kicks. One legged band rows and punches. Stretching/massaging of the glutes.


I would seriously consider a visit (or several ) to a Physical Therapist and possibly an Orthopedist if it's not properly diagnosed. The Orthopedist may have you running sooner with a shot but the PT will help you resolve and prevent recurrence (depending what the ailment is)



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I think seeing a PT would be the first step. The pain is not going away by training, it is likely only to get worse. It sucks but it is probably better to get a professional opinion and figure out how to get back to running injury free than to push through and do a lot more damage. There are a lot more races to come.

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this could sound bad; but hear me out


with that level of dedication;  surely you should seek a Competent, Specialized, Medical professional.



I mean NO disrespect OP.  it is an INCREDIBLE accomplishment to qualify for that kind of marathon. Wow! NF does have some incredible athletes, too... but still...


my advice is to realize how incredible it is to make it that far and to invest in the ability to achieve an even bigger accomplishment.


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the "NEW" normal is good with me! as Life was Never really Normal anyways....


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