Do I get a gold watch?

Having (thankfully) had some more knee problems diagnosed as a case of runners knee aggravated by some knee cap misalignment - my doctor has advised me that whilst I may be able to run again, pain free, these problems are likely to recur and get worse over the next few years.

This last injury meant that I want unable to do any exercise and while I'm tempted to ignore the advice and / or seek a second opinion, I'm not prepared to be unable to exercise at all in say five years time.

I'm going to give it some more thought over the next 3-4 weeks but I suspect I will decide to stop running altogether.

What would you do in this scenario?


  • Triathlo

    Less Running More X-Training

    You know it make sense

  • In a similiar situation to you Martin, tho not quite so acute....I simply overtrain because I can't choose between cycling and running! However, I suffer far fewer repetitive strain injuries from the cycling due to the complete lack of hard repetitive weight bearing on the knees and etc. I'm going to back off on the competitive running this year, no marathons and just do shorter club races. No crazy LSD's on Sundays. Instead I'm going to get on my shiny newish road bike and head into the Surrey hills (or Richmond Park) and maybe dust off my old rowing machine in the garage.

    As you say, its really more important to keep doing something, whatever it is, just so long as it doesn't preclude anything else.

    Have you only had this opinion from the one Doctor? If so you really should get a second opinion from a sports related professional, who may be more optimistic.
  • Second ,third ,fourth opinion
    Surely someone can fix you
  • Ivor - the doctor is a sports expert and his view is more that, with the biomechanics that I have it could / would lead to further problems.

    I have really enjoyed my cycling over the last two years and in any event would not now return to running "full-on" but there are enough warning signs to make me worry.

    I have invested about 2,000 quid in bikes over the last two years so I want to get maximum use out of them.

    I've been prescribed physio so we will see what that brings.
  • Can you not change your biomechanic? Switch to mid-foot running?
  • I'd stop running, and do other sports instead.

    But then, running isn't nearly as important to me as it is to most people on these forums.
  • Sorry to hear this Martin. Don't know what to suggest. If I couldn't run I'd take up boozing, gambling and recreational drugs:(

    Might be something in Bryan's advice to try a different style.

    Cycling would seem the obvious choice, or indeed triathlons with short running section.
  • Martin - before you stop altogether it's worth getting several opinions, trying out different shoes, orthotics, etc. Don't be too hasty.

    15 years ago Mr. IW was told he had arthritis in his knee and shouldn't run. Aother doctor said he didn't have arthritis in his knee, it was patellar tendonitis but he shouldn't run. A third said it was ITBS. He is still running.

    A year ago I went to a sports doc with knee pain I thought was ITBS and was told it was a torn meniscus, I needed an operation. I insisted on a computer tomography at the University hospital and they confirmed my own diagnosis.
  • drewdrew ✭✭✭
    Hi Martin, it's a real tragedy that this decision has to be made, but I believe you have already answered the question as you say you are not prepared to be unable to exercise at all in 4 or 5 years.

    I said on some other thread that we are not professional athletes and we are all motivated to run for various reasons.

    A professional athlete may spend years and £thousands to get a similar problem fixed but at what cost? For most of us there is more to life than running. Unless you can find a solution which completely cures your current problem, and by all means get a 2nd/3rd or 4th opinion, what is the point?

    Although cycling gives you great enjoyment it may also be an opportunity to try out some other sports that are more forgiving on your knees.

    You never know, there may be some other sport that gives you as much or even more enjoyment than running.

    At this stage I think that it is very important for you to explore your long term goals and look at all the options available to you.

    You also asked what we would do, given the same scenario....

    I love running, but my health is more important. Being unable to take part in any sport would be my worst nightmare. I wouldn't hesitate in giving up running, in this scenario, if the decision enabled me to continue cycling, playing golf, tennis, etc, well into my 90's
  • I am appalled by my own reaction to this
    i didnt realise running was so crucial for me

    ive done other exercise, and ive only been running 2.5 years

    Still not convinced martin , though
  • If you like your cycling then I'd probably just go with that. Cycling is so time consuming to do well anyway that running on top of it can mean training more than you really have time for. I know you already cycle a fair bit but have you got into going out with a club and local chain gangs yet ? Once you have been doing it for a bit and get to know a few people it really does have a lot going for it - though the culture wouldn't suit everyone.
  • Sorry to read of your troubles Martin.

    Cycling sounds to be the answer, you can join all the other chaps circling Richmond Park on expensive bicycles (been there myself). Great park but after 3 or 4 laps it gets a bit monotonous.

    Anyway, what about rowing?. The Concept 2 is a great machine to have at home and I guess you might not be too far from the Thames.

    Ironically, after living in Chiswick for many years it was only after moving to Canada and getting a C2 (now got the space in the house, no space in a pokey little terrace in W4) that my thoughts have turned to maybe taking it up on the water too. (Need to wait for resevoir to thaw out here.)

    I think the club on the north east side of Chiswick Bridge do beginners lessons. Apologies if you are already a rower.

    The Concept2, it's the way forward (and you can do it in the dry and warm)
  • Lots of nice words - thank you!

    I think the switch to cycling won't be such a drama. I've already competed on both MTB and the road and performed reasonably well off relatively little training.

    I've also been doing a reasonable amount of rowing (on the Concept 2) which seems to be having lots of benefits.

    The challenge, and really the main thing I will miss about running, is its instant accessibility. Pop your shoes on and out the door - being outside is a big thing. I'm lucky enough to live in a big German house with a cellar where I have a gym - so I have set up my turbo trainer, rowing machine and of course TV - but its not the same as being outside.

    I've already tried the route of orthotics and this WAS the seconf opinion. On the the MRI scan the problem was really clear my knee cap sits over one side which means it occasionally 'catches' where it shouldn't. This effect is made worse by exercises which involve lateral movement of the knee cap.

    However, I'm not really mourning. Lets not forget that I've hardly run in the last two years due to a related but different injury. So I'm accustomed to the loss. Now I've got to set goals and objectives to get my competitive juices going again.
  • Tough news Martin but sounds like you've made a decision and that's no doubt the right one for you.

    I too am an exercise junkie and having broken my tibia am currently swimming around 30k a week just to get my fix. I so miss running and simply getting outdoors though but as long as I can do something active I stay relatively sane...or at least I think so. Hopefully an xray later today will show some healing and maybe I can introduce some cycling, even if it's only on the gym bike, and at least be able to partial weight bear and drive...funny the little things I'll settle for now having had most of them taken away!

    So do what you have enable you to keep fit and active and as pain-free as possible...if that aint running then so be it...maybe tris would be a good option as you would really be able to minimise your running and focus on the swim and bike?

    Good luck, Amanda
  • Get the second opinion, if it agrees with the first then you can close the door on running knowing you did the right thing.
  • Martin,

    Apolgies about locatiing you in west London, I mixed you up with Ivor Blister.

    It was gone midnight here when I wrote what I wrote.

  • {{{{{{{Martin}}}}}}}

    I would go to see more physios and get more opinions. I remember you were doing so well cycling!

    All the best!
  • It sounds like you're resigned to it already Martin - I don't think anyone can really blame you.

    All the best with cycling - I hope you have a lot of fun.
  • Theres always bingo, pool and darts

    but cyclings better
  • Good luck with whatever you do Martin.
    Your comments on what you'll miss about running will strike a chord with all of us I think.
  • Just when you're feeling a little down in the dumps........yesterday it snowed and we had a half day holiday so I decided to go out on my mountainbike (I have one with Winter Tyres on) - the sun came out and it was just beutiful cycling on untouched snow through the forest.

    .....I'm not one for messages but....
  • I love mountain biking in the snow. It adds a certain "edge".

    Are you sure you're not me MartinH? ;)

    - ex-pat
    - large house with basement
    - concept 2, turbo, tv in basment
    - mountain biker

    Have fun.
  • Chip an infinite universe anything is possible...

    Actually we're currently thinking about relocating (again!) and North America is on our list of potentials (probably Boston as opposed to Canada).
  • Boston sounds good. Although you might have to hide yourself away on the week the marathon.

    We came to Canada because Mrs CTM wanted to come home and give the kids a Canadian upbringing.

    Life's good here. An hour away from the mountains for skiing, biking and hiking. The city has extensive bike/running paths.

    My daughter has taken up speed skating and is learning at what is widely recognised at the best skating facility in the world.

    Not much happens in Canada, but in some ways that's a good thing.

Sign In or Register to comment.