Sunday, 24 April 2011

Workouts - Week Commencing 18 April 2011

Monday: Chest and Core. Run.
  • Push-ups with feet on stability ball (5x10)
  • Machines Flyes
  • Crunches with 5kg Ball (5x10)
  • 3.1km Treadmill Run ( summary ) - IT Band feeling tender. Slight burning pain at times.
  • Foam rolling and stretching. (home)

Tuesday: Back and Run
  • 3.1km Treadmill Run ( summary ) - Followed by quick roll on gym foam roller.
  • Pull-ups (6 sets of 4 reps)
  • Foam Rolling Session (home)

Wednesday: Rest (from running)
  • I did the sensible thing and took a rest day from running
  • Home DB Workout (Shoulders) - Possibly strained my back during this. (rested - now ok)
  • Foam Rolling Session (home)

Thursday: Run
  • 5.56km Run [London] ( summary / map ) No ITBS pain. Good warmup (inc. pigeon pose)
  • Foam Roller Session / Pigeon Pose

(Good) Friday:
  • 4.53km Run ( summary / map ) No ITBS pain. Same warm up as previous day.
  • Foam Rolling Session / Pigeon Pose

  • 4.53km Run ( summary / map ) No ITBS pain. Same warm up as previous days.
  • Foam Rolling session(s) / Pigeon Pose

(Easter) Sunday:
  • 8.05km Run ( summary / map ). No ITBS pain but could feel it possibly creeping up on me towards the end.
  • Foam Rolling / Pigeon Pose / Stretches

I'm really happy with my running this week. I seem to be making progress on my ITBS issue. I haven't been lifting as many weights though. I'm at a point where I feel that the running has taken over, which isn't a problem because I love it, but I also love to lift weights so I have some work to do to get a better balance in the next few weeks. Also, once I feel completely free of the ITBS demon I want to get some key workouts back into my training, the midweek interval session and the Sunday long run to be specific.


Friday, 22 April 2011

My Iliotibial Band Problem (3)

I don't want to speak too soon but I may have had a breakthrough. The last two days I have been free of ITBS pain, the runs were relatively short at 5.5km and 4.5km but it feels like a huge step in the right direction.

On daily basis I am generally doing the following:

The routine for a run is

  • Warm up approx 10-15 minutes (Leg Swings etc / pigeon pose)
  • Run
  • Cool Down approx 10-15 minutes (Stretches / Foam Rolling / pigeon pose)

At various points throughout the day I am doing

  • Leg Abduction Exercises (just bodyweight, usually standing)
  • Hip Hikes (not every day)
  • Occasional pigeon pose

Then in the evening I am doing

  • Foam Rolling (10-15 minutes)
  • Pigeon Pose (Hold it for longer than at other times in the day)

Photo of me getting into the pigeon pose, when I feel ready I bring my torso all the way down to the floor for a really good stretch.

I'm sure everything is playing its part in helping, but since I started the pigeon pose I feel like my progress has stepped up a gear. In the pose I really feel a nice stretch in the glutes, it makes me wonder if my ITBS problem is simply caused by tight glute muscles. Probably too early to say for sure. Hopefully update 4 is full of more good news and progress.


My Iliotibial Band Problem (2)

I thought it was about time that I posted an update on my ITBS issue. So these are the things I have been doing...

Break: I had a 1 week break from running. - The pain went away completely (as expected) but obviously NOT running isn't a long term solution to the problem. By the end of the break my body was aching (literally) to run again.

Strengthening Exercises: I was doing some hip hikes and other hip strengthening exercises but I must admit that the last week I have been slacking on these exercises, mostly because I've been at home and had no access to my gym (which is at work).

Stretching: I have been doing all the usual leg stretches plus I've added in the yoga pigeon pose position for opening up the hips (I get a really nice stretch in the glutes!). I really like this position and it helped give me some relief after a few of my runs. I'm going to continue with this one.

Foam Roller: I have been using my foam roller on my legs. - It does provide quite a good amount of relief after I have run and I am enjoying the process, so far it hasn't made any difference to the onset of the pain but I will continue.

It's a very depressing problem/injury which seems to have no one single method for resloving it. I'm running again but find it difficult to do much over 4km at any one time, and I may have to re-evaluate my plans to race 10k's and upwards this year. I defintely think running the Tonbridge half marathon in September - which I really want to do - is looking unlikely.

I found some information online that suggested that the way I position my legs while sitting in my chair at work could also be a factor, I find that I put my legs back under my chair - Apparently not good. I am making an effort to sit properly with my feet in front of me.

I've made a page that I can use for quick reference listing the different things I am doing to help get over this problem. You will see the tab for it at the top of the page. If not it's here.

Update 3 will follow very soon.


Sunday, 17 April 2011

Workouts - week commencing 11 April 2011

I had a week off of work this week. That meant no access to the gym but an opportunity to do very short runs each day (which shouldn't aggravate my right IT band), and also to use my foam roller throughout each day.

4.11km Run ( summary / map ). Foam Roller. IT band tender after run and PM.

Tuesday: 3.84km Run ( summary / map ). Foam Roller. IT band tender at end of run.

Wednesday: 5.05km Run ( summary / map ). Foam Roller. IT band tender but ok.

Thursday: 5.05km Run ( summary / map ). Foam Roller. IT band hurting, reduced to mostly walking after 4.5km. Also threw in about 20 metres of backwards running!

Friday: (Right IT Band felt weird still) No Running, but did a 5 minute session on the foam roller.

Saturday: 4.05km Run ( summary / map ). 15 minutes of foam rolling / Pigeon Pose (yoga). IT Band feeling slightly tender but not really painful.

Sunday: 4.04km Run ( summary / map ). Foam Rolling / Pigeon Pose (yoga). IT band ok.

In retrospect I shouldn't have done two 5k runs back-to-back as the ITBS flared up enough to make me cancel my planned Friday morning run.

Next week I'll be back at work so I'm not sure how the running will work. It would be nice to get 5 x 4km runs done, but I also want to get back to the gym for some weight training.


Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Running Backwards?

I've been researching different ways to strengthen my legs and I stumbled across 'backwards running'. Sounds like an interesting variation to try but I'll need to pick my location wisely. The safest options seem to be:

  • In the gym on the Treadmill
This is probably the safest option in terms of running into somebody or something. However the downsides are - I'll probably be told that running backwards contravenes the health and safety policy of the gym (as does being barefoot - this one is confirmed). Secondly I'll probably become known as 'that guy'... What guy? 'that guy who runs backwards on the treadmill' - Although this is better than being known as 'that guy who fell off the treadmill' - that's not me yet!

  • In the Park
Still fairly safe when the park is quiet. Probably have to deal with some odd looks and I'll still become 'that guy'! But I don't mind really, it might be nice to be 'that guy' for once.

...... and then I stumble across something really interesting!


Excuse my ignorance, but I never knew there were backwards running races. Now as long as this isn't a belated April fools joke I am interested in taking part in the 3km race in July.

Has anyone taken part in a backwards running race? Has anyone tried running backwards before, and do you have any tips? Has anyone come across any other weird races/events?


Sunday, 10 April 2011

Workouts - Week Commencing 4 April 2011

  • Monday: DB Workout - Shoulders/Back/Arms
  • Tuesday: Chest and Triceps ( Push-ups feet on ball / Machine Flyes / DB Chest Press )
  • Wednesday: Back, Biceps, Shoulders (Home with DB) and some Foam Rolling.
  • Thursday: Bodyweight Leg Workout
  • Friday: Chest, Back, Core, Legs and Foam Rolling in the gym. Plus more foam rolling in the evening.
  • Saturday: 4.79km Run - ( summary / map ) - IT band is slightly sore. Foam rolling throughout the day.
  • Sunday: 5.1km Run - ( summary / map ) - IT Band still tender. Foam Rolling before run, after run and throughout the day.
I had full week break from running in an attempt to give my right IT band a break.

I started foam rolling this week (my foam roller was delivered on Wednesday), I like it. It seems to help quite a bit after I have run but I'll talk about this more in my next it band update.


Wednesday, 6 April 2011

My Iliotibial Band Problem (1)

As you may have spotted from previous posts, I have recently developed Iliotibial Band Syndrome in my right leg. In the past it has always been my left leg that has suffered. Somehow I have managed to get over the pain in the left leg but I'm not completely sure what I did that helped.

I am feeling very frustrated as the weather has been great and all I want to do is get out and run. However I am being sensible and forcing myself to take a break from running.

From what I have read the pain comes from the fact that the IT band is 'pulled too tightly causing it to rub over the femoral condyle (bone) and\or the bursa.' - Taken from this helpful post, it also contains links to exercises.

The following 'could' be reasons for the pain. I have highlighted which ones I think are most likely. But this is just what I think is most likely, in reality I really don't know what has caused it.

From Wikipedia:

LinkTraining habits:

  • Running on a banked surface
  • Inadequate warm-up or cool-down
  • Excessive up-hill and down-hill running
  • In cycling, having the feet "toed-in" to an excessive angle
  • Running up and down stairs
  • Hiking long distances
  • Rowing
  • (added by me) Increasing distance too quickly

Abnormalities in leg/feet anatomy:

  • High or low arches
  • Supination of the foot
  • Excessive lower leg rotation due to over-pronation
  • The force at the knee when the foot strikes
  • Uneven leg length
  • Bowlegs or tightness about the iliotibial band.

Muscle imbalance:

  • Weak hip abductor muscles
  • Weak/non-firing multifidus muscle

Points to Note:
  • I have a new pair of trail running shoes. (Although, I haven't had pain while wearing them)
  • I recently took part in a 10km race on a very hilly course.
  • There were a few runs where I may not have stretched quite as thoroughly as usual.
  • I haven't raised my mileage in the last few weeks, but have started the year with more miles per week than at the end of last year. (Could this be it? Maybe taken a while to catch up with me?)
  • The pavements I run on are not the flatest, but I have been attempting to run on the roads with the least amount of uneven surfaces. I have been trying to make sure it's not always the same leg that encounters the banked/cambered surface.
  • Over the last few months I have been trying to run slower, maybe this has had an effect on my running form.

What Now?
  • Initial Rest Period (No running and Daily Stretching)
  • Start Running but keep them short (under 4km to start with)
  • Stretch Well
  • Use a Foam Roller (awaiting delivery) for Myofascial Release
  • Exercises that attempt to strengthen the leg muscles (focusing on - but not limited to - hips, glutes and hamstrings)

As I type this post it has been 4 days since my last run, I plan to start the strengthening exercises from Thursday (just body weight) and to attempt a 3km run on Saturday, that'll be a full week without running. Of course, when my foam roller arrives I'll start rolling too.


Monday, 4 April 2011

Workouts - Week Commencing 28 March 2011

  • Monday: Legs bodyweight (focus on hips)
  • Tuesday: 5km treadmill run (Right IT Band sore after 3.5km) ( summary )
  • Wednesday: Chest and Triceps
  • Thursday: Legs bodyweight (morning / lunch / evening)
  • Friday: Back and Biceps / Bodyweight legs (lunch) / Legs with ankle weights (evening)
  • Saturday: 3.9km run (IT band ok) ( summary / map )
  • Sunday: 8km country walk (knee/it band felt strange, with a slight wave of pain every now and then) ( summary / map )
Due to the IT band issue I reduced my mileage this week. At the end of the week it didn't really feel any better so I'm taking a complete break from running until at least next weekend.

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