how to increase running distance without injury??

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 11, 2009 4:34 AM GMT
    how have any of you runners increased your running distance?? my bf and our friend are trying to train for a relay race they volunteered for. but they've developed knee pain during running.

    searching seems to point to this. http://orthopedics.about.com/cs/sportsmedicine/a/itbs.htm funny thing is this seems to be what i have. which is why i can't run very far anymore.

    their description seems to be the same as mine. 1km into the run i'm fine, then a gradual pain starts after about 1km near the bottom of my knee cap on the outside of the leg. it gets worse and worse. it stops when i stop running. if i stop right away i get no aches in that area later, but if i continue even though it hurts my knee will be relieved after i stop, but it will become achey the following day.

    anyody else experienced this before? stretches or exercises? anyway to over come it. i would really like any help so my bf and our friend can compete and i can start running again.
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    Jan 11, 2009 1:10 PM GMT
    Hey Wushu... This sounds a lot like IT (Ileotibial) band syndrome/ITBS. I have had this on and off for many years now. Here is a lengthy response to your question. I hope this helps.

    Let me start off with an explanation of what the IT band is. The IT band is a long piece of fascia that runs from the attachment point at the outer/lateral hip to the outer/lateral knee. Take at look at this for a general idea:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iliotibial_band_syndrome

    This is a brief but concise article that also talks about the reasons for the pain and treatments.

    The bad news is this can be a very painful repetitive use injury. The good news is that for the most part it is not an injury that will lead to permanent damage.

    Now, to answer your question about running and how to increase your distance/mileage. The rule is that you increase your distance by only 10% of your weekly total from one week to the next. For example: If last week you ran 20 miles total, then this week you would only increase your total weekly mileage to 22 miles. This might look like this:

    Last week This week
    Sunday off off
    Monday 3 3
    Tuesday 5 5
    Wednesday 3 3
    Thursday off off
    Friday 3 3
    Saturday 6 8

    This is the general rule of increasing running mileage so that people don't get injured. By increasing your miles more than this as a beginner you will risk injuring yourself and having to take time off to heal/nurse an injury.

    When I encounter trouble with my ITB (usually it is on one side more than the other unless I keep pushing it then it affects both sides) I have to start off with only a couple of miles, until I just start feeling a twinge of discomfort (not full blown pain) then I stop running, make my way back home and stretch for 15-20 minutes (there are some schools of thought that say the ITB cannot be stretched... fine, until it is proven they are right or that stretching is going to exacerbate the problem I am going to keep on stretching). I then take the next day off and don't run but cross train and really concentrate on strengthening my lower body (the theory is that if you recruit and strengthen more of the muscles in your lower body you unload the work that your ITB will have to do while you run). Then I will run a couple to a few miles the third day (stopping when I feel discomfort and then stretching) , repeating this cycle until I am not having discomfort any longer. Then I will progress to a normal running schedule of 5-6 days a week.

    This usually does it for me. I have found for me (let me repeat... for me) that the only time after this that I sometimes have trouble is when I need to taper for 1/2 marathons and marathons. I never taper more than 2 weeks (some plans recommend a 3 week taper) and I make sure that my total weekly mileage the week before the race is equal to the race distance. For the most part this keeps away the pain.

    This is a really irritating, but mostly harmless injury. The pain is terrible and in order to get rid of it completely it takes vigilance, patience and hard work.

    Good luck with your running.
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    Jan 11, 2009 2:51 PM GMT
    DO NOT RUN ON HARD SURFACES. If there are loosely- packed dirt trails near you, that's the best option. Grass is good, but it comes with the risk of ankle sprains unless you are very careful about avoiding divots. A 400 meter track with a 'spongy' surface may also be good. If the turns bother your knee, try running in the opposite direction to see if that helps. And make sure to keep ice on your knee for at least 20 minutes after you run to keep down the inflammation. Your footwear could also be a factor. If you're not doing so already, I'd suggest running shoes with a good shock-absorbent air sole.
  • treader

    Posts: 238

    Jan 11, 2009 11:04 PM GMT

    Yes, this definitely sounds like a ITB problem. Get a foam roller immediately and start using it. ITB is very hard to stretch. The roller is one of the best way. I would do three sets of 12 rep on the roller every morning until you see improvement. Slow down your running for now. You can tell when your ITB is getting better when it hurts less when you use the roller. I blew my ITB after a race and learned the hard way.

    Here's how you use the foam roller (pose 1):
    http://runningtimes.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=9911

    Here's another RJ thread discussing this:
    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/79520/

    Get a roller and use it before you run again.
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    Jan 12, 2009 12:33 AM GMT
    Ive dealt with ITB for YEARS now. However ive never tried the roller. ill have to look into that. Cant slow down now though, got a marathon in less than 8 weeks. Good luck wushu!!
  • reliable1

    Posts: 65

    Jan 12, 2009 12:52 AM GMT
    Stretching both before and after is helpful. Yes, it can be time-consuming, but it is worth it. There are plenty of websites that show full ranges of stretching.

    Also, if your main concern is distance and distance only, slow down! At least temporarily. This depends on whether finishing is more important than speed, but it sounded like it was from the post.

    Good luck.
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    Jan 12, 2009 2:49 AM GMT
    MusclegrappleDO NOT RUN ON HARD SURFACES. If there are loosely- packed dirt trails near you, that's the best option.


    Musclegrapple has the right idea by recommending softer surfaces, but if your race is going to be on the roads you need to run on the hard surfaces for about half your mileage otherwise when you go to race on it, it'll be a shock to your body and you could wind up injured.

    I was thinking ITBS as well. Look up IT Band stretches. Also yoga is good for increasing overall flexibility and strengthening.

    A 10% mileage increase weekly is the maximum amount you want to increase your mileage by. Every 4th week you should decrease your mileage by about 20% as a recovery week.

    The right shoes fitted by a running store after a gait analysis and shock absorbing insoles will also be very helpful. Too many beginning runners start out running with their old beat up sneakers from years ago, and then wind up injured because they lack in support or shock absorption.

  • treader

    Posts: 238

    Jan 12, 2009 5:03 PM GMT
    Runsupport saidIve dealt with ITB for YEARS now. However ive never tried the roller. ill have to look into that. Cant slow down now though, got a marathon in less than 8 weeks. Good luck wushu!!


    Wow, your ITB can't be that severe if you never had to use the roller. Definitely get one. They're just $20 (or cheaper). I've tried different exercises and yoga. The roller is the best way to stretch the ITB. It really works.

    I use it every time I start training for a long race. It's a good preventive measure. Actually I'm using it now before snowboarding because I've noticed that it tightens up my ITB - although running is the only activity that makes it go critical.

    Good luck with your marathon Runsupport...
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    Jan 21, 2009 4:22 PM GMT
    Just to add to what BSS said, throw in some work in the gym strengthening the muscles that surround the knee. I have trick knees and after my trainer beefed those up, I had a lot more stability and haven't had any issues since then.

    There's a LOT that goes into the simple act of running and any weak link will make you pay.
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    Jan 25, 2009 1:24 AM GMT
    I had ITB problems when I first started running, but found that rollers work the best for getting the kinks out. Then I had problems with plantar fascitis, which confused the heck out of me since you massage your legs to treat your foot. After that, I finally figured out that you supposed to STRETCH periodically. Ever since I added stretching and stability routines to my workouts I have been pretty lucky.

    If you are having trouble with your body as you increase your distance, I suggest the following things I have learned after 5 ironman-distance triathlons:
    1. Respond to pain, because your body usually only hurts when something is wrong.
    2. Take care of your legs and feet. This especially means stretching and massage.
    3. Go slow. Don't overshoot your abilities by too much or you can lose a whole season in recovery.
    4. Vary your run workouts, and your shoes. (fast, slow, new courses etc)
    5. Cold baths feel incredible after a long run!

    good luck.
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    Mar 02, 2009 11:34 AM GMT
    Hi,

    This is the first thing I ave read which sounds EXACTLY the same as the problem I am experiencing. Have you had your pain diagnosed yet? I am starting physio tomorrow, and have previously ruled out ITB syndrome but may bring it up with the new physio tomorrow. I am currently entertaining the idea of maltracking patellar or Fat Pad Impingement (Hoffa's). I have already had some weak muscles found in my glutes which I am now working on. Would you let me know if you have had any progress with your knee? I'll let you know what I find out about mine if you haven't had yours diagnosed already!