March 13, 2007

IT Band

With a little over three weeks until my first Xterra triathlon my stress is starting to mount. Not from the excitement of the first race or my first Xterra in nearly two years but from the timing of it all. My IT Band has now totally sidelined me and I am trying to limit the time on my feet all together. Aghh.. Getting injured sucks.

The IT Band or Illiotibial band injuries are caused by the inflammation of the Illiotibial band that runs from just below the knee to an attachment near the top part of your hip and butt. Common causes are from "overloading" or "biomechanical errors". From the list of causes noted on the Stretching Institute website I would fall into a few of the "overloading" causes.

About two years ago I stressed my IT Band (same leg) and but the reason behind it was obvious. I had just started running on a regular basis and had to learn the hard way about the 10% rule. I may have a more complicated reason behind why I “overloaded” it now but the result is the same.

Looking at my Polar training software it was about four weeks of stretching before I could run without pain again. Many of the websites I have researched talk about the R.I.C.E (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) treatment along with stretching so today I am on the ice as I write this. Hopefully, this will speed the recovery.

Looking back in greater detail at my Polar software and I can see the pattern start to immerge. I am getting good use of this software! Now I need to start using it proactively!

Even when I have kept to the 10% rule for my weekly training (which I have not most of the time) the problem is even more obvious when I review the training totals by month. Three months with no extended rest spells injury for me. Maybe I need to look at what intensity are going into the three months? Maybe I need to build a base early for endurance events like the Vision Quest or Ultramarathons?

For now, it is another learning lesson for me.

“It seems that we learn lessons when we least expect them but always when we need them the most, and, the true gift in these lessons always lies in the learning process itself.”

Cathy Lee Crosby

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