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Advice kneeded

On Friday when we went to gym my left knee started protesting to being on the elliptical after just a few minutes. Frustrated, I got off after 10 minutes thinking a cycle would be easier. While on the bike my knee continued to complain. It was uncomfortable to say the least and I only felt it while I was training. It is not an excruciating pain, but enough to make me want to stop training. We opted for upper body exercises for the rest of the session. I really didn’t enjoy Friday’s workout AT ALL. I specifically avoid any impact exercises because I want to protect my knees. I am no lightweight and I don’t want to damage anything in there. I need my knees! I opt for no-impact exercises like the elliptical and cycling to ensure that my knees are protected at all times. I don’t even walk on a treadmill. I was a bit confused as to why my knee would suddenly complain after I trained almost all year last year, with a personal trainer even!


So we rested over the weekend and headed back to gym yesterday. I had absolutely no complaints or tenderness with my knee over the weekend. When I got onto the elliptical within the first 3 minutes I could tell that I was going to be able to go the full 20 minutes. I haven’t been able to complete the full 20 minutes since last year September/October. It always felt like “too much”. I would get nauseous, breathless or feel overexerted after 6 minutes, never mind 20. Last week I kept going for 15 minutes at a time, but last night it felt good. I was actually SMILING at Rudi from my elliptical. My knee protested quietly, but it didn’t feel as bad as it did on Friday, so I continued. I managed the full 20 minutes and then moved on to cycling. Again I could feel my knee hurting, but not enough for me to want to stop. I completed a 20 minute/8km cycle and then stopped training. My knee didn’t bother me at all last night, but I have been constantly aware of it all day today. It does not hurt per se, but it is uncomfortable. I can walk without hobbling/limping, but something isn’t right. I popped a Voltaren this morning, but it doesn’t seem to have helped at all. Tonight is our night off at gym anyway, so I’ll be resting my knee, but I’m worried about training again on Wednesday.


The last thing I need is an excuse not to go to gym. I want to go. I want to feel improvement like I did yesterday. I want to keep doing this and I want to achieve my goals. I don’t want to injure myself.


I asked for advice from my Twitter followers since there are a diverse bunch of athletes and recreational runners/cyclists (yes, WHAT?) on there. The general consensus seems to be that my knee might be inflamed (hence me popping the Voltaren). I was advised to get one of those elastic brace type things that you put around whatever joint is bothering you to give it some support. When I was very young I used to get pain in my knees and the doctor said my ligaments are ‘pap’ and that I should do certain exercises to strengthen them. Of course I never complied, but I haven’t had any problems until now. So after work I think I’ll go get one of the elastic thingies to wear while I train and some Transact anti-inflammatory pads to try and fix whatever is wrong there now.


I really don’t feel like going to the doctor for this. I’d much rather fix it on my own. I’ve always been aware that my knees are at risk because I am heavy, so I’ve never done anything strenuous to them. I’ve only really started training last year and had no problems whatsoever. I hope this is just a minor complication, a little inflammation that can be fixed and that will be the end of it!