Strengthening Hips and Glutes to Treat Runner’s Knee – 30 Minute Runner


So there is good news to report on the injury front.  After taking two days off, I was able to run on Thursday without much pain. I took it pretty easy and paid close attention to my knee to ensure that there was no irritation.  I also tried to keep away from hills and tried to run only on flat ground.

It was great to get in a good run and I now have some hope that I’ll be able to run a (low intensity) 10-20-30 workout over the weekend.


My Runner’s Knee Treatment Strategy

In addition to the VMO strengthening exercises that I mentioned in my prior post, I am also focusing on strengthening my hips and glute muscles though one-legged squats similar to the exercises in this video:

There is no question that sitting at an office computer desk everyday is terrible for my body – I have no doubt that sitting for long periods at a time significantly weakens my lower body muscles.

Obviously, my weak muscles were not quite ready for the intensity of the 10-20-30 speed workouts when I first started them. From what I can tell, my hip, glute, and quad muscles (especially on the left side) pretty much failed to hold up to the increased workload and my poor knee joint had to compensate.

If I could rewind time, I would have incorporated lower body strengthening exercises into my routine while I was running nothing but steady easy runs prior to the start of the 30 Minute Runner project.

Important Lessons for the 30 Minute Runner Project

This past week has been a tremendous learning experience for me.  Lessons that I have learned include the following:

1. The 10-20-30 Workout is Intense: It is so easy to be fooled by the 10-20-30 workout due to the fact that the toughest portions of the workout are only 10 seconds.  However, there are a lot of 10 second intervals in each workout and the 100% effort of these intervals really puts strain on the body.

2. The Importance of Strength Training Prior to Speed Workouts: As I mentioned in my first post in the 30 Minute Runner series, my running routine prior to starting the 30 Minute Runner project was to run an easy 30 minutes 5-6 times per week for nine months.  I thought this was enough base training to prevent injury during the transition to speed workouts.

I was wrong.

The easy run base training got me in decent aerobic shape, but it did not do much for my weak lower body muscles.  Instead of focusing only on easy running during the base building stage, I should have incorporated some targeted strength training exercises for my glutes, hips, and quads.

I think that building lower body muscle strength – in addition to building my aerobic base – could have prevented the knee pain that I am experiencing this week.

3. Listen to My Body: As I mentioned in my prior post, one constant pattern in my running career is that I don’t listen to my body very well.  I am so quick to ignore pain and try to push through injuries.

So I’m making a pledge.

For the rest of the 30 Minute Runner project, I am going to do my best to listen to my body and take a day off even if mind pushes me to keep running.

However, I have one favor to ask of you: Can you keep me honest?

If you notice a post or tweet in which I’m taking about feeling pain please remind me: LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!

Hopefully my training will get back to normal by next week. Until then, happy running!


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