Friday, 29 March 2013

Stretching really is important!

I must admit that up until now, I have rushed my stretches.  I have spent minimal time on this important preparation and conclusion to a run because I am impatient (It's a character flaw). Unfortunately with me, most lessons need to be learnt the hard way, but I vow to now respect the stretches and dedicate more time to them!

Runner's Knee is caused by a tight ITB (iliotibial band).  This is what I seem to have.  Mid-week, I went out for a run (my knee seemed fine) but the knee pain started at 3 miles into a 5 mile run.  The pain, coupled with a bitterly cold, gusting wind made it my most miserable run to date.  I walked large parts, as I was barely moving forward when running and had really had enough.  As a result, I now HATE the wind!  I will happily run in snow and rain, but the wind does me in.
I tried to focus on the words in this picture, but it made no difference.  At that moment, I didn't care if I was becoming stronger.....I just wanted to get home!

I consulted the folks at and a kind member suggested a page with iliotibial stretch exercises I should try.  My brother, who runs a Crossfit gym (check out his gym) in the USA, suggested that ITB, along with other problems, can be traced up or down stream (so it could be stemming from hips or ankles)

With all of my new gained knowledge, I did some of the ITB stretches and hip mobility stuff before my run today.  My expectations were very low. I was only going to do 3 miles, but once I got going and realised that everything felt right, I kept going and had a great 7 mile run.  My knee hurt at the end, but I did more ITB stretches when I got in and seem to be OK.

Apparently, ITB is a common problem in runners.  Hopefully, now that I am aware of it, I can keep it in check.  (A foam roller has been ordered!) I'm now only slightly behind with my training for the North Lincolnshire Half Marathon but at least I'm running!


  1. Blimey. Your brother is a hardcore badass as much as mine is (except mine plays golf all the time, which I suspect yours doesn't). Useful link though - learned loads from him just now.

    Back on topic, I wondered if lack of stretching is what did for me last year. With all this in mind I will endeavour to stretch more this year now I have a stake in the outcome.

    Hope you're getting through it anyhow. D

  2. Hi Dan,
    Hope you get back on track with running. The wise ones do say that we should never just run - that cross training is important, but I never seemed to get around to doing anything else!
    Went to Physio this week and she said I need to strengthen my toes (!) and Glutes Meds. Both these areas are pretty weak and so my knee is compensating and not doing it too well! Think I have a way to go with it all...not sure I'll manage my 13.1 at the end of the month, but I will start doing something else too. Ian is keen for me to get back on my bike!
    Re: Hard core brothers - I did think of your brother last year when my brother entered this race (many marines enjoy this challenge!) Take care.