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A Close Call…

Running injuries SUCK. I feel like i’ve been talking about ITBS syndrome since last spring, but I wanted to give a detailed report on what happened to me recently and how I’m handling it this time around. I just hope this might help someone who is dealing with an injury. Just remember, you are NOT alone.

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I asked her to try and look sad with me…

A couple weeks ago on December 5th, i felt an all-too-familiar pain on the outside of my knees. I didn’t want to believe it, but the IT band pain was hinting at a return. Because I’ve already had ITBS, I know what that specific pain feels like and it was easy to make the decision to stop mid-run, go home, address the issue and try to sidestep a repeat injury.

Yes, I did stop 2.5 miles into a long run and turned around even though i wanted, craved and needed a long run. Deciding to do the smart thing and walk home was actually easy. The hard part was trudging that long distance home feeling defeated, frustrated and concerned about what I could have possibly done wrong.

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Here are my tips and what I did this time around. I feel like I came really close to an injury again, and playing it smart paid off. Just 10 days after the initial IT band pain and i’m already on the comeback and ran pain free three times this week!

  1.  Stop running & start strengthening I’ve read from multiple sources that you cannot beat IT band pain by just taking time off of running. You have to strength train and get your glutes, hips, hamstrings, and lateral (side to side) movement in gear! (check out these exercises)
  2. Cross train if no pain Rowing & the stairmill have become my best friends for cardio when I can’t run. And they offer little to no impact on the joints which is crucial for ITBS. Try and stay away from machines that closely imitate running, i.e. the elliptical. And of course, stop if you feel pain!
  3. Stretch & Foam Roll Check out this video: IT Band Hell This gave me a TON of new ways to stretch and an interesting insight about NOT foam rolling directly on the IT Band.
  4. Avoid hills and downhill running when you begin your “test runs” Start on the treadmill. Boring yes, but you will thank yourself if you need to bail on a run and don’t have to cry in defeat on your walk back. Plus, on the treadmill you can go with little to no incline and no downhill running which aggravates this injury.
  5. Be grateful Your body is extremely good at giving signals when something is wrong. Don’t ignore it. Enjoy the time off, sleep in, and change up your exercise routine so you will be 100% happy and healthy for your comeback.

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Last Week 

Monday: 5 Rounds: 250m row, 20 thrusters 30#, 45 sec side plank each side + 2.2m walk

Tuesday: 20 min stairmill, 1 mile easy 9:15/pace (no pain!), 1 mile walk

Wednesday: 5 Rounds: 500m row, 10 walkout pushups, 12 hot salsa lunges, 15 hip hikes/each leg + 1 mile walk

Thursday: 3m easy 9:22/pace (no pain)

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 5m easy 8:50/pace, 10min abs (no pain)

Total Miles: 9

I hope this is helpful–feel free to comment with any advice on how to handle injuries or what to do when you’re down for the count.

 


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IT Band Exercises – What Worked For Me!

Monday: 20 min lats/shoulders, 2m walk with LE

Last week I took it easy with strength training and focused on all running related workouts. Safe to say it’s not as intense of a workout week, but I feel like i’m becoming a stronger, well-rounded runner by taking the time to do all the little things. Plus i needed a down week after building mileage and general fatigue. I get asked often what I did to recover my IT Band and it’s very simple. It’s all in the hips.

I’ve been diligent with doing the Myrtls routine, almost daily or every other day since the end of April. Now that I’m healthier I just do them as often as I can after a workout or at night when i’m foam rolling. It’s just part of the normal routine now 😉 I do #8-11 of the Myrtl routine as a pre-run warm up and I also include 10-20 walking lunges and a set of 10-15 deep squats.

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In addition to the hip exercises, I do one running skills & drills day and one tough leg day which now includes a ton of lateral movements and single-leg movements which strengthen the hips/glutes & work on core stabilization. <—the key to get rid of ITBS is to strengthen!

Some of my favorite exercises include: walking hip abductions (band around ankles, walking sideways), crab walks (walking sideways in a semi-squat position with resistance band), monster walks (walking forward, taking wide steps, semi-lunge position), squats with band around thighs & ankles (not allowing knees to cave inward).

This trail running video also gave me lots of great strength ideas.

The hard part of getting through any injury is not giving up on the rehab exercises. I didn’t see any real improvement with pain or strength until about 6 weeks in. Don’t give up! Even as a personal trainer I almost forgot that you don’t see results until 6-12 weeks into any program, so try not to get discouraged if you attempt these exercises and your pain doesn’t magically disappear. Be diligent, do quality reps over quantity, and trust that in time you will be pain free & a much better runner with happy hips.

And here’s a picture of LE and me after I ran 4 pain free & carefree miles 🙂

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Monday: 15min glutes/hips

Tuesday: 4m easy 9:15/pace, 10 min lower back/glutes

Wednesday: 35 min running drills + skill work

Thursday: 20min core

Friday: 6m easy 8:44/pace (Longest run since MAY 10th!)

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 4m easy 8:17/pace

Total Miles: 14 running (no walk runs!)

Any one else recovering from an injury? 

Have you tried Myrtls or using a resistance band for hip strength?


8 Comments

Random Acts of Summerness & How to Deal With Injuries!

Mon: Rest

Tuesday: 3m easy 8:45/pace

Wednesday: 25 min legs/hips/triceps, 2m walk with LE

Man, I’m a terrible blogger. Sometimes life becomes more important than sitting at a laptop though.  Hope everyone is okay with the once in a while shesgoingthedistance.com becomes shesnotbloggingforawhile.com. 

Let’s get down to it. Summer is my favorite time of the year.. it comes with my favorite two holidays– Independence Day and my birthday.. so i’ve been extremely busy lately.

Playing board games…

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Eating too much watermelon…

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Enjoying the long nights & sunsets…

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Watching L.E. sleep…

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and growing my hair. haha

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You know, the usual. 🙂

Recently I began running again! Hooray! The IT band pain has completely cleared up and every time I run I literally tear up I’m so happy. I don’t know what it is about running that makes the day better, but i’m not gonna question it!  Here are a few tips on how to maintain fitness & keep positive during injuries!

Dealing & Working Through An Injury

1) If you’re working out and feel an “OW!” pain as opposed to a “muscle burn” pain, you should stop what you’re doing. If the pain continues, go seek a medical professional’s opinion. I trust my chiropractor, so he’s always my go-to when somethings off.

2) Figure out why you are injured. Was it a freak accident or is there a weakness to address? Whatever it is, make sure you find out how to correct & strengthen your weak areas. Strengthening & rehabbing your injured area should be your top priority while taking a break from running. If you can’t work the injured area, train the healthy areas (ex. if you have a lower body injury, train your upper body. If you have an upper body injury, train your lower half).

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3) Try and maintain fitness by cross training, pool running/rowing/cycling/elliptical/strength training, whatever you can do without causing your injured area to worsen.

4) Nutrition needs to be on point! Those extra hundreds (sometimes thousands) of calories you normally burn while running aren’t there, so step away from the pizza, ice cream & cookies. Try to focus on healing your body from the inside out & eat foods high in anti-inflammatories (berries, fish, etc.). I truly believe solid nutrition can help speed up recovery. And WATER IS KEY! Stay hydrated!

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5) Reach out to others who have been or are injured. I searched the hashtag #itbandsyndrome #ITBS #itbandinjury while on Instagram and man alive, i didn’t feel alone anymore. I felt support from a lot of runners and it made me feel better that I wasn’t the only one dealing with this problem.

6) Re-evaluate your previous training plan and try to pinpoint where it went wrong. Did you increase mileage too quickly? Were you skipping the warm ups/stretching/foam rolling? How many miles are on your shoes? This can go on and on, but usually if you review your training logs you can find a reason. My issue was just not doing enough lateral movements in my workouts, causing weak hips which couldn’t stabilize the IT band.

7) Stay positive! Most runners have small injuries that can heal in 4-12 weeks. Running is not life and death. Being sidelined for a month or two isn’t the worst thing in the world. Sure it sucks, but IT band pain, or a strained muscle is better than being in a cast or needing surgery. Use the time off to appreciate your body, appreciate your love for running and discover new ways to stay in shape!

Week of June 15th-21st Workouts

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 25 min TRX total body

Wednesday: 3m easy 8:53/pace

Thursday: 20 min stairmill

Friday: 25 min hips/hamstrings, 1500m row

Saturday: 1.8m walk

Sunday: 3.6m easy progressive 8:33/pace, 1m walk 

Total Mileage: 6.6 running, 2.8m walking

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Week of June 22nd-28th Workouts

Mon: 2.3m walk, 30 min hamstrings/shoulders

Tuesday: 3m easy 8:50/pace, 15 min lat pulldown circuit + Pushups

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 2800m row + upper body & single leg exercises + core

Friday: 3.3m progressive run 7:45/pace

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 5.1m walk/run easy

Total Miles: 13.75  <—moving on up!

Comment below with your tips for getting through an injury!


11 Comments

IT Band! Let’s Do This!

Monday: 3m easy run, 15 min upper body

Tuesday: 3m easy run, 25min Kettlebells

Wednesday: Rest

When you don’t have anything nice to blog, then don’t blog about anything at all. Is that a rule? I’m not sure, but either way my left IT band has been a little punk. When I’m not feeling great, it’s really hard for me to share with you guys, but I gotta suck it up, keep it real and let you know i deal with minor injuries & pains here and there too.

So a few things here before you think i’m benched: My chiro says I have a weak left hip adductor which is causing the IT band pain. Secondly, he also believes my body is finally moving more correctly (without overcompensation) than it has ever has before. My body moving the right way is bringing my weaknesses front & center and moving properly is making new body parts sore. I.E. my IT band.

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handy lacrosse ball to work out knots in my calves & quads

I’m actually thankful that it seems like all the overcompensation that has happened for the last FOUR years, might actually be over with. I always feel bad not blogging immediately when things aren’t going right, but I like to be cautious and really find out what’s going on before I make a big deal out of something that might not be. When I felt that pain in my leg (about 10 days ago), i couldn’t run more than 1 mile without being in pain so bad I had to walk. I’m pretty sure a few tears were shed on the trails… this week I can do 3 miles before any pain appears, but i’m still being overly cautious and stopping when the pain starts coming on.

Reading up on EVERYTHING to do with running related issues & solutions

Reading up on EVERYTHING to do with running related issues & solutions

So i know all the hard work is paying off…  all  of those clamshells, lateral squats & lunges, single leg squats & dead lifts, jane fonda leg raises–the stuff that works the weak areas— is helping! I’m reading up & being smart with this issue, because not only do I want to continue to run happy, but I have a ton of runner clients now and I need to keep their bodies moving! One very large tip with the IT band: Stretching is not what will solve IT band pain. Lots of runners think that stretching or foam rolling is the key & it’s not. You must strengthen the weak hips & glutes and also work out the knots along the IT band. Speaking of which…

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Rumble Roller

This is my new nasty foam roller. I can never go back to normal foam after this. It’s the meanest, hardest, bestest roll i’ve ever received. I named it The Dark Knight. All other rollers can suck it.

Last Week

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 3.5 easy 9:05/pace, 35 min chest/back/abs

Wednesday:  Rest

Thursday: 3.5m easy 9:30/pace, 15min hips & stretching

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 5.2m walk, 30 min TRX Rip Trainer

Sunday: Rest

Total Miles: 7 miles running, 5.2m walking.

Anyone deal with IT band pain?