February 2008 Women's Training Chat with Coach Amy

author : Amy Kuitse
comments : 0

Discussions on runners knee in women, training by distance or time, overdistance training, bricks and strides.

[Amy Kuitse]  Do any of you have an women's forums questions for me?

[kaqphin]  Actually I have one you might be able to put into perspective for me regarding women's bodies and runners knee. I'm the injury queen right now and I've been laid up with runners knee (among other issues). Do you have any experience with the injury? I've been told having a women's body is a key part of the issue. The runners knee is healed now and I've been following the strength work I've been given but any time I start back running it plays up again

[Amy Kuitse]  What happens for us is our hip angle which creates greater stress on our knees. What about your running shoes? Have you ever had anyone analyze your running gait?

[kaqphin]  Yup...apparently its awful...I've been told that they would normally suggest I just don't run anymore...which is a bit of a catch 22.

[Amy Kuitse]  Why are they recommending NO running?

[kaqphin]  Because my form is really bad the PT isn't convinced it can be fixed for me to run injury free. It's my overall form I believe, how I land on my feet, how I move my legs.  It's a little frustrating to be honest.

[Amy Kuitse]  Have you ever tried a combination of run/walk?  The aquathons are a good idea though.  They would allow you to continue to compete while still working on your running gradually and progressively.

[kaqphin]  Yeah that's how I've always done it...and the issues only happened last year.  It's was when I cam back from longterm illness that I had problems. I'm thinking the weight gain from the drugs may have affected how I move my body or something?

[Amy Kuitse] Absolutely on the weight gain and the drugs. I know from the work I do that some women have joint pain, are put into menopause and the change from the hormones can cause lots of problems until our body adjusts to these changes. Unless your doctor is telling you absolutely no running I would continue to work with your sports med group on your fitness. This will help with the weight loss and give you a chance to work on the running again with guidance.

[lbrookiemd]  General question, should I adjust the run times of my training plan, if I run a 10min/mile pace?

[Amy Kuitse]  Your body knows time, not distance. I'd stick with the minutes and then as you continue further in your plan you could add extra minutes to long runs if you feel it's needed.

[lbrookiemd]  I can now comfortably run 6miles in an hour, how much do I increase each week?

[Amy Kuitse]  What is the distance of your race?

[lbrookiemd]  1/2 IM.  June 29th.

[Amy Kuitse]  The rule of thumb is usually 10% a week.  You realistically could easily add a mile or 10' to each of your long runs moving forward and be in good shape to cover that distance before race day. The other thing I wouldn't hesitate to do is some overdistance training...run a 15 miler.

[lbrookiemd]  I will try for 70minutes this week.  I've never done more than a 1/2 Marathon.

[Amy Kuitse]  I agree with 2-3 more miles beyond the actual race distance and if you do that one time before and have a handful of 10-12 milers then you will be golden. The other thing I recommend is to make sure you practice bricks. You want to train your body to know how this feels, how it should respond.  The runs can be as short as 10' off of the bike and gradually increase. You want to spend the last 10' or so of your ride in a higher cadence to simulate the run cadence. This is about 90rpm's.  If you are on a BT training plan, there will be specific bricks noted in the plan.

[lbrookiemd] Weather here is snowy, but I can't wait for spring, right now it is me and my treadmill and the trainer for my bike.

[Amy Kuitse]  I have that same thing with the weather, but I have used my trainer/treadmill as a great opportunity to work on some bricks.

[tbatt]  One of the things I find hard when running is not kicking out my foot, apparently I do it slightly when I think I'm under my knee...do you know of any drills to help that? Essentially, my foot is a bit further forward from my knee when I'm taking a step.

[Amy Kuitse] Now, I can't see you, so this is based on what I think you are describing, it sounds like you are overstriding. So, easier said than done, you want to try and shorten your stride.  Any chance you can run on a treadmill in front of a mirror? This would give you immediate feedback. The other thing, consider adding four 20" strides at the end of your shortest run of the week. See Stride Video.


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date: February 25, 2008

Amy Kuitse