Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Treadmill vs. Outdoors

It's been a little over two months since my right knee started bothering me. Then it was excruciating pain when I ran. I did the PT, cut back on running for about a month, and am slowly trying to get back into it. I haven't run more than 3.5 miles since the "injury".

What's the issue now? Some runs are better than others and most of my good runs are on the treadmill. I am starting to notice that when I run outside, my knee bothers me about a couple miles in, where on the treadmill, I can go 3 miles without any issues.

What's it feel like? Today I went out for a short run this evening and about 2 miles in my knee didn't start to hurt, but it started to feel tight. It began to feel tight on the inside and outside.


Calling all running Gods... what's your take on this?


UPDATE:
* I am pretty sure I am not running faster outside than on the treadmill. In fact, I am able to do some sprinting or faster strides on the treadmill with no pain either. Hmm..



(I counted wrong... 26 days left of school! And Jess asked about my comment regarding Midterms due Friday. This year we switched to "trimesters" so we are halfway through the 3rd trimester and the last day of school is Friday, May 29th!)

18 comments:

Chad in the AZ Desert said...

My question is how fast you are running. Are you running a different pace on the treadmill than on the road? I'm betting that you are running a faster pace on the road than on the treadmill and that's why your knee is causing you trouble more quickly.

Stef said...

Hang in there girl! I don't have any advice but what Chad is saying makes sense.

Jess said...

I think Chad's advice sound pretty reasonable. I would also keep up with your strengthening and stretching.

brent said...

treadmills are built with some cushion, to cause less stress on the body so it could be that it might just take an adjustment period to get your muscles used to the pounding outside. i assume your shoes are still in tip top shape? new shoes can make a difference too!

Shannon said...

I'm not sure, but sometimes we run different on different terrain. Maybe your rolling your feet and hitting them different than when your outside. I'd be curious to see you "run outside" vs. "run inside" and see if there is a difference.

Jess said...

I think both Chad and Brent are on to the key issues: speed and cushioning.

Marlene said...

Crap, sorry about the knee! I'm guessing the treadmill is easier on it because of the lower impact. I have no idea what it could be. Sorry! Good luck!

IronGambit said...

treadmills is what I used when I hurt my foot :)

D10 said...

Treadmills have more give and help to absorb the shock of running. Hang in there.

Wes said...

You probably put your treadmill on an incline which changes the way your foot lands, taking some pressure off your quad. Or maybe not :-) Leg extensions!!

RunToFinish said...

did you ever get an exact cuase of your knee pain? mine was IT band related and until I strengthened all my pelvis muscles it simply wasn't going to get better.

I think that outdoors you have more ups and downs too, so if it's runners knee that definitely makes a difference.

Carolina John said...

i bet it's the surface that you're running on outside. sidewalks/concrete is the worst. my knee always acts up if i get too much sidewalk. pavement is softer, trails/dirt are best. so is a rubberized running surface like you find on a track.

i would still stick to the treadmill until you get up to 5 miles with no knee pain. then you should be clear for outside 5k's.

Blyfinn said...

I have always had the reverse issue. With me hurting a little after the treadmill. I always assumed it was due to not being able to just adjust my pace right away on the suckmill like I can out on the road.

J said...

Have you been running in the cold? Sometimes with my hip flexo injury if its cold out and I don't warm up on the bike inside first I experience pain. Just a thought! Hope you figure out what is wrong!

Fair Weather Runner said...

I've read in Runners World switching from treadmill to pavement (or just outside) can be hard on your body. I'm sure the article is on runnersworld.com. Have you tried the foam roller down your IT band and knee yet? I swear by my foam roller!

Runner Leana said...

I wasn't sure what advice to give you, but it sounds like people have really come up with some good suggestions. Fingers crossed you can run pain free outside soon!

MJ said...

It's not surprising that the treadmill is easier on your knee - it is softer as mentioned. The problem still exists though (it just doesn't show up as fast on the t'mill)...

Of course resting it would help a lot, but if you are going to continue:

1. Check shoes at a GOOD specialty running shoe store.

2. Run more on soft surfaces like the t'mill, grass, trails etc. for a while.

Good luck with it!

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

It took me closer to 4 months before running was normal again. Maybe try a run walk outside? I suspect the cusioning is the main difference.