Yesterday I went for a 6.5 mile run. There were a couple of short steep hills, varying surfaces, and it was my longest run in a very long time. Now my knee hurts.
I could feel my IT Band getting tighter at the end of my run. I have had a couple of 5 mile runs with no pain and I think this little bit of extra distance was really a challenge for my body. I want to recover well and manage this pain and I thought I would share what I plan to do about it.
I should say that this isn’t new for me. My IT Band has always hurt when I increase my distance in my run. I have chronic hip pain that I manage, but have never found a real solution for. Doctors just tell me that my piriformis is tight and send me on my way. I am not sure I believe them. But, for now, I need to find a solution that allows me to heal and keep going.
1. Strengthen and Stretch
I want to make sure to do exercises to strengthen my inner and outer thigh. I really liked this video. There was just one leg lift exercise missing that I do, but otherwise spot on.
These exercises should be followed by some comprehensive stretching as well. Generally, there is an imbalance causing pain. Weakness on one side and tightness on the other. The body functions at its best when balanced and aligned properly.
2. Foam Roll
Nothing better than foam rolling the good old IT Band. Wait, is that wrong? Is it anything is better than foam rolling the IT Band? Let’s see.
Here is a really good video on why one should not foam roll the IT Band. I have done it for years with good results, but I have also made a point to foam roll other areas and strengthen and stretch, so maybe this particular roll is not needed.
Here is a video for foam rolling the glutes, which is a great idea. You can also foam roll your calves, hamstrings, and quadriceps while you are at it.
3. Kinesiology Tape
I have some KT Tape and really don’t use it often, but I plan to give it a try for my IT Band.
This article talks about a proper way to apply the tape to correct some issues. Here is the video from the article:
And that is my plan! I do also want to really understand the cause of this issue for me. All of my pain is always only on my left side. There must be a reason and something that I can do to perform any exercise pain free. I will also note that when I am strength training I run into similar issues, so it isn’t just running.
Until the next adventure!