Couch to 5K
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IT band problems

I had IT band problems late last year. I saw a physio, rested, stretched and got back into running. I now have orthotics in my shoes, which seemed to correct my wonky legs and all was well.That was until I started upping my distances in training for a 10K, I'm now getting that familiar ache at the side of my knee and my thighs ache too. I've been doing all the stretches about 3 or 4 times a day.

Do you think I should resort to 2 days rests between runs for a while.

4 Replies

I'm no expert, but I do know rest is essential so it might be a good idea to rest for 2 days between each run and do some other form of exercise that will still help you achieve your goal (stretches, core muscle exercises, etc.). I bet your physio told you to rest a lot last year...

Interesting to read that you're back in training, though. I've a "wonky" hip too, have seen a physio (who's referred me for an X-ray tomorrow) and expect to have to get some insoles. The fact that you're preparing for 10K fills me with hope. Go for it! :-)


It's hard to advise you about your IT problem, but I'll share what happened with my IT issue.

I first developed a pain in the outside of my knee during the last week of October. I then spent (wasted) the next 4 weeks leaving the knee for increasingly longer periods between runs, then trying again. The pain would start again after 3km. Finally I went to a sports physio and had several sessions with her, being 'signed off' from running for 6 weeks. She suggested ice, ice and more ice. She showed me stretches for the band, and suggested a foam roller. I also had several sessions of acupuncture with her. The really annoying thing was I had no pain whatsoever when I wasn't running.

In January I was told I could run again, but I was only to run for 30 mins for the first 3 or 4 weeks. I saw my physio two or three times as she monitored my progress. I was getting pain in my quad that I handn't had previously. She gave me acupunture to help this.

About 2 months ago she said I could start increasing my running time and I've been slowly increasing my mileage up to 12 km again. I had another couple of scheduled sessions with my physio and more acupuncture for pain in the quads, then once in my knee (but a different pain to what I first presented with).

This is what I've been doing since January:

1. Ice. I apply an ice pack to my knee (and to my thigh when it was hurting) for about 15 mins immediatley after a run and at other times if I have pain.

2. Massage my legs with a foam roller immediately after each run

2. Do ITB exercises as reccomended by physio, plus yoga ecercises that I know work the muscles attached to the IT Band.

3. Use a stretch band to exercise the inner thigh muscles.

4. Cross train. Cycling and walking, plus doing strength training for legs twice a week as there's no pain walking, doing lunges or squats (although I can only manage a very minimal single leg squat with the affected leg).

I saw the physio last week - hopefully for the last time - and have had some totally pain-free runs since then, but today my knee was a little 'iffy' when I got back from a hard 7km tempo run, so i iced it again. I maybe try a wee slow 3 - 5 km run on Friday ahead of my 10k race on Sunday.


Thanks for taking the time to write all that out. Well I seem to be doing everything I can, I stretch, I roller, I walk.

I could try adding the band inner thigh exercise, I used to do that then my hip was hurting a couple of years ago.

I'm just trying to do everything I can to avoid paying a physio.

How often do you use a foam roller? I'm reading lots of conflicting views on this.


I use it each time after a run, then sometimes on other days, if I remember, before doing yoga. I'm not sure how often to use it for best.

I ended up paying way more on physio costs than I ever imagined I would, but I suppose there are a lot worse things (or frivolous things!) I could have spent the money on. :-)


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