Two Things You Can Do To Avoid Knee Pain When You Run

If your knees are hurting every time you head out for a run, something isn’t right. Fortunately, there are a couple of big things you can do to prevent the pain in the future.

In this video from the Tech Insider YouTube channel, running coach and former Olympian John Henwood explains what usually causes knee pain for runners, and how you can avoid it. It all comes down to the way your knee tracks. Most pain is caused by a tight iliotibial band (ITB) and weak stabilising muscles on the inside of your thighs that don’t allow your knee to sit properly.

To avoid the pain, you need to strengthen your knee stabilising muscles with some time on a StairMaster or elliptical machine. Henwood also recommends swimming since it helps strengthen or core muscles as well. And before you run, make sure you stretch. Loosen up your hips, piriformis, buttocks and hamstrings. Keeping nice and stretched will help you keep the knee joint in place and tracking properly.

If you’re working your way up to a race, Henwood recommends you run three to four days a week, cross-train and strength train two to three days a week and be sure to always take at least one off day. If these practices don’t help with your knee pain, stop running until you can see a doctor.

How runners can avoid knee pain [YouTube]


  • If you have knee pain it’s worth visiting a few people. On the top of my list would be a podiatrist (they’re running pros) and a physio (they’re rehab pros)

    Strengthening stabilising muscles is all well and good, but your feet are responsible for dealing with the ground reaction forces.

    They’re also responsible for the rotation of your tibia, which means that the bottom of your knee joint will be held in a compromising position if your foot’s pronating too much as you run.

    Everyone has knee pain for different reasons and turns out mine was coming from my feet. Had orthotics made by my podiatrist and the pain went away immediately.

    Would definitely recommend a visit to a competent podiatrist. Try finding one who won’t just sell you on orthotics though as there’s also foot mobilisation (rehab for your feet) that is epic for realigning your arches without them (best for women who have trouble fitting orthotics in your shoes).

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