Returning to running after knee surgery can feel like a daunting task, but with the right strategy, it’s entirely achievable. 

Returning to running after knee surgery requires a cautious approach focused on gradual progression, targeted strength training, and professional guidance. By prioritizing these key elements and adopting a holistic approach to wellness, you can overcome challenges and safely resume running, ultimately reclaiming your passion for the sport

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the essential steps to safely resume running post-surgery, offering valuable insights for anyone facing similar challenges.

Understanding Your Situation

If you’ve undergone knee surgery, it’s crucial to understand your unique circumstances. Whether you’ve had scopes, debridements, or other procedures, recognizing the history of your knee issues is essential. Identifying potential instabilities, weaknesses, and imbalances will guide your approach to rehabilitation and running.

Related: Runners Knee: Deal With Running Injuries Without Breaking The Bank

Prioritize Strength Training

One of the cornerstones of running after knee surgery is targeted strength training. Focus on strengthening key muscle groups, including the glutes, lower abs, ankles, and hips. Strengthening these areas will enhance stability around the knee joint, reducing the risk of injury and improving overall running mechanics.

Making sure you do the correct strength training is important. The good news is we’ve created a free strength training plan for runners that you can download by clicking here.

Embrace Gradual Progression

Patience is key when returning to running post-surgery. Begin with low-impact activities like walking, gradually introducing short intervals of jogging or running. Pay attention to your body’s signals and progress at a pace that feels comfortable. Avoid the temptation to push too hard or too fast, as this can lead to setbacks and reinjury.

Seek Professional Guidance

Consulting with a qualified healthcare professional is essential for a safe and effective return to running. A physical therapist or sports medicine specialist can provide personalized guidance and rehabilitation exercises tailored to your specific needs. Additionally, working with a knowledgeable running coach can offer valuable insights into training plans, technique refinement, and injury prevention strategies.

Adopt a Holistic Approach

Returning to running after knee surgery is not just about physical rehabilitation—it’s also about adopting a holistic approach to wellness. Prioritize proper nutrition, hydration, and sleep to support your body’s recovery and optimize performance. Embrace cross-training activities like swimming, cycling, or yoga to complement your running routine and enhance overall fitness.

Stay Positive and Persistent

Recovering from knee surgery and returning to running may present challenges, but maintaining a positive mindset and staying persistent will ultimately lead to success. Celebrate small victories along the way, and don’t be discouraged by setbacks. With dedication, perseverance, and the right support system, you can achieve your running goals and enjoy the exhilarating benefits of being a runner once again.

In conclusion, running after knee surgery requires patience, diligence, and a strategic approach. By prioritizing strength training, gradual progression, professional guidance, and holistic wellness, you can overcome obstacles and reclaim your passion for running, one step at a time.


With a passion for high performance sport – Lindsey Parry is one of South Africa’s most widely recognised coaches. Having led a team to the London, Rio and Tokyo Olympic Games as well as the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, the Gold Coast & Birmingham, and coached both triathletes and runners onto podiums of some of the world’s most illustrious races, Lindsey has a unique ability to understand what it takes to succeed at any level and thrives on coaching, motivating and inspiring others to do the same – whether it’s on the track, on stage or behind a mic.

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