Telling My IT Band to Shove It

4 days until Seawheeze!

Things are a little different this time around. By this time during my last 1/2 I had an apartment full of carbs prepped and ready to be eaten in disgusting quantities, god knows how many miles under my belt over the 12 weeks prior, and a sense of accomplishment in knowing I was going to achieve my goal of running my first 1/2 marathon in under 2 hours. Oh yeah, and I had shin splints. Can’t forget those.

This time there are no insane amount of carbs prepped beyond what I do for my regular weekly food prep, a total of MAYBE 8 miles under my belt within the past 4 weeks, and no sense of accomplishment. Thankfully no shin splits this time, but I do have a pissed off IT band and a sciatic nerve that’s annoyed at me for ignoring it in favour of my IT band the past few weeks.

This was a weird run for me from the start. I was looking forward to it just as much as the BMO 1/2 (and still am!), but I’ve mentioned before that I didn’t quite have the same gusto when it came to training. I had the “been there, done that” mindset which made my shorter runs feel like a chore. There was no goal for this run, no outcome I was trying to achieve, aside from having fun. That made it a little bit harder to push myself on days I was tired or not feelin’ it.

Then two-thirds into my training I did an 8-mile run with a guy I met at my Weight Training Instructor course. I was so pumped during the run because he pushed me to run the entire way at a pace 15-30 seconds faster than what I was used to. I was ecstatic at the end because, hey, I stepped out of my comfort zone and survived! But when I woke up the next day my hip flexors were as tight as they were the day after running BMO. The pain didn’t go away for three days and came back, albeit less intense, after my next two long runs.

A few weeks later during my 11-mile run things were going fine and dandy up until 9.9 miles in. Out of nowhere I got a sharp pain on the outside of my left knee, which was strange because my right knee is always the one giving me grief. I stopped running and the pain subsided, but as soon as I started again it came back at full intensity. Every now and then I’m guilty of pushing myself when I know I shouldn’t, but I knew this was not the time. I waited 20 minutes for a cab that never came, then, disheartened, used this as an excuse to eat a bagel and walked my ass home.

Thankfully a massage therapist cleared things up for me a few days later and informed me that I did not have leg cancer, did not require knee surgery, and was not broken forever. I have IT Band Friction Syndrome; in other words, the shit connecting my upper and lower leg is irritated from running too much. Causes? Too many to get into detail, but that run I was so pumped about combined with tight hamstrings was the main offender. Solutions? Run less, ice more, stretch more, and let my foam roller make me its bitch. I’ve been doing this, but I’ve stopped doing some of my old hip stretches to try the new ones the masseuse gave me. Who knew those old stretches did wonders for my external rotators, which are now tight and doing whatever it is tight muscles do and causing pain at the top of my right sciatic nerve. It’s a fun combo.

SO. Sob story aside, what’s a girl to do when she’s afraid to run and make things worse (things can get worse during the race if necessary, but preferably not) but she has a half marathon coming up in 2 weeks…1 week…4 days? I’m definitely not letting this nagging thing get the best of me!

Endurance-based weight training my friends! Lighter weights, higher reps, minimal rest between sets, and incorporating active rest between sets as much as possible. This keeps your heart up throughout the session, and while it may not completely mimic running, I feel like it’s a better way to prepare for a 1/2 marathon than benching my 5RM and resting for 5 minutes before performing another set.

I’ve included short runs here and there, most of them not exceeding 15 minutes until yesterday. Thankfully (but not thankfully because this is still a shitty situation for her!) my friend I am running with is recovering from an injury and has been instructed to run 3 minutes and walk 2. I tried that for 30 minutes yesterday and success! No pain! That’s how I plan to complete my 21.1km on Saturday. It may not be ideal, but I’m looking forward to running with good company, enjoying the scenery, and soaking up some beautiful Vancouver morning sunshine.

Looking to kick things up a notch during your next sweat sesh? Give this workout a try! This is one of the endurance-based weight training sessions I’ve incorporated during the last few weeks of my half marathon training. It focuses on developing the gun show because even though we’re half way through tank top season it’s never too late to pump ’em up! I kept the reps on the lower end because there are lots of exercises, but fear not! This will get your heart goin’. Perform all sets of the exercises grouped together (ie. A1, A2, A3,) consecutively before moving on to the next group, and rest only where indicated. Good luck!

4 sets:
A1. Seated incline dumbbell front raise 12x
A2. Standing hammer curl 12x
A3. Overhead triceps extensions 12x
A4. Box jumps (or step, or bench, or table, whatever you have handy!) 25x

4 sets:
B1. Dumbbell lateral raise 12x
B2. Reverse curls 12x
B3. Bench dips
B4. High knees total 50x (25x each knee)

Rest 30 seconds – 1 minute. But you don’t really need that whole minute, right?

2 sets:
C1. Barbell 21’s – biceps curl from the bottom to halfway 7 times, from halfway to top 7 times, then full curls 7 times
C2. Military push-ups 10x
C4. Pike push-ups 10x
C3. Mountain climbers 50x total (right leg-left leg = 1 rep) – this is gonna burn people!

Rest 1 minute – yes, you get the whole minute this time!

4 Sets:
D1. Standing rear delt flyes 12x
D2. Standing cable biceps curl 12x
D3. Standing cable triceps press-down 12x
D4. Skip 1 minute

Abs: 3 rounds no rest
1. Hanging leg raises 15x
2. Standing side bend with plate 25x each side
3. Knee tucks on swiss ball 20x

E1. Collapse
E2. Hug the floor & stretch
E3. Eat.

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2 thoughts on “Telling My IT Band to Shove It

  1. Hope the race went well! I’ll have to try out the workout, looks like it’s a good one.

    I’ve nominated you for the Liebster Award, head over to my blog to check out my post about it! Congrats, you deserve it 🙂

    • Hey! Thank you! That is so cool! Sorry, I definitely need to get better at this social media thing and respond to things when I see them! I just had a look at that now and that is really awesome. I’m going to get that into my next post; better late than never I guess, right? Lol. Your blog is awesome by the way! I had a good read through it while looking for the award info 🙂

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