What can I do to protect my knees when running?

Mar 23, 2023

How can I build up my running for the Great North Run and half marathons?


What are the common running injuries?

Al’reet pet, welcome to this guide on running injuries specifically related to the Great North Run in Newcastle upon Tyne. We all know the Great North Run is one of the biggest half marathons in the world, and as such, it attracts runners of all abilities from across the globe. While training for the run, you may experience some common running injuries that can put a damper on your training and race day. In this blog post, we’ll cover the most common running injuries, how to prevent them, and what to do if you experience them.

One of the most common running injuries is shin splints, and they are an absolute mare to deal with. Shin splints are caused by overuse, poor force/landing control and can present as a dull ache or throbbing pain in the lower leg. If you’re experiencing shin splints, the first thing to do is to rest and ice the affected area. It’s also important to evaluate your training routine and make sure you’re not overdoing it, with a canny hike in your training volume/intensity/frequency.

Most running related injuries are a result of doing too much, too soon or too often. This results in the tendon, the muscle, or the bones being overloaded which can result in tendon related pain (commonly called tendinitis), bony stress reactions which can develop into stress fractures or muscle strains if the muscle itself is overloaded (pushed beyond its capacity). Gradually increase your training intensity and duration to avoid putting too much stress on your legs (10% per week or month is a great benchmark).

Strengthening exercises for your calves (especially your soleus) and shins can also help prevent shin splints. Soleus heel raises are a real diamond to prevent running injuries. Another common injury is runner’s knee, which is also known as patellofemoral pain syndrome. This condition can cause a sharp pain or dull ache around the kneecap and can be caused by a number of factors, including footwear, heel striking, poor running form, and weakness in your gluteal muscles. To prevent runner’s knee, make sure you’re wearing the proper running shoes and that they are replaced every 300-500 miles. Focus on strengthening your quads and hips, and work on improving your running form with a cadence 170-180 steps per minute. Running on softer surfaces can also help reduce the impact and chance of developing gadgie knees.

Plantar fasciitis is a proper radgie injury that affects runners, and it’s a pain in the heel, not your backside. This condition is caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia, a band of tissue that connects the heel to the toes. Symptoms include a sharp pain in the heel or arch of the foot, especially when you first get out of bed in the morning or after an activity. To prevent plantar fasciitis, make sure you’re wearing shoes that provide adequate arch support, avoid running on hard surfaces like concrete and standing for prolonged periods at work or play or watching the Magpies play football.

Howay man, if you want to try to settle it down, build up the quadricep and hamstring strength, followed by a bonnie lot of hopping, calf strengthening and reactive gastrocnemius dynamic strength training. (Lee et al (2020), Prospective study of the muscle strength and reaction time of quadriceps, hamstrings and gastrocnemius with plantar fasciitis)

One of the most dreaded injuries for runners is the dreaded hamstring strain. This injury can occur when the hamstring muscles in the back of the thigh are stretched too far or torn. Symptoms include pain, swelling, and difficulty walking or running. To prevent hamstring strains, make sure you’re properly warming up before running, and focus on strengthening exercises for your hamstrings, glutes, and hips. Make sure you’re not overdoing it with your training, and gradually increase your intensity and duration.

‘Hammy’ strains normally occur when you ramp up the intensity/speed of running pushing over 80% of your normal speed. Nordics, deadlifts, and prone hamstring curls are a canny way to stop the hamstring holding you back.

Are ye in a fettle, pet?

A good strength and conditioning program is a starting point for all runners: to be completed 2-3 per week can lead to a long prosperous running lifespan. Now, let’s talk about everyone’s favourite topic – chafing. Chafing can occur when skin rubs against skin or clothing, causing painful blisters and irritation. To prevent chafing, make sure you’re wearing moisture-wicking clothing that fits properly, and use a lubricant such as petroleum jelly or body glide on areas that are prone to chafing. If you do experience chafing, make sure to clean the affected area thoroughly and apply a healing ointment to help prevent infection.

Lastly, let’s talk about how to deal with injuries if they do occur. If you divvent nah what is going on, give us a bell or make an appointment via our website. Here at Pro Health Physio NE, we have a team of sports specialist physios, massage therapists, and dedicated professionals who push themselves too. Our physio team have completed triathlons, half marathons, marathons, ultramarathons, adventure races themselves. So, we know what it takes to push physically, mentally and emotional past that wall. We can help guide you, deload the sore area and build you back up to that coveted Personal Best (PB!).

Hopefully, you have found that canny useful, and if you want to know more, get booked in. If not, nee bother! Enjoy the training, the Great North Run and the fun that comes with it. Pro Health Physio are here for any of your training plans, programming, recovery or injury prevention/management. Make sure to start your training 3-6 months prior to the actual run, with a solid S&C program, injury screening and running program with our team at Pro Health Physio NE.

Do you want to ensure you enjoy the Great North Run?

Interested in preventing any niggles in the build-up to the run and want to prevent future injuries?

Drop us an email to find out more about our Resilient Runners Program via