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Knee injuries are one of the most common injuries for runners. Everyone knows that. It goes hand in hand like bread and butter, peanut butter and chocolate, oceans and beaches. It’s so common that the phrase “runner’s knee” is used to describe any number of injuries and pains in and around the knee regardless if you’re a runner. Over a million Americans a year see a doctor about knee pain. About a third of those have serious issues like torn ACLs and the like. The rest just strain a portion of the connective tissue around the knee.
I was relieved to find out I was in the latter group. It turns out that my hamstring was the culprit of my pain. When I practiced speeding up my cadence descending during my hill training the other day, I put an enormous amount of stress on my hamstrings. And I learned that while the main part of your hamstring along the backside of your leg is quite thick and strong, it tapers and becomes very thin and weak where it wraps around the front of your knee. This is where my pain is coming from. I’ve torn my hamstring where it connects to the front of my knee. And it hurts like hell.
The good news is that my x-rays looked perfect. I have perfect spacing between my bones. There is no loss of cartilage, no bone spurs, just a pair of healthy looking knees. The bad news is that I have to rest my knee for a month, and the Pikes Peak Marathon is only three months away. Stay tuned!