So, let’s talk knee pain! In addition to my new insoles, I realized it was time for a new pair of shoes. I only had around 300 miles on the old pair, compared to the 400-450 miles I was getting before, so I didn’t really even think that they could need replacing. Apparently running “hard” makes you wear out your shoes faster? It seems odd but the wear patterns on my soles seem to back that theory up.
Anyway, with the new shoes and insoles, I was able to run Sat, Sun, Tues, and Wed with relatively little pain. I was feeling a little bit of tightness/stiffness, but nothing ice, stretching, and NSAIDs couldn’t fix. Wednesday I even got a little crazy and did some strength training (using this plan and some hip-strengthening exercises).
Yesterday I ran 8 mile progression run. My first mile was~ 8:45 and my 8th was ~7:30, with the rest falling between. With a 1/2 mile cooldown, I think I ran 8.5 total at an 8:05ish pace. The times look good, but I was in pain for about half of it. My right knee, the one that’s been bothering me? Fine. My right hip/IT band? Eh… My left knee and IT band? Not so much.
I’ve had on-and-off IT band issues for the last year or so, most recently at the very beginning of this year when I was hurt to the point of a 7.25 mile week. It’s always been on my left leg, but for the first time it’s presenting itself as knee pain… and now I’m thinking that my right knee pain is stemming from my IT band as well. Excellent. From what I’ve read, the biggest contributor to ITBS in women is weak hips/glutes, so I’ve been trying to work on that. (More honestly, when I start having problems I remember I should be doing those stupid exercises…)
In the past my IT band starts acting up when my shoes are old, but this time my shoes are brand new. I went and had my gait/biomechanics re-analyzed today, and I’m wearing the correct shoes and insoles for my feet. So either I am dealing with issues that started when I was wearing my old shoes, or my core area is just super weak. Unfortunately I’m guessing that it’s the second one. Also unfortunate is that when I do the exercises, it makes the weak areas really tight, which in turn makes the ITBS worse.
Right now, the ITBS isn’t bad enough to completely prevent me from running, but I’m taking today off anyway. I’m trying to focus on getting strong and healthy for when I start piling on marathon training miles! I see a LOT of stretching, icing, foam rolling, and sweet exercises in my future: