I just finished a great 6 months of training involving 2 half marathons and a marathon. I was injury free for the whole time. After my marathon though I suffered knee pain on the front part of my legs, slightly below my knee-caps and to either side. The area was tender to touch and to walk on immediately after the race and the day afterward. I feel this could be avoided with strength training. I am a little nervous to start training again as I don’t want to irritate my knees any further. But at the same time I don’t want to lose what I have gained over the spring and summer. If I were to follow all my runs with the Myrtl routine and pedestal exercises as demonstrated by Coach Jay (in his general strength exercises video under training tab), would this be sufficient enough to strengthen my legs to prevent injury or should I try to find weight lifting exercises on top of the general strength exercises?
Obviously the first thing this runner needs to do is to see a doctor, chiropractor, physical therapist, etc. to get a diagnosis of the problem. Also, the fact that the runner finished two half marathons without this pain yet experienced it after the marathon might be a function of training. I’m starting to be a big believer in the one LONG run, or run-walk-run, each week for the first time marathoner as those who spend almost as much time on their feet in one training session each week as they’ll spend racing tend not only race well but have fewer post race injuries (Thanks to Jonas Holdeman for sharing not only this insight but his training plans for mid pack marathoners). Also, we don’t know how big of a human this runner is and given the nature of the injury/issue I wonder if this is a big man, well over 6 feet, who may also be packing a few extra pounds. The human body
But after those two obvious issues – that this person needs to get a professional evaluation and needs to re-evaluation their marathon training – there is little doubt that some sort of extra/ancillary work should be done if this runner is to better handle the demands of training and racing in the future.
I’m sure some of you would advocate lots of eccentric work and I encourage those thoughts/comments below; I’ve never done a lot of eccentric work, though my friend/collaborator Mike Smith uses this as part of his prophylactic/preventive work (note: if you have time this PDF is a great introduction to Mike’s approach to training).
Okay, that’s enough for now. I’ll be writing regularly in the coming weeks.