November 2nd, 2011

running, shoes

Hips versus knees...fight!

Trying to explain the World Fantasy Convention to my personal trainer, a man who by his own admission seldom reads books, was...interesting.

I should have been pleased that I managed to get in two decent strength training workouts while traveling last week (especially since I did one of them without access to a gym and using only resistance bands and bodyweight exercises), but I was quite frustrated because I was having a mild recurrence of the knee pain that I used to have before I started running. Said knee pain makes squatting to any reasonable depth painful; Squats are a key part of my strategy to improve my hip strength and mobility so that I can run without hip pain; running fixes my knee pain. You see the Catch-22 here?

I ended up substituting weighted step-ups for the squats, which seemed to help my knees a bit. Yesterday, I very cautiously went for a short run. Today I could squat to full depth without knee pain. My left hip feels...not sore, but a bit tight, as if everything there is not quite back at 100%. I'm hoping that for now I can get away with a short run once or twice a week to keep my knees in shape while my hip finishes healing. Or if that doesn't work, maybe I can do a few sessions of vigorous stair-climbing.

It is possible that if I strengthen my hip and thigh muscles sufficiently, I'll be able to have pain-free knees without giving them a good high-impact pounding regularly. For now, I'm pleased, but baffled, that a good high-impact pounding seems to work so quickly and reliably.