Fred wanted to do his first Ironman 70.3 with his friends in May. The swimming and biking were going well but he couldn’t do the runs as he’d had knee pain for the last 3 years. If he ran longer than 30 minutes his knee would bug him for a whole week and it was so bad he was taking advil pre-run.
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Knee Pain with Triathlon Training
He’d tried Physio and was given taping and glute exercises. The taping helped reduce the knee pain when he was running but the glute exercises didn’t seem to do anything. Fred was really frustrated that he can’t just do the half ironman training like his friends and he was worried about doing permanent damage to his knees.
The problem is really that Fred lacks a comprehensive rehabilitation strategy. There’s nothing wrong with taping and glute exercises, but they should only be parts of a progressive and systematic plan to increase strength and resilience.
Because of his Knee Pain with Triathlon Training Fred was stuck in the gray zone between rehabilitation and performance, too good for physio, not good enough for regular training. We call this The Recovery Zone and it is actually our specialty.
I can understand why Fred was worried. Who among us doesn’t have a friend or relative who laments about how “running is bad for your knees” or who assures us that “all that pounding will wear out your joints”?
However, research shows that recreational runners typically have less knee arthritis as they age and get knee replacements less often than the average couch potato.
Fred and I agreed on a 12-week goal to get to Half Ironman training pain-free
We spent the first week getting Fred to do various test workouts. We identified 3 key factors to work on.
- Increase strength on the Split Squat
- Reduce the overstriding when running
- Increase the variety of running workouts
8 weeks into his program Fred submitted more videos for technique analysis and we could see no evidence of overstriding. The Split Squat working max increased from 75 to 125 lbs and his running volume increased from 10 to 40k per week with no knee pain. Fred was thrilled that he could run long or short, fast or slow and feel great.
When we met Fred was frustrated with his inability to push himself in training due to the knee pain and worried about doing permanent damage to his knees. He was afraid to sign up for events with his friends in case his knees couldn’t handle the training. Now he’s able to do all of his half-ironman training program, including the runs!
He’s ramping up his training in preparation for the Half Ironman in May, good luck Fred!
If you’re having trouble with knee pain when you run, we can probably help. Just click the button below to book a free call.