IT Band

I am supposed to be doing my first marathon on the 29th September, 2 weeks ago I did a long run of 18 miles and after felt a bit of stiffness along my right IT band, last Sunday I did 20 miles and felt stiffness and a little pain in the outside of my right knee and in my hip for the last 2 miles. After I got home my IT band became incredibly painful, even just walking around the house. So I knocked a couple of miles of all my runs this week, reduced the intensity a bit and avoided too many hills, planned to only run 16 miles today instead of another 20. Ive been using a foam roller everyday and stretching after each run.

My shorter week day runs have been fine, I felt a slight niggle in the offending knee when running downhill on one occasion but that was it. Today however I got 12 miles into my planned 16, just got to the top of quite a steep hill and I felt stiffness along my IT band, I stopped and stretched a bit which helped a little but by mile 14 was in agony and had to limp the rest of the way home,

since getting home I've taken ibuprofen, iced it and used the foam roller but its still really painful. I can hardly walk, going upstairs is absolute agony.

So does this mean I'm out? next week was supposed to be the last long run before tapering and I cant see me getting it in now. Is there any chance at all that I will still be able to run this marathon? Cant believe I've got this far only to get injured in the last few weeks image any advice gratefully received!


  • no, it doesn't mean you are out, but you need to ease off otherwise you will be.  Keep icing and stretching with the roller.  Lay off the ibrufen, that just masks the pain.  And I would get a sports massage PDQ.  With a few days off you might find it stops hurting.  You should have got all bar 1 of your long runs in by now so you are nearly ready...  I bet you are ready enough to get a PB on your marathon at the end of the month!image

  •  thanks for the reply. Well if I manage to finish it will definitely be a PB anyway! if I don't manage to do another long run it means that my last long run would be the 20 miles I did last week so by the time the marathon is her it will have been 5 weeks since my last long run. That's surely to long? or should I miss this one and do another 20 miles in what should have been the first week of my taper?


  • Do you get a sports massage from a normal massagey person or is it a specialist thing? there's a place near me that does it and other massages but i'm not sure I can hand my money over to someone who also offers psychic healing with the help of spirits?!

  • LOL... a sports masseuse is not normally a phychic peeps.  It is fairly specialist - it's not a rub down with scented oil, it's a thorough work over of your muscle groups.  tell them you have ITBS and they will concentrate on that.

    As for the long run, only you can judge that.. if after some rest you are feeling up for it then go for it but stay slow and cautious and don't agravate the ITB. 

    What is causing it - it's an overuse injury.  But it can be triggered by old or wrong shoes, running on a camber (ie alongside a road), or just upping the mileage or pace to quickly.


  • oh and I was so looking forward to having my chakra realigned and a little drumming meditation at the same time image thanks so much for all the advice. I think I've found someone who does sports massage and is a personal trainer/fitness instructor as well so hopefully they know what they're talking about!

    I actually think the problem comes from me running on the outside edge of my foot (supination??) I've always done it, so much so that my right trainer only ever has wear on the very edge, the rest looks brand new even after a few hundred miles!

  • ITBS that get tight after high mileage is normally caused by weak/tight misfiring glutes.  Your ITBs are getting tight to compensate for them.  When tight they can 'pull' on the knee causing the knee pain. 

    Running on outside of feet could also be a clue that your gluts and/or pirifomis muscles are tight.  Get massaged & stretched by sports massage therapist. 

    Substiuting running mileage with glute strengthening routine (lunges & 1- leg squats) should help.  (I did same when training for my first marathon)  You can feel a big difference in two weeks so worth starting now.

  • I have the same thing. I developed it at week 14 of my Edinburgh marathon prep pain kicked in at 16 miles. It is an absolute bastard. My advice is to REST completely for a week, no running, ice and take anti inflammatory meds from doctor. Deep tissue massage along the ITB and indeed the hip, I used an ISO band to help strenghten my glutes. I found running on uneven roads a killer, and downhill is a disaster. I opted not to do my 20 mile run on advice from my physio, it was hard not to run for that week but it proved to be good advice. Day of marathon I used ROCK tape and a knee support and I was fine. Dont underestimate the power of rest to help you recover


  • thanks for all the advice. I saw a physio yesterday who said that it was definitely ITBS and that it seemed to be caused by tightness in the hips and glutes rather than weakness. I cant actually remember the exact way she phrased it but something along those lines! she gave me some ultrasound treatment and showed me some stretches and how to use the foam roller properly. she said I should continue to run and use the stretches whenever I felt the pain and see if that helped.

    so I went out for 6 miles today and felt the familiar knee twinge at about mile 4 did the stretches which helped for about 2 mins until the feeling in my knee returned. So I stopped and walked home because I didn't want to make things worse.


    Im feeling so down about it now, by the time I got home today was ready to bawl my eyes out. I'm considering trying to find a better physio who could offer a more proactive approach but I will probably just end up spending another £50 and getting told the same thing.

    If I rest now then I will not be ready to run the marathon, by the time I run it, it will be 5 weeks since I last did a long run and I just cant see me being able to make it round without at least 1 more long run.


  • Don't panic..!

    You've got a 20 miler in your legs, you know you can run that far. In 5 weeks you won't lose that physical ability but you could well talk yourself out of it

    I only speak from having gone through a very similar experience in the lead up to my first marathon. You may have to adjust your goals for the day and in the end your ITB may stop you from competing, just don't let worry stop you

    And keep on that foam roller. 3 or 4 times a day for 15 minutes a time got me to the start line for my first marathon and a ITB support helped keep the pain at bay through the race

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