ASK THE EXPERT
Q. I increased my run distance from 10k to 17k and now my knee is very painful. It’s below the knee cap and feels bruised on the outside. It’s also very stiff although a foam roller does give some relief. What have I done? Danielle Joyce A: It sounds like you’ve just increased your distance too quickly and pushed the muscles in your leg beyond their capabilities.
To relieve this pain, you will need to rest from any exercise that brings on the pain. Cycling and swimming are usually safe options to keep up your fitness. Continue foam rolling the front and outer part of your thigh, avoiding the sore parts of the knees.
Have your running style assessed to see if you’ve picked up any bad habits – you may get some stability exercises to help this.
Increasing distances is best done incrementally with strength and conditioning work carried out alongside your running. Squats, lunges, step ups and exercises that incorporate the abs and arms also. All these can be done at home or in the park.
Ailish Toomey Rehab Physio and Running Guru at Six Physio