How To Run With A Bloody Knee

An important part of running is learning how to run in uncomfortable situations, for example – chafing or in inclement weather. Today I’m here to show you how to run with a bloody knee. The things I do for RER, such a martyr right?!

I tried to knock out my long run today since I’m going to be hanging out with Matt tomorrow. I did a little cat dancing to warm up and was off to start my day (check out Instagram for that).

how to run with a bloody knee like a foo (600x800)

Lalala I was 10.5 miles into my 15 miler, completely lost in my thoughts when BAM!

Once second I was running, the next I was skidding on the sidewalk. Before I realized it I felt my right knee slam into the ground and my right hand slid along the sidewalk. I said, “Darn it!” and quickly jumped up to at least avoid too much embarrassment and kept running.


Then, I glanced down at my knee and saw blood. So, I stopped and inspected – yep, bloody and a bruise was immediately forming.

how to run with a bloody  knee (600x800)

I could have turned back to my car which was a mile and a half away OR kept going along my pre-planned route that was another 4 miles away. I figured I might be sore for a few days so I might as well finish this run before my body realizes what happened.

i never said you were a stripper

I said you were a tripper!

How to Run with a Bloody Knee:

  1. Pretend like it doesn’t hurt. Because it’s going to hurt more when you stop running!
  2. Try to stop the bleeding with something. If you don’t have anything let the blood run down your leg so your sock will soak it up.
  3. Take pictures so you can instagram it and seem like you’re hardcore.
  4. Use it as an excuse to not ice bath since it would sting too much.
  5. Ignore the people staring at your knee as you run by, convince yourself they are impressed with your running abilities not lack of blood clotting abilities.
  6. Just keep running – like you’re being chased, perhaps.

run like youre being chased (600x800)

Then, eat a watermelon because it’s great for recovery.

watermelon for one blog (600x800)

15 done. 15 miles (600x800)

When I stopped running and gave it a look I saw that it’s already swollen and bruised. Bah.

falling while running (600x800)

So my last suggestion –  ice your knee before it gets more swollen.

icing my knee after i fell running (600x800)

Wait! It hasn’t been all falling and junk over here. I have a meal worth mentioning – last night I had stuffed salmon for dinner. It was awesome. stuffed salmon for dinner (800x600)

i didnt fall

Question: Yes or No – would you have kept running?


  1. says

    I fell and got a bloody knee once, and also scraped my hand and ended up breaking my finger. i kept running but was only about 3/4 mile from home, so I figured it was faster to run than to walk! Someone actually saw me fall and brought out paper towels, which was really nice but also embarrasing!

  2. Wendy says

    A couple years ago when I was training for my first marathon, I tripped over some uneven sidewalk. I fell down and slid, hit one knee on a sprinkler head and the other hit the concrete. I had to keep running to complete the loop home but blood was oozing out of both knees and everyone I passed looked at me funny! I don’t regret finishing the run but I couldn’t wait to ice my knees afterward :)

  3. says

    I did the exact same thing about a month ago, only I was wearing tights. I somehow managed to scrape my knee but not get a hole in my tights! But definitely jumped up and started running immediately to minimize embarassment/the chance that someone would see.

  4. says

    Haha number 3 is my favorite :) I did this once just as I was starting my run, literally right outside my dorm in college and bam, hit the ground…I could not stop the bleeding to I wimped out and went home. I felt like I was gushing blood when is probably was not nearly that bad haha

  5. says

    I’m a bit type-a so I would probably want to finish the distance but I also would have been secretly excited to have a knarly cut/bruise. I’m weirdo and I think they’re cool, besides the whole painful part 😉

  6. Claudia says

    Owee. Brings back memories. But I had just started my run so I hobbled home and discovered cracked ribs the next day. For some reason, the knee didn’t hurt so much after that 😉

  7. Lela says

    I did that once! I was at mile .87 of a 12 mile run (that I had spent hours that morning convincing myself to do) and scrapped my hand and my knee. I definitely kept running because I knew if I went back, I would never finish the run! I did feel pretty hard core though.

  8. says

    Oh, yeah!!! I have run with blood flowing more times than is cool!
    The first run I did after having my oldest son was super bloody and ended up with my husband picking gravel out of my knee for a LONG time – but I finished my run first!!!
    Way to gut it out and finish the 15 miles!

  9. says

    Definitely would have kept running! It’s the cool thing nowadays to train your brain! 😉 You’re one tough chica!! That stuffed salmon looks delicious!

  10. says

    My only painful fall happened at college, but I was just walking and fell. Not sure what happened. I had to limp all the way home.

    I would have gone back. Figure it was a sign from the universe, or something.

  11. says

    Slipped and fell on ice on the way to the gym. Knocked out my run anyway. However, it messed up my back (which didn’t hurt me until the next day) and I had to lay off everything but swimming for a while. Oops. Hope it’s just cosmetic and you’re fine tomorrow!

  12. Anel says

    You are a trooper! I fell on one of my trail runs once and I got a few scratches on my knee, nothing like yours, but I kept running!

  13. says

    Totally would have kept running. I fall often so I’m getting used to it. Seriously, I fall so much that I have enough bruises that my doctor thought somebody was abusing me and since I kept saying “No really, I just fall a lot” she left an abuse pamphlet on top of my paperwork on the way out. Sigh…runner problems

  14. says

    I glanced at post titles on my Feedly main screen and I thought your post was titled How to Run with a Bloody MARY, highly disappointed to see it was knee. Hope recovery is swift.

  15. says

    I would totally have kept running! A few years ago, I tripped over a sprinkler head next to the sidewalk and flew down the ground on the side of my face and knee. I got onto all fours, and a car stopped to ask if I was ok. Mortified, I waved him on. I got up and kept going, blood running down my leg from my knee. One of my friends drove by and stopped. She took one look at me and offered me a ride to her house. I told her I wanted to finish my run. She shook her head. “Only you”, she said…

  16. says

    Ouch. that sucks. I have the worst balance. I bit it on a long run, but somehow crashed chin first into the pavement (no grace). I had to run the last 3 miles home with everyone staring at me. Probably because runners like us are hardcore, or special;)

  17. says

    Two years ago, we had a warm spring in VT, and I was out running, so happy, not paying attention, one second running in the beautiful sunshine the next sprawled out on the sidewalk. The best part is I was running thru the college part of town and EVERYONE was outside, walking, running, biking. I jumped up and ran to the next block and turned the corner before checking out my bleeding knees, hands, shoulder, face, yeah I hit hard!

  18. says

    I would have kept running, too! Hey, if you’re already away from home an need to get back, what better way to get back than to run, right? I had this happen to me once, too, and I totally would have run but I thought I broke my arm (couldn’t feel it, and it was REALLY swollen!). I did run a little bit back, but it’s kind of hard to pump your arms to push you uphill when you can’t feel one of them.

  19. Angelica says

    haha this is so appropriate. The tally right for the day today is Gravity=2, Angelica=0 :( I slipped on ice in the morning on my way to yoga (hit my hand and hip) and then slammed both of my knees really hard on the floor while trying to get out of a pose (the whole class stared because it was that loud).

  20. says

    Yes! I’ve run with a broken toe nail rubbing in my shoe! An unhooked bra… you name it. I struggled after back problems and back surgery. Then a broken toe that my dr even advised not walking on a treadmill. Run because you can! I know the difference now between irritation and true pain that can cause further damage. You go girl!

  21. says

    I would have absolutely kept running. Last year, a week before a half marathon I’d been training to PR in, I fell in about 3 miles into a simple 5 miler, rolling my ankle pretty bad. Unfortunately that was not a good choice and I knew it the second I stopped running (I swear it didn’t hurt that bad while I was MOVING!). Welp. . . still isn’t right to this day but just another crazy runner I guess 😉

  22. Sara says

    I just found your blog and already I love you!
    This is fairly embarrassing but I did Ragnar DC last year as Runner 1 and fell 1.25 miles into Leg 1 (I know the exact mileage b/c my Garmin stopped when I fell). I fell and hurt both knees. And my shoulder and my arm. Oh and my face. Yep, I fell on my face. In front of several dozen other runners. Some stopped and asked if I was ok…I asked if I was bleeding but it was so dark they just said, “I can’t tell if it’s mud or blood.” (for the record, it was blood). Obviously, I kept going since 11 other people were waiting on me and we still had 198.75 miles to go! I did cry at the end of the leg though…the embarrassment and pain got the best of me.
    I have scars on both knees from that fall but at least I have a bad ass story to tell about them (it would be more bad ass if it had been my 3rd leg, though!).

  23. says

    Yup, I would have. And I checked items 1-5 on your list; no watermelon though. Fell at km5 of the HM at HK Marathon 2 weeks ago. Finished the run and then went to get the medics to clean up the knee, elbow and palms (hardcore, eh? LOL!).

  24. Tara says

    I have this fear of falling and knocking my teeth out. If I fell and it was my hand/knee, I would keep going! You are hard core!

  25. Erica says

    I fell down the stairs today and bruised up my toe… still went to the gym and am icing it up at work today. I would have kept running too :-)

  26. bobbie says

    Yep! Been there done that..definitely would have kept running unless something was sprained or broken. I did sprain my ankle on a long run once. Stopped to rest and tried to run and each time my foot hit the ground the pain was unbearable. I ended up having to call the husband and kids to come and get me. #embarassing

  27. says

    I love this post but want to make you feel better about yourself by saying, I honest to God fell 5 times in one race. I did get up and keep going but by the end I had a broken finger, a sprained ankle and blood running down both legs. The good news is I got the pictures to share on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram

  28. Alison says

    I tripped once running in the dark (hey, we’re training here!). A rock sprung up out of no where and I couldn’t see it even with my headlamp. I twisted my ankle pretty good, but I was about 1.5 miles from home. Definitely faster to keep running rather than walk! I ran home and iced it then.

  29. Shannon in Tustin says

    I fell once but it was an ankle twist and not a scrape. BUT I fell trying to avoid (or be polite to avoid) that was walking in the opposite direction on the sidewalk with their dog. Get this: they laughed at me! not huge guffaws, but chuckled out loud. Serious.

    Now let’s get to you featuring a little clip with Benjamin Bratt on the blog. Love you forever–my celeb crush for years (and for the rest of my natural life)! :)

  30. Shannon B. says

    Unfortunately it takes me about getting ran over before I bruise, no one would have believed me, so I would have kept going.
    Glad you are ok!

  31. Jen says

    It all depends on how bad it is! If it looks like something is already swelling I think it’s best to stay off – faster recovery that way. But kids skin and bruise their knees all the time and keep going, and we will never grow older, right?

  32. says

    I fell down and cut my knee and was bleeding all over myself. Fortunately I just received dirty looks from the people around me who weren’t at all phased by the way I was hobbling and bleeding. I mentally apologized to the obnoxious girl who looked at me at said “ew” out loud to her boyfriend.
    I stopped my run and went home. I’m not a badass but I’m okay with that.

  33. says

    omg I did the same thing Sunday!! My knee is WRECKED and I still had to run 13 more when I fell. After one day totally off and one day of (totally lame, full-of-limping) cross training, I was able to run today without too much pressure or discomfort. I went to the doctor this morning (for something else) and first words were: “my, your ankles look HUGE!” Perf.

    The worst part? The only reason I fell is because I almost got clipped by A CAR trying to turn right on red so I turned quickly to go up the sidewalk and ate it right into a big pile of snow. So annoying!

  34. Kate Crowder says

    This seems like a really neat blog I’m glad I found it.
    Geeze you ladies are true warriors. I’m such a wimp about sudden pain. I have taken a few spills while out on my run but if I skinned my knees to where they are bloody my run is over. Last month I sprained my ankle for the first time, I just went out the door for my morning run and I was too busy messing with my watch and well I stepped on a big rock that was laying in the drive way and rolled my ankle, it made a gross pop and I slammed knee first into the pavement. Like I said I don’t take sudden pain too well so I instantly bursted into tears crying like a baby. My 19 yo son ended up having to bridal carry me to the house you don’t even know how embarrassed I was. Anyways next time I fall and skin my knees I’ll have to think about this post and everyone who commented and just suck it up and continue my run it is just a little blood after all. 😛

  35. says

    You totally nailed the running with a bloody knee experience. I tripped over an uneven sidewalk with 3.5 miles left to go in my long run yesterday and could hear the spectators groan as I hit the ground. Then of course they had to come over an make sure I was alright. I attempted to wash off the blood with the help of a nearby water fountain, but you are right, it kept running down to meet my sock. Yes, I kept running knowing it would hurt more when I stopped so I may as well get my mileage in for the day. Thanks for writing this and making me feel less alone in my klutziness!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *