As I get closer to the Syracuse Half Marathon my training has developed what I believe is patella tendonitis. I am facing my longest long runs in the next few weeks. I have been running for 25 years and have done several marathons and halfs. I have a good base but my longest run so far is 9 miles. Do you have advice on what to do for the next few weeks besides stretch and ice?
Oh yeah, I am 69 and run about 2 1/2 hour half.
First and foremost let me say, you’re incredible! Picking up running at any time is tough let alone later on in life. And to be nearly 70 and still racing marathons and half-marathons makes you quite inspirational.
Fortunately there are several things you can do between now and the Syracuse Half to deal with the patella tendonitis. And as always for those fans watching at home, the Mayo Clinic defines patella tendonitis as “an injury to the tendon connecting your kneecap to your shinbone. Also known as jumper’s knee, (and) is most common in athletes whose sports involve frequent jumping.” The repeated impact of running is also another big cause.
Stretching and icing are great ways to warm up the area and also reduce a lot of swelling post-run. In addition, I would suggest some cross-training. Biking and elliptical will help keep your cardiovascular system building, strengthen your legs and keep you from taking too much time off. It will also severely reduce/eliminate the pounding your legs, especially your knee, would take while running. With cross-training I would use it in conjunction with your running and in a few cases in place of running.
Additionally, there is a patella tendon strap by CEP that is designed to reduce pain from patellar tendonitis. One really awesome service you can only get at Fleet Feet Syracuse is getting Rock Taped. Rock Tape is great because it helps the body recover by providing decompression on the area and turns down the sensation of pain, thus taking away the body’s need to overcompensate for the injury. We have several staff members who are certified to tape. The staff member will talk you through how to do it and when you buy a roll you can always have someone tape you. The best part is that the tape actually stays on for several days, even with showering and swimming.
Above all else Joan, don’t stress. Stress can delay any kind of recovery. Relax, keeping being awesome and I can’t wait to see you at our Fall Festival celebrating the Syracuse Half Marathon and runners like you!