I’m halfway through my training program for the Hapalua Half Marathon on March 10. So far everything is going well, if not exactly according to the schedule. Before I started this structured plan, I hadn’t been running regularly for quite some time. I find that training for an event helps keep me more consistent when it comes to cardio; otherwise I just don’t put in the time. Now I’m back to the point where running a few miles feels great instead of excruciating.
The three day a week running schedule has been enough to get my mileage in and up, but not so much that I don’t have time to focus on strength training and other fun stuff like hiking. It’s important to me that I incorporate lots of cross training so that I don’t get bored or suffer an overuse injury. I’ve also loved and hated incorporating more hill training into my runs. Those days are very challenging, but make me much stronger for the flatter terrain days.
I had a minor setback the first weeks of training. The back of my knee was getting inflamed after my runs. I have great shoes that fit properly and are still in good condition, so I knew that wasn’t the cause. After a bit of research and experimentation, I figured out my poor hamstring was so tight it was tugging at the insertion point behind my knee. A bit of daily and post run stretching solved that problem. I must confess: I am HORRIBLE about stretching. This was a great reminder of how endurance, strength, and flexibility all have to work together for maximum results. My advice to you: don’t neglect the STRETCH!
Are you currently prepping for a race? How’s your training going?
Knee pain is one of the most common complaints I get from women who have just joined my boot camp, and it’s one of the biggest deterrents to exercise in general. While there are many reasons as to why this happens, poorly fitting footwear is one one the main reasons.
There are three main foot types: normal, under pronaters, and over pronaters, and it is very easy for you to figure out which type you are. The next time you take a shower, look at your wet footprint on the floor and compare it to the ones below:
If you under or over pronate you place more pressure on the inside or outside of your foot than your should when you walk or run. This in turn can cause pressure in your ankle, knee, or hip that shouldn’t be there and can cause slight to severe pain.
The best thing you can do to insure a proper shoe fit is go to a running store with a knowledgeable staff and have them fit you for a shoe. It will cost you a little more upfront, but you’ll save yourself a lot of pain and frustration. Once you find a shoe you like, stick with that model and make sure you replace it when it begins to wear out. Shoes usually last anywhere from 250-300 miles, so that can be anywhere from 3-12 months, depending on how active you are.
I under pronate, and last year I was getting a super sharp pain on the outside of my left knee when I ran for more than 3 miles. It was so intense that I could barely walk/hobble my way home after it struck. I went to a small specialty running store here in Honolulu where the sales rep really spent some time with me and made me try on what felt like every under pronater shoe in the store. I trained for and ran a marathon in those shoes without one little knee twinge! It was amazing! Your footwear really can make or break your training!