Many of my runner friends, and myself have recently had some knee issues. I was told during a Podiatry evaluation a few years back that I have one leg slightly shorter than the other. I also have venous reflux in that same leg. I have had EVLT surgery on that leg, which basically means that they used a laser to burn my saphenous vein, well since then it has reopened and causes me some problems at certain times of the month. I also believe that I sustained some nerve damage during that procedure due to the fact that your vein, artery, and nerve run together through your leg. Ok enough medical terminology mumbo jumbo.
My problem is that I must stretch extra extra good during these times of the month. For example, I ran 8 miles yesterday and a moderate pace and my right knee got tight on me. After my run I spent only about 5 minutes stretching and doing some yoga postures because I had to get to the store and get home to bring dinner supplies for bug and Kenyan. Most moms have limited time to run much less stretch afterwards, however, I can not stress the importance of stretching enough! So once dinner was finished and the bug was dancing to MJ, I was on the floor stretching it out for a good 15-20 minutes. I immediately felt a release in the strain on my knee. When I woke up this morning, no knee tightness!!! I also prayed about my knee issues, and Deni and Davinas also!!
A lot of knee pain can come from a tight sciatic nerve(I'm not a dr, just my personal experience, and diagnosis from my internist).
Also, proper nutrition is key in recovery of your muscles, you should eat or drink something high in protein immediately following a workout. Bananas are high in potassium and are super great for keeping calf cramps away! I have read you have an hour window to eat following a workout. I like to have a protein smoothie, chocolate milk, or eggs if it's breakfast time.
Ok a little info I got from Kenyan on switching from half marathon training to 10k training... It depends on what exactly your goal is with your races, if it's just to just simply finish or finish at a pace better than before. After every single race I have run since my very first 10k in 2005, I always finished feeling like I had more to give. Well that means I did have more to give, and I should have given more! I really pushed myself in my last half marathon but when it was all over I definitely could have pushed harder. Learning your ability will take time, thats why being properly trained will help this process. Since incorporating speed work, I have learned that I am way stronger than I ever thought before. I am also getting a new found appreciation for the treadmill because it is such a great tool for this purpose. Also, on race day you are way better and faster, you just have to have the confidence. Don't start off slow thinking you won't finish. Start off at a slightly uncomfortable pace knowing you will finish and pushing yourself a little harder a long the way. Training up to a 10k you really don't have to do longer than 6.5 mile runs, unless you already have that mileage under your belt then doing a few 8-10 milers on the weekend is ok. But your main focus should be on picking up the pace on your 3-5 mile runs, and when doing 6.5 mile runs really picking up the pace for the last half mile. Working on picking up the pace during that last half mile will really help you finish strong at the 10k.
I hope this info was helpful! Happy running y'all!