No Sleeves

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Oh, I forgot to mention something awesome about my epic run with Pat Farmer!

I didn’t wear knee sleeves


Normally, I always wear knee sleeves to compensate for my poor biomechanics –the outside of my quads are stronger than the inside, so my patella is jacked out of place when I run, which causes swelling and pain.  Basically – runner’s knee!  Here’s a more thorough explanation of my knee issues.


Runner’s knee is pretty common problem, especially for female runners.  I’ve been checked out by loads of doctors and physical therapists, and they all say I’m okay to run with sleeves as long as my knees don’t hurt (if you have the same issue, please get checked out by a qualified sports doctor because it can be serious).   Many PTs have told me to do knee strengthening exercises to correct the problem on the muscular level, but I’ve always been too lazy.


A wonderful side effect of triathlon training: I just didn’t need the knee sleeves today!  I haven’t run without sleeves in more than three years, but today, I was fine.  I think it’s a combo of the swimming, cycling, and the strength training that I’ve been doing.  Pretty neat, huh?  I love how triathlon training makes you stronger in so many different ways!


Enough about my silly knees, here are this afternoon’s eats!  Steamed greens, GF bread, and hummus:


Fruit and stuffed dates:


Please combine almond butter and dates RIGHT… NOW.




Oh, and chocolate.  Kind of a random combo of eats.  Lots of small plates.  But very delicious!


Anyone else experiencing some awesome and surprising side effects from their workouts?  If I could ditch the knee sleeves forever, I would be THRILLED.



  • Victoria (District Chocoholic) June 29, 2011, 9:46 pm

    Swimming is the best thing ever. This is proof.

    I discovered that the high-rep squats and lunges I do at body pump prevented my ITBand issues from flaring up this spring. Nice deal, I’d say. I do heavy weight lifting on my own, but high-rep/medium weight squats make me want to punch something unless I’m in class.

  • Lea @ Healthy Coconut June 29, 2011, 9:47 pm

    During summer, I like eating dinner food that comes from small plates. A little bit of everything,all lighter fare instead of heavy dinner on cold days.

    I’m in the process of changing up my workout routine, that way I work different muscles all year long, like you are doing with your current training.

  • Cait's Plate June 29, 2011, 9:48 pm

    Oh my gosh – ANY nut butter + dates = heaven!!

  • The Teenage Taste June 29, 2011, 9:49 pm

    Congrats on running without the knee sleeves! I hope you never have to wear them again!
    BTW, dates stuffed with nut butter are the bomb! I love them! <3

  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen June 29, 2011, 9:51 pm

    dates + pb are my go-to snack before a run, I’ll have to try almond butter next time.
    yay for no knee sleeves!

  • Julie @ Shining From Within June 29, 2011, 9:51 pm

    I think I might need to start running with one :(. I have one now but its kind od bulky…blaaaaaaa

  • kristy @ kristyruns June 29, 2011, 9:56 pm

    congrats on the no-sleeves run! whooo!

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) June 29, 2011, 10:05 pm

    Yay, congrats on the run and no sleeves! I’m so happy for you! Note taken on the dates…I’m getting almond butter soon! I must have this!

  • Bee Goes Bananas June 29, 2011, 10:33 pm

    Congrats on the no sleeves run!!

  • kalli@fitandfortysomething June 29, 2011, 10:34 pm

    i think cycling really helps build the legs for running…….and in turn i think running helps cyclist be stronger on their bikes 🙂 so happy for you caitlin!

  • Cara June 29, 2011, 10:35 pm

    That is awesome you ran without the sleeves! I always find when I mix my routine up from just running I feel better and perform better. But right now I’m in a running rut, and all I want to do is run.

  • Michaela June 29, 2011, 10:45 pm

    I’m so glad you ran without the knee sleeves! I’ve been meaning to comment on how you should try that. Otherwise the muscles will never develop! I had a knee problem a while back but it has now resolved. I find even minimal strengthening–1x/week–helps correct poor patellar tracking.

  • Cat June 29, 2011, 10:46 pm

    One thing I’ve been noticing lately is how having good core strength and shoulder and tricep strength has been helping my cycling. Especially for long distances and climbing hills!

  • Wendy June 29, 2011, 10:51 pm

    I’ve been doing crossfit for a while, and I LOVE how strong I feel doing everything else – from running to carrying kids or groceries. I can also tell a HUGE difference in my ability to recover from tough workouts.

  • Ashley @ This Is The Place June 29, 2011, 10:51 pm

    So I was reading this post tonight and my husband walked by and saw the pic of you running. His response was “Who is that?? She’s ripped! What a powerhouse!”

    Thought you’d like that…you look ripped! 🙂

    • Caitlin June 30, 2011, 10:33 am

      Wow, that is awesome. What a nice compliment 🙂 Your hubby made my day!

  • Kate (What Kate is Cooking) June 29, 2011, 10:55 pm

    Oh man, I just finished off my dates! That looks like an amazing combo though.

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing June 29, 2011, 11:06 pm

    Woohoo for no knee sleeves!!

  • Courtney @ girl in the pink June 29, 2011, 11:07 pm

    A foam roller took care of my knee problems… At least for now! 🙂

  • Ellie@fitforthesoul June 29, 2011, 11:23 pm

    So glad you’re feeling better! It seems as if many people are hurting somehow physically lately~ And stuffed dates are awesome! Caitlin–PLEASE try stuffing it with coconut butter and then freeze it for 5 min. 😀

  • Jackie @ That Deep Breath June 29, 2011, 11:35 pm

    My excess energy is my favorite part about working out. That’s so awesome that you didn’t need to use the knee sleeves! Congrats!

  • Corrie Anne June 30, 2011, 1:13 am

    That’s so exciting!! It totally makes sense that it’s a side effect of your awesome triathalon training! Way to go!! 🙂

  • TheHungeredOne @ MovingandMunching June 30, 2011, 1:19 am

    Try doing some breaststroke swim sets when you swim. I’ll strengthen parts of your legs you never knew you had! 🙂

    It’s great that you ran sleeve-less! That’s such a great feeling.

  • Christine June 30, 2011, 1:36 am

    I did the Couch-to-5K program almost a year ago, then let my fitness slide completely for several months. I recently restarted the program (will finish week 3 this week), but I am also including strength training (a circuit of basic weight room machines, done each time I run). I am very impressed with how much easier the running is this time around – my increased leg and core strength are making a huge difference!
    Congrats on your workout success today!

  • Khushboo June 30, 2011, 3:00 am

    Not wearing a knee sleeve is HUGE. All the extra activities are definitely strengthening your knee which is great! All though it seems to be fairly normal, I have noticed a huge increase in my running speed & stamina after incorporating strength training into my workouts. That alone is enough motivation to keep at it!

  • Aine @ Something to Chew Over June 30, 2011, 4:28 am

    This shows the power of cross-training! I’m also a big believer in using a foam roller – I had chronic shin splints until I got mine and they went away almost immediately!

  • Heather June 30, 2011, 5:23 am

    I have found the exact same thing. While training for an1/2 three years ago I suffered an IT band injury and since every time I get close to that mileage I get tweaks and things start bothering me. I have been training since February for my first tri which I did two weeks ago and it was awesome. My body feels like it gets stronger with every workout and is loving the multi sport workouts. I have totally been bite by the tri bug and can’t wait to do my next.

    • Caitlin June 30, 2011, 10:32 am

      Tris rule!!!

  • Kie June 30, 2011, 5:53 am

    That looks simply delicious! Check out Hong Kong desserts at

  • Angie June 30, 2011, 5:59 am

    Woohoo for a no sleeves run!
    I ordered almond butter and dates the other to try this after you mentioned it in another post. I’m so glad you still rave about them as my delivery should be coming today 🙂
    It looks like you had a day yesterday!

  • Laura @ My Reason to Tri June 30, 2011, 6:23 am

    yay for no sleeves! ive been going sleeveless for a few months too. i have to put it on every now and then when ive had a high volume week, but for the most part ive been pain free without them. i never really thought about attributing it to all the tri training, but it could quite possibly be! 🙂

    those dates kill me, they look so….naughty!

  • Sam June 30, 2011, 6:54 am

    oooh awesome! That is great! I like your plaid shorts too btw 🙂 I would love a plate of those fruits and dates…yum! dates and nut butter is the BEST!

  • Lauren June 30, 2011, 7:04 am

    It must have been so freeing to run sleeveless! 🙂 So glad to hear you have been recovering so well. You definitely know how to take care of your body girl.

  • Cait @ Beyond Bananas June 30, 2011, 7:21 am

    The best thing that ever happened to me had to do with my sneakers. My knees were ALWAYS bothering me when I wore Nikes. I had no intention on changing.. but my nikes always cost my about 100$ .. and when I was in grad school.. I just couldn’t do that! So I bought a pair of Aisics for much less. Bye, bye knee pain! So glad I was short on money!

    Nikes may look pretty – but they did a number to my knees/it band!

    • Hillary June 30, 2011, 7:23 am

      The exact same thing happened to me! I had been wearing Nikes (and then New Balances) for over five years, and the pain in my knees in hips was getting to be unbearable. I finally got fitted for shoes at a running store, they threw me a pair of Asics, and my pain is GONE!

      • Cait @ Beyond Bananas June 30, 2011, 7:40 am

        I don’t think I will EVER use another type of running shoes 🙂

    • Caitlin June 30, 2011, 10:31 am

      I think my new shoes might be helping too! Lots of support.

  • Blair @ healthyquirks June 30, 2011, 7:36 am

    I’m sure it’s been asked before, but what type of GF bread are you using?

    • Caitlin June 30, 2011, 10:31 am


  • Lisa Fine June 30, 2011, 7:51 am

    That’s great news!

    A few months ago I started getting twinges and pain in my right knee, after a winter running break.

    I began to use Jeff Galloway’s run-walk-run plan, foam rolled my IT bands, and iced after runs, and the pain is pretty much gone. I also recently started swimming and doing more strength, with the hope of making different sets of muscles stronger.

  • Molly @ RDexposed June 30, 2011, 8:03 am

    Almond butter and dates are my new favorite snack! I take them to work with me!

  • Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food June 30, 2011, 8:23 am

    yey for not needing the sleeves! 🙂

    I actually used to struggle with pelvic floor dysfunction (imbalance of muscles in my pelvis) and was told I would probably have to stop high impact activities including running. Running has actually helped the problem! Thank goodness! 🙂

  • bonnie June 30, 2011, 8:37 am

    I’ve increased my cross training and have added sprints into my runs and notice my endurance has improved during long runs! Very few breaks, if any! I don’t fatigue as quickly anymore

  • kwithme June 30, 2011, 8:45 am

    I started with a personal trainer to get my enthusiasm back up. I can tell with my running as well. I went from routinely doing 3-4 miles to 6 this past weekend. Also, I am faster on my bike and stronger in my swims. My favorite part is that I just go and do what he says. No thinking, no counting, nothing. It is the best.

  • Yolie @ Practising Wellness June 30, 2011, 8:54 am

    That’s awesome Caitlin! Woo hoo! 😀
    I’ve got a poorly aligned patella in my right knee too, which canes when I run, so sore on the outside of the knee! so i don’t!
    My physio told me to strengthen my quads heaps, and really work on my glutes, and strap my knee. So i’ve been working really hard on that, which makes me feel so much more confident and happy i am taking positive action to take care of myself! 🙂
    I like my knees and would like them to last 😉
    Thank you so much for this post, I really enjoyed it and am going to look at your other knee posts, since we share the same syndrome! Take care <3 xyx

  • Kierstan @ Life {and running} in Iowa June 30, 2011, 9:05 am

    A side effect from working out – well, combined with eating real food, I’ve lost 40 pounds in the past 3ish years and have taken over an hour off my marathon time. More energy and a much happier attitude are are some of the awesome side effects. Here’s to a {hopeful} BQ in October!

    • Caitlin June 30, 2011, 10:29 am

      Um, hello – you are super awesome!!!!

  • Elizabeth June 30, 2011, 9:15 am

    This is great to keep in mind as I embark on my half marathon training program! Injury preventions is high on my list!!

    • Caitlin June 30, 2011, 10:27 am
      • Elizabeth June 30, 2011, 10:30 am

        Thanks Caitlin! Your blog has SO many awesome resources for runners. It’s been awesome to browse around since I started phase one of my training plan 🙂

        • Caitlin June 30, 2011, 10:33 am

          Thanks!! If you ever think of other topics that you’d like me to cover, let me know!

  • Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed June 30, 2011, 9:19 am

    Yay congrats! I was wearing ankle braces for a while and it felt so good to get rid of them.

  • Mac June 30, 2011, 9:21 am

    That IS exciting! What ever made you decide to try to ditch the sleeves in the first place? I’m still quite in awe of Pat.

    • Caitlin June 30, 2011, 10:25 am

      I dunno! I just didn’t feel like wearing them 🙂 Good thing it worked out. LOL

  • Megan @ Life As Megan Knows It June 30, 2011, 9:43 am

    I am soo happy you are feeling better and ditching the sleeves! I wear a knee brace and every once in a while I get a little risky and ditch them 🙂

  • Christina June 30, 2011, 10:51 am

    I think strength training is key to strengthening your legs and avoiding the use of knee sleeves from here on out 🙂 Keep it up.

    It will probably increase your pace as well!

  • Shannon @ A Pinch of Ginger June 30, 2011, 11:26 am

    WOOHOO! That’s great news! I have found the more yoga I do directly effects my IT Band Syndrome in a very good way. The minute I feel achy I head to a yoga sesh to stretch it out. 🙂

  • Amber K June 30, 2011, 11:52 am

    Feeling stronger and shedding over 100 lbs is definitely the best benefit I’ve had from working out. Congrats on running without the knee sleeves!!

  • Sonia (the Mexigarian) June 30, 2011, 11:59 am

    Seriously need to get with the cross training program. I miss the pool!

  • Shannon June 30, 2011, 1:23 pm

    That is so great about your knees! I only run three times a week and heavily depend on cross training since I have bad knees

  • Rebecca @ How the Cookie's Crumble June 30, 2011, 4:00 pm

    I’ve noticed since I haven’t been running (and have actually been being quite lazy….) my knee have been even sorer than when I run! I think it’s because I’m losing some of my muscle. I need to find my work out motivation again!

  • Dee July 12, 2011, 7:15 pm

    this is waayyyy late but: I recently started strength training consistently, and noticed my posture and walking stride are much more powerful! I can’t quite put it into words, but it’s like my body feels stronger from the inside out. I hate strength training, but am loving these results from being consistent with it!

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