Richard Perry

Just another blog about nothing

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  |     |   Injury, Running

As many of you know, I’m currently training for the Gloucester City Marathon on 06 August. The training had been going well, until I made a bit of a stupid mistake with it. As any runner knows, it’s important to increase your mileage gradually to help prevent injury and allow your body to adjust to the increased beating it is going to get. Also, in the past, I have tried to keep a good routine of injury prevention based strength work going alongside my main training. I have always stuck to this and, for that reason, I’ve been injury free for about 3 years. Until now of course!

I put together a plan for my training based on what I’ve done previously and how my running has been going recently. The plan had all the requisite gradual increases in, with tempo runs, speedwork and long runs planned in for each week and I was happy with it. However, being the idiot that I am, I was adding extra miles to my runs, doing extra runs etc (and skipping strength workouts too). I did this because I was feeling good, not because I needed to. Then, 16 miles into an 18 mile run, I stopped to wait for traffic before crossing the dual carriageway and when I tried to start running again, I got a shooting pain in the outside of my knee :disappointed:. I’ll be honest, I felt like a proper fool as I collapsed in a heap on the other side of the dual carriageway and called Rose to pick me up. This was 2 weeks before Rack Raid, one of my favourite races of the year. I wasn’t worried about the marathon, at this point, my only concern was whether I could run Rack Raid or not.

I made the decision that I had to take a week off no matter what, but I had to do something to try to prevent this reoccuring as soon as I started running again. Ok Google, I need your help! It turns out that there are all sorts of knee related injuries that are extremely common in runners, many of them related to overtraining, but only one of them that causes pain in the outside of the knee.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS) is one of the most common overuse injuries among runners. It occurs when the iliotibial band, the ligament that runs down the outside of the thigh from the hip to the shin, is tight or inflamed. The IT band attaches to the knee and helps stabilize and move the joint.

The IT Band is a “longitudinal fibrous reinforcement” that runs from the hips to the outside of the knee1 and it seems that the pain is actually caused by hip and glute weaknesses2. The general consensus seems to be that to actually treat IT Band Syndrome, ‘Non-Steriodal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs’ (NSAIDS) and ice will help with the pain and inflammation, but you need to actually incorporate some hip and glute specific strength work into your training program to overcome the issue entirely1 2 3 4 5.

So I started researching the different exercises I could do to help, and to try to make sure I would be fit to run Rack Raid. There is a lot of common exercises to all the different ITB programs out there, but the routine from Jason Fitzgerald at Strength Running seemed to incorporate all of them. Also, he has suffered from IT Band Syndrome himself so it is based on his own experience as well as that of the runners he coaches. That gave me the confidence to give it a go. Below is the video of the routine, and I would highly recommend you read the associated article.

With the help of the above routine, plenty of rest and regular sessions with an ice pack, I was able to run the Rack Raid. I think the main reason I wasn’t off for ages was that I stopped straight away. I didn’t try to run through the pain, I just stopped and had a rest. Obviously the issue wasn’t serious either, but I think stopping at the first sign of trouble was what saved me this time.

Since getting back on my feet, I have adjusted my training plan and now I am actually sticking to it. I am also doing the ITB Rehab Routine every other day to try to improve my hip and glute strength so that when 06 August comes around, I will (hopefully) be able to finish :smiley:.


  1. Neal, B. (2012) ITB Syndrome: Treating the Real Causes in Runners. Available from: [Accessed 21 May 2017].  2

  2. Leivers, C. (2014) Three Injuries That Plague Runners. Available from: [Accessed 21 May 2017].  2

  3. Fullem, B. (2014) Treating ITBS. Available from: [Accessed 21 May 2017]. 

  4. Fitzgerald, J. (2011) The ITB Rehab Routine - Video Demonstration. Available from: [Accessed 22 May 2017]. 

  5. Sports Injury Clinic. Iliotibial Band Syndrome. Available from: [Accessed 22 May 2017]. 

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