Knee problem

I'm after some advice please

I started running a couple of months ago and after initially thinking I was never going to be able to do it, I soon began to really look forward to it.

Unfortunately my left knee doesn't agree with me!

I hurt it, so stopped running for a couple of weeks, started again and immediately injured it again.

It's getting better again but I'm frightened that I could do some permanent damage if it keeps happening. Friends and family are saying that I've left it too late to start running at 57 and should stick with walking or take up regular swimming instead.

Is this a common problem which will improve as I run more and build up strength?

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13 Replies

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  • It is not too late at all - but it might be worth getting the advice of a good physio. They will be able to identify what the problem is and will be able to recommend appropriate strengthening exercises that could make all the difference. My husband injured his knee after returning to running (a little too enthusiastically) and had to undertake several months of rest and strengthening exercises before he was able to successfully run again. Second time round he used this programme and is now running 10k. He is 54 btw. You could try googling knee strengthening exercises for runners but getting some expert advice first would ensure you don't aggravate any underlying problem. Good luck!🙂

  • Thanks for the advice Sandraj39

    I might have done too much too soon. I found that stamina wise I could run for longer than the podcast was saying, so I started doing my own thing and only stopping for a walk when my legs were telling me to rather than when I was puffed out.

    Probably a case of trying to run before I could walk!

    Patience has never been a virtue of mine.

  • Yep, slow and steady...and stick to the programme!😉 Good luck🙂

  • As Sandraj39 says..it is never too late!

    But, getting advice is worth it! I have been blessing my Physio this morning, as i did my 2nd run out after getting of the IC... he has been a real help!

    Your fiends and family probably mean well, but, ten years older than you...i started at 65 and am still here, still running :)

    Be kind to yourself, get this checked out and see how you go..but... and this is a must..however eager you are... take it slow and steady!

  • 57 is too late - what tosh. Sometimes by trying to be well meaning comments like that can be demeaning. You should get checked out, there's a difference between aching and being in pain. But please don't bale because of age appropriateness. We all run here regardless of age and for sure you aren't the oldest by any means. Us oldies stick together, let us know how your knee goes

  • It's a sharp pain just under my knee cap to the inside of my leg. It's quite tender to touch and the other knee is fine, so definitely an injury of some description.

    I'll rest it up for a bit longer and take things very gently when I start running again and stop the moment I feel any sign that it could happen again. I think the last time, I kept going thinking I'd run it off and made this a lot worse.

    It's so annoying as I'd really started to enjoy a run, something I never thought would happen!

  • Hi Shar59,

    I'm 57 too and started this plan 2 years ago. I now still run for 30 mins three times a week, just for fun and exercise.

    So, well done on starting the c25k plan its great, and it works, BUT in order to stay injury free its important to follow the program to the letter. Take your rest day/s, and only run for the required time, you are building strength and stamina slowly and safely.

    You may have a weekness in your knee that had been overworked. Rest for a few days, take a look at the NHS healthunlocked website which had advice on running correctly and stretches to do after your run. There is a link to this in the pinned posts at the bottom of the page.

    Is your footwear supporting you. You can get free advice in a good running shop, they will analyse your gait for free and check you have correct running shoes for how your foot strikes the ground.

    Good luck, 😊take it steady and follow the plan. If you still have a niggle in your knee, get some medical advice.

  • I sympathise! I started c25k this year, age 56. W2r1 my knee went. I rested, I ran again and it was much worse! I took 6 weeks off before starting again. Went to a physio who identified an underlying issue which I worked on in that 6 weeks, along with the NHS strength & flex program so I kept up the disipline of regularly exercise. During that period I was surrounded by people telling me I was too old, running is bad for knees, you'll probably never be able to do it! I didn't listen. Just kept reading posts on here and absorbed the support and positivity!

    I restarted and completed in 9 weeks. No recurrence of knee pain. I followed the program to the letter, and took a few extra rest days at first to be sure of recovery.

    However unlikely it feels right now, don't give up. As others have said, see a physio if you can and work on gentle strengthening exercises until it is fully healed. Patience is hard, but resting now will only take a small, small time out of your running career. Good luck :)

  • Thanks for the info. I'll have a search for the NHS flex and strength. That sounds worthwhile. I'm definitely creakier as I'm getting older and am stiff first thing in the morning until I get going. Been like that for a few years now so am keen to find any exercise to help with that.

    Life is cruel...I have the mind of someone who thinks they are still in their 20's but the body of a geriatric!! Haha

  • Again. I totally sympathise!!!! On all counts :D

  • Hey there! I injured my knee (left) soon after l began running a year ago and was 'out' for nearly three months. You are slightly older than me. My problems were poor posture, cheap and inadequate running gear and working too hard. Another injury followed (ankle), the pain forced me to seek pro help of a recommended team of physios and they treated the flare up, analysed my gait, customer made my insoles and chose perfect shoes for me. No issues ever since but l have also religiously followed tips and hints from this forum. Now I'm comfy pushing 8.5k going 10, and can easily do 5k three times weekly feeling really well. This is my experience but I've read success stories from the others too. Please go and see someone, don't force your runs through pain, your knee is one serious business, and with 'loving care' it will take you further than you ever expected :) All the best!

  • Many more experienced folk than me have given you excellent advice above so what follows is just from my personal experience. I'm much older than you (60) and started the programme a few months ago. I had "niggles" rather than proper knee pain even before starting to run so I was wary of pressing on with the runs too strongly. I followed advice about avoiding heel strike and taking shorter strides and I bought knee supports ( those elastic bandage types). I wear these every time I run and I've found them hugely helpful. I believe my legs have become much stronger and that has actually benefited my knees not only for running but for every aspect of life. Good luck and enjoy the journey

  • Thanks everyone for all the great advice. I did spend quite a bit on some Nike proper running trainers after reading loads of reviews, but haven't had my gait checked. I'm not sure if there are any specialist shops near me that offer that service but will investigate.

    I reckon my feet tend to roll inwards when I run. Is that over pronounced??

    I broke my left foot several years ago and have suffered in the past with plantar fasciitis (mainly through walking the dog wearing wellies!) so these factors might have some bearing on it too.

    I'll give the knee a few weeks to heal and take things very slowly from then.

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