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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?


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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!


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Running “Smart” Isn’t Always Fun.

Thursday: Rest

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Color Me Rad 5k

The fun run we did this morning was a blast! We got the chance to run through Six Flags, get messy & get a run in good and early.

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To make this long story and day short, my ankle isn’t feeling any better. It was feeling on and off throughout this easy, shake out run, but afterward i noticed it was swollen and painful. I made the decision late today to play it smart and safe (even though there were tears and a lot of back n’ forth) that i’m not running the marathon tomorrow. I had a hard time making it though the 5k, i couldn’t even comprehend going another 23 miles.

I wanted to elaborate on this just a smidge before I head back to my icing, compression, and wine. Yes that’s what I prescribed myself.

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This ankle pain–which is in my Achilles tendon btw–is a new pain. This isn’t something I hid from you guys, or trained on and ignored. I don’t feel like I’ve overtrained or overused this, however I have complained about tight calves for some time, which i think may have contributed. But the sharp pain and swelling is new and happened just last week. As soon as i noticed something was up, i took 2 complete rest days, tested it today and not much has changed. I’m still in pain.

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I’ve seen way too many runners injured by ignoring symptoms (hello, i did this a few years ago) and too many times, runners just push themselves into injuries. There is a big difference in muscle soreness and actual pain. Knowing the difference helped make my decision a lot easier even when I had to fight with my inner self –who wanted to run and was soooo ready to run!–and tell myself that one race wasn’t worth the risk of being injured for weeks or months.

Talking it out with Cameron & a few friends (thanks Lauren & Emmeline!) helped me realize i was being smart about this. The best decisions aren’t always the easiest and this was a miserably hard one. My goal for this race was to complete this marathon comfortably—which won’t happen with my ankle the way it is. I also made a promise to Cameron that I wouldn’t let marathon training interfere with our wedding. If I had to hobble down the aisle that would be interfering…There’s always another race, tomorrow is another day.

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pretty much what I looked like today.

I don’t have any good questions today, tell me something positive cause I can’t handle sympathy comments 😦

Also- you guys make everything awesome. i was really pumped up from all the support and comments, i can’t wait to make everyone proud!