Tuesday, April 19, 2016

All about the support.. of the knees... & the worst week of working out EVER! {Training Tuesday}

Knees & running... some people don't think they mix.

I know a lot people see my knee issues & say, "See, you shouldn't run" - but in all honestly, I've had knee issues my whole life.  Or at least it seems like my whole life.  I was fairly young when my knees starting having troubles when I was in martial arts & messed up my hamstrings.  Like really messed them up - on both legs.

Injuries that had me on crutches for months & then in physical therapy to learn to bend my knee again.

I always say, I've had knee issues for so long, I just dont know what its like to have good knees.

Does running hurt or help?  I'm not sure.  I think its more muscles throughout the whole body that bothers the knees. Most people dont realize that a lot of sore knees are from the muscles in your hips & quads more then the actual knee, but its easy to just blame running & impact.

Let's just put it this way - there's LOTS of reasons for bad knees.  You can pop your meniscus in your knee from just turning funny... & you don't stop walking, right?

Life is about pushing yourself through limits ... & pain...

But what I was going to talk about today were the things you see me wear a lot of times on my knees when I run.

... & please note - none of these things are CURES for any knee issues. They are all just intended for comfort & living a more pain free life.... ok. Moving on.


This seems to be the one I wear mostly lately.  It just always feels good on my knee. They are made to help spread pressure across a larger area & take stress off of sore areas of the tendon on the bottom of the knee.  That's where a lot of runner's knee happens.  But you can also wear it above the knee cap if you have IT Band problems.

I also read before that it helps give signals to the brain to keep the muscles that support the knee on a heightened level of alert.  Like a good pressure point thing to say, HEY, watch out for me!  Be careful!

These are mainly used for runner's knee, IT band issues, patella issues.


I usually wear a brace when my knee hurts the most or when I need extra support. I really dont like to run in them because they aren't very flexible - which is kind of the point of them.

& there's so many braces out there now - ones with holes - some with gel pads, some with straps - some you just pull on.  For me, its been a trial & error thing.

The kind you pull on & is super tight is great for compression, which helps with a little swelling & keeps blood flowing to the muscles around the knee.

The kind with the hold in the knee cap is more helpful in supporting the kneecap - which I like.  My knee always seems to like 'slide out of place' - gross - but these sorts of things will help keep the knee on track where it should be.

You can use these mainly for swelling around the knee - or a bruised knee - or even mild arthritis or minor sprains.

Kinesiology Tape

I know this is the one most people don't really know about - or can appreciate.
I LOVE THIS STUFF... & have sworn by it for years.

This stuff is made to mimic the elasticity of human skin & gives full range of motion but still gives therapeutic benefits.  It can help in overactive muscle pain, reduce swelling, provide support, or as I say about it, it basically holds me together.

I have used it on my knees, on my back & on my shoulder - & it has helped in every instance.

Now there is a learning curve with applying it because some times, it will stick on for 7-10 days through sweat & showers... & others? It doesnt even last 10 minutes in the workout. That's frustrating to me - but when it works, it works.

Look up videos on how to apply it - http://www.kttape.com/ - you can see all the different uses on their site "how to videos"... I have seen it on people's hands for carpal tunnel - wrapped around feet - & like I said, I use it on my shoulder when my bicep tendinitis is unbearable.  It really is amazing how it makes a difference.

The cool thing - its even at Target now - making its way into stores everywhere - but you can always find some really cool colors on line. I'm all about color coordinating life.  But there's also a nude color that I'll use on my shoulder so it blends in more with short sleeves.

Have you tried any of these or prefer them?

Half Marathon Training Week #14

Week 14:

Monday - Walk 3.05 Miles
Tuesday - Les Mills Combat
Saturday - Kickboxing Jillian Michaels

I am under 2 weeks to my half marathon & this is the saddest week of working out EVER!!!!

I'm going to be honest here - its a little bit of life & a little bit of nerves & a lot of pain.

1. I was really busy this week.  I had a lot going on & made the decision to take a night & go see my niece play tennis & by the time I got home, I didn't feel like working out after I got all the other things I needed to do done. It really shows me how you have to make working out WORK OUT in a daily life ... & some days, its hard.

2. My nerves are kicking in about this race. Since the 10 mile race & my knee hurting, I'm just wearing myself down mentally. Feeling like this race isn't going to happen or I'm going to be miserable in pain doing it.  I've got to start thinking positively here. Building myself up this next week.  I need that motivation to get these last few workouts in!!

3.  Pain - says it all. This stupid knee. It does feel like its getting better & then I go to run or walk & YEPPPPP ... its still there.  I so appreciate all the kind works & well wishes & good thoughts about my knee. I am so thankful for caring people that are lifting up my spirits in this.  If only my stupid knee would listen. It'll get better - it always does. But I need this better in 12 days... uggghhhh!!!

I'm going to push it more this week. That's a promise.
I gotta see how I'm going to hold up in 13.1 miles...
Wish me luck!



  1. I often wonder what kind of shape my body would be in if I DID NOT run. It's hard to determine if my aches and pains come from running or just age. I guess I'll never know.
    I've had extensive talks about using braces and straps and all that with my first PT when I first started having ITBS. He was totally against all that stuff and said it would not work. Of course I know it wasn't a solution but was hoping I could find away to lessen the pain.

  2. I occasionally have knee pain when I run, but not too often. I love kt tape! I can't figure out how it can possibly make me feel better, but it does!
    Maybe I shouldn't say this, but do you think running 13 miles right now is a good idea? I don't want it to get any worse!

  3. thankful for my not-so-bad knees. i have crazy neck issues--i need something for that! hehe

  4. I need to get my husband that tape - he has one weaker knee that gives him trouble with most exercise!! It's amazing that you push through it! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

  5. Oooooh, good luck this week with the workouts! The taping of muscles always intrigues me but I've never really heard anyone talk about it!
    (I had to catch up on two post since I was on the road yesterday- I can't believe you don't like cereal! I LOVE it!)

  6. I love the straps. I really feel like the extra support helps my knees not be in pain after long runs. I haven't tried KT Tape yet but have heard so many raves about it that I have to try it at some point. Also, don't push too hard between now and the half :) The last thing you want to do is hurt yourself and the race is so close!

  7. I wore a brace (with the knee hole) for months after dislocating my patella while skiing (bunny slopes -- woot!) -- haven't tried the straps or tape though. Have you tried a TENS unit? They might be more for muscle pain - I'm not sure. And alternate heat and ice when the knee is acting up. I know some people swear by Epsom salt baths too -- but I haven't tried that.

    Does your knee hurt all the time or only when you run? I mean, does it also hurt when you do the walking interval? You've done so much training - I'd hate for you to run the race and permanently damage your knee ... but I also know several people who are walking the whole 13.1 miles (from speed-walking to power-walking to faster-than-a-stroll-walking). Keep hanging in there!!

  8. I have had knee problems most of my life so I completely get what you are saying. Basically if running wasn't aggravating it, something else would so you do what you love. Good luck on your half!

  9. Have you ever considered going gluten free? My husband used to play football and has knee injuries from that, so it's affected his workouts. He has tried physical therapy, tapes, braces etc. once I was diagnosed with Celiac, he decided to go gluten free for moral support (sweet right!?), and no joke ever since then he has NO knee pain! Literally he runs, lifts weights, etc and has never worn a brace again! Just a thought! :)

    xo, Kristina

  10. i have knee issues as well, definitely not as bad as yours, but they are there whether i run or not. you are gonna rock the half girl, i know it.

  11. You got this! Just keep on going! I ran a half a while ago on a bum ankle..finally got it fixed this past Fall, and so glad that I did, although the recovery process isn't that fun, the no pain while working out is making it worth it. Is it something you can have surgery for? Or just something you learn to live with?

  12. You can do it! I feel like the knee thing is always there. I have only had minor knee issues that started from military training (thanks Obama, JK totally a joke!). Running up and down steep hills is not great for the knees. But ever since then, if I ever get a sore knee, it comes back in the same knee.

  13. Wishing you good luck!! Keep protecting those knees!

  14. I really hope your knee is feeling better! I have on and off shoulder problems and a physio taped me up properly with that tape and it was amazing. I tried to replicate it myself with limited success! So I am a big fan of the tape, especially in areas where you can't put a brace or support.

  15. Knee pain is really a serious problem. Why don’t you try chiropractic care for this problem? I am sure it would work on you. My cousin had a similar problem and went to chiropractors Streetsville center for treatment.

  16. Really great. Very informative article. I think knee braces support is really effective one. Knee pain is a very common condition that happens to people of any age and if it is not taken care of in time, that’s why it’s necessary to talk about.

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