Reply To: Battling IT Band Issues


Well, I can’t beat Joseph’s testimony!  So I will let you speak for itself.  That said, I would like to reiterate what Joseph shared.  Here are a few important items that Ironman seeking athletes must keep in mind.

  1.  The hardest part of IM training is getting to the starting line uninjured.  To be honest, the starting line is typically filled with injured athletes so it comes down to how bad it is (or not) and if you can minimize it enough to still participate.  You do NOT want to go into your training already injured.  This really should have been addressed already.  But if not, it must be addressed asap.
  2. Get in with a good sports minded physical therapist.  IT band issues, like many other issues, are a result of weak or NON ENGAGING gluts.  I mention this because if you do a lot of clamshells, you can have strong gluts.  However this does not mean they will engage or activate when you want them to.  Thus you need to seek a physical therapist that will address the neuromuscular system to retrain them to activate with each running strike.  If you just work on strength (like 99%) of physical therapists do, as soon as you starting running again, the injury will return.  There are very few PT practices that treat this way.  While likely not the most convenient, here is one PT practice that I can ensure does (and they accept most insurances). Advanced Kinetics:
  3. RICE – Rest, ice, compression and elevation will not be sufficient for Ironman training.  Every one of you should have a PT in your back pocket so that when you do have something nagging, you can get in with them asap.
  4. If you are injured, I recommend that you do NOT run. It will not allow you to get on top of the injury.   Instead, you are better off maintaining your fitness by using the elliptical or deep water jogging for the running workouts.
  5. Once you are able to return to running, I recommend that you build back up using a run/walk.  Run/walk is the best way to take on all IM long runs anyways so the better you can get familiar with and become second nature with run/walk, the better.

Let’s get you healthy and back out there!