Sore knees


I'm a 39, overweight female but I'm reasonably fit and healthy.  I'm determined to get fit and lose weight so decided to have a go at running.  I've only been out 3 times and was taking it very easy, run 1 min walk 1 1/2 mins.  The first time I went out I was fine but after the 2nd time (almost 2 weeks ago) my right knee was agony the next day.  I went out again 3 days later, even though I was still a bit sore but now both knees are sore and only just getting better after 9 days.  Everyones telling me its because of my age but theres people older and heavier than me that take up running.  I really want to stick with it but I'm worried I'll end up doing more harm than good.  Can anyone offer advise?  Sould I give up on the idea?  Are there exercises I could do to help strengthen my knees or supplements I could take.


  • Hi Sheila,


    Injuries can happen to anyone and it isn't to do with your age at all. I'm 22 and I recovered a few weeks ago from injuring my knee from running a couple of months ago. I was running 6 miles at a time regularly on uneven ground and I think I just generally overdid it and my leg muscles weren't as strong as I thought.

    I found the best cure was to take 3 weeks break from running and high impact exercise and in the meantime I went to the gym and started doing leg weights to strengthen the muscle as advised by the gym instructor. I have also been cycling. I started running again 2 weeks ago, but started off doing just a couple of miles and not pushing myself.

    So my best advice would be to do low impact exercise and if you can cycling/leg weights to build the muscle to avoid injury in the future.


    I've found my injury has completely disappeared since strengthening my leg muscles and fingers crossed it stays that way as I'm just starting to build up my mileage again.


    Hope this helps.


    Zoë image

  • There's a lot of different forces acting on your knees when you run. Knees are often a source of pain, but the root cause can be somewhere else .  

    One of the most common causes is from the running shoes, are you wearing running shoes or a pair of trainers/plimsolls picked up from a sports shop? If theres a running shop nearby, it may be worth going in and having a gait analysis and listening to their shoe recommendations.  The analysis is normally free, as they recoup the time/cost from shoe sales.

    A more expensive, but more comprehensive assessment can be done by seeing a sports therapist or physiotherapist.  They can look at your bio-mechanics to try and identify weak areas that are putting exra stress on your knees, and causing the pain.

    Don't give up!  Nearly everyone can run when they are a small child, but if you've got out of practice between your teens and now (like most people do!) then it takes a while for your body to adapt.  


  • PS 39 is not old for a runner, there's a good few people on this site who didn't start until they were 50+

  • No do not give up! Being overweight its so good for your knees so as you loose weight they will get better. You need to improve your quad and hamstring strength. So get squatting! Its very unlikely its anything to do with your age...

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