ITBS - is that me for London?

Please I need any help advice from anyone who may have had similar.  Cant believe it - been coasting since October half - although I knew something was up - ive played along on 20mpw and sometimes 15.  Mileage fine (as down from 1st half of year) but probably too many hills finally so went to physio and boom - keep running and stop walking in a couple of months.  ITBS - outside of knee crippling at times at others( including running) not too bad.  She hopes to get me running again in next month feels but my London Marathon is doomed.  I'm absolutely gobsmacked - really thought id run through it but had noticed id lost the long run love i used to have (i posted that before and was obviously injured).


1st marathon and 1000 pounds raised already - Phuck - can anyone give some advice - walk run and do 10 weeks training?

I am fit just now could run 15 miles and doing 25 pw, prob need a month out and that mean 2 with no exercise other than upper body, will do everything on core to get me there.

With that can i do a step up in late Jan and do marathon?  Was aiming for 3:45 now i a may walk/run


Help image



  • might be worth trying to work out what is causing the ITBS.  Are your shoes shagged?  Do you run on a heavily cambered route? Do you do lots of fast downhills? Are you generally tight (muscles not finances)?  

    It might be if you are not badly affected that a regular session with a roller plus keeping the runs flat plus sorting your shoes out might hold it at bay and allow you to get the training in for a good mara run.  Is your physio a runner?  Have you considered sports massage.  

    What ever you do don't resort to the school of keep running and take ibrufen

    Good luck.

  • Thanks PSC - I removed my orthotic thingys in my trainers (high arches) and did some major downhills.  I wont do that.  Yes I am Scottish and tight with both image

    Got a sports massage today and hurt like hell when knee bent then felt fine. 

    Taking the ibuprofen (for a month!!!???)  but agree with you dont want to mask the issue.

    Thanks for response a but gutted as I had a romantic notion of sub 4 for 1st marathon - not to worry i might be the dogs bollox by Friday image

  • PSC wrote (see)

    might be worth trying to work out what is causing the ITBS.  Are your shoes shagged?  Do you run on a heavily cambered route? Do you do lots of fast downhills? Are you generally tight (muscles not finances)?  

    It might be if you are not badly affected that a regular session with a roller plus keeping the runs flat plus sorting your shoes out might hold it at bay and allow you to get the training in for a good mara run.  Is your physio a runner?  Have you considered sports massage.  

    What ever you do don't resort to the school of keep running and take ibrufen

    Good luck.


    PSC - sounds like you know me - yes i ran a few cambered routes hilly as feck and downhills that made my thighs scream.  Thanks for that I am very very sure i know how i got here.  How do i get out and do myself justice in April image

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    Just build up very slowly. You still have time. Try doing some of your runs off road. Mixing it up a bit seemed to help for me.
  • try using your left hand instead of your right image


    I would keep walking and slowly build up.check the reason why its came.what did the physio tell you.......

    and at least its something you can run through unlike other injuries

  • I ha ITBS earlier in the year. It came on suddenly when I was running downhill but had probably been building up for a while. Mine went after 2 and a half weeks of complete rest combined with strengthening exercises from the physio and a bit of foam rollering. So I wouldn't give up so soon on your marathon hopes at this early stage. But better to be sensible now rather than try and run through it as it will probably just get worse if you do that.
  • Thanks going no handed from now on image

    My physio said dont run through it just now but will see me again next weekend.  Two weeks total rest although i can do leg lifts and core as well as upper body just now but no bike.  Going swimming tomorrow and will probably drown!!


    Slowkoala if i can get rid of it in two weeks im going to be very happy.


    Millsy i will aggrevated it with too much downhill off road but it all came on from road running and steep camber.

  • Same thing happened to me as I started to up the mileage training for Amsterdam last year. ITBS struck about 8k into a run in July running downhill.  The marathon was in October. The biggest mistake I made was not taking enough time off between runs when it started. I took 3/4 days off running and would go back out again. After 10 minutes it would kick in again. Another few days off and the same thing would happen. After a month of no proper marathon training I had tried foam rolling relentlessly and two different knee supports, all of which did nothing. After another couple of weeks of struggling to finish 5k I left more time inbetween runs. By now, my training plan was shot and by September I took the decision not to run it. It was gutting but I didn't want to do more serious damage. There's always another marathon. You only get two knees.

    Best advice, take 2-3 weeks completely off running. Use that time for strengthening exercises as you mentioned. You've probably read about core weakness and weak glutes. Test your core strength by seeing how long you can plank for. Can you do more than a minute without the wobbles setting in? I was amazed at how much core strength I'd lost by just focusing on running rather than other things I used to do.

    Since then I've been planking, side planking, squatting, single leg drops, lunges, wall sits every day for a couple of months and I'm back out on the road with no ITBS issues but I haven't pushed it past 10k yet although I feel I could. I've stopped foam rolling as I actually felt that was hindering rather than helping. I also read a tip which suggested running with your feet slightly further apart as I tended to run with my feet one in front of the other and was probably putting additional stress on my knees.

    There was a comment above about running through it. There was no way I could run through my bout of ITBS. I could barely walk when it hit.

    Let us know how you get on.

  • I'm on to week 6 myself of no running with an it band problem, really starting to worry me now as my Edinburgh marathon training is due to start end of the month. Been doing a lot of stretching, foam rolling, leg strengthening exercises and icing my knee but I still can't run further than 3k without having to stop because of the pain.

  • ShedboyShedboy ✭✭✭

    Thanks Kish and ca100.  I am back running!!! - no way could I have run through the pain 2 weeks ago!! It's basically gone (although i get a reminder every now and then to stretch and strengthen).  All I can say is strength and core have obviously helped but the foam roller is utterly incredible - for me.  I have to treadmill run or flat for a few weeks and can suffer that if it means doing London or at least having a chance. 

    I am upto 2 mins for plank but side plank a min and im like jelly so will keep working at it!! but single leg squats, bike, clam, bridge, plank etc routine after 1 week rest is working for me.

    Oh and I changed my physio to one who runs!!!!!!!

    Everyone is different I suppose but Hip and glute start jumps worked wonders (Thanks to!!!).

    My physio also said whilst I had the right shoes (Saucony triumph 10) they were too tight.  Dont know if related but got Asics Cumulus and no more toe cramping either!! Again not sure if related to my recovery or not.

    Stretching though is probably the biggest thing - my hammys and take a tennis ball to itbs upto beside hip.

    Early days but a great deal of thanks to everyone on this forum as I know a lot gets posted by numptys like me asking for race saving tips but all the advice was excellent.

    Mind you it takes me 9 hours to do my daily exercises image but no excuses now.


    Thanks again and I promise if this works to share with any newbie numpty asking about ITBS

  • Glad to hear it Shedboy. Had a pretty successful visit to the physio last night so hopefully be back running as well shortly. Like you said as well, what a difference it makes going to a physio who runs, really knew what he was talking about. My quad muscles, amongst others, are shockingly tight so he really deep massaged them and gave me stretches to do to loosen off. This seems to have been the cause, so fingers crossed i'll be back running soon.

  • ShedboyShedboy ✭✭✭

    Kish - that's funny about the running style - physio has asked me to run like i am running on a tightrope as running with legs wide apart (image) wasn't helping.  Cant do it slowly though but real contrast in what works for people so i will let you know if a couple of weeks.

    For the shoes my physio took me to gait analysis (had before) - ive gone from running mid to front foot to heel striking which was strange - really noticable but i was convinced i didnt - also took me off treadmill in case it was that.  no idea if the cramping of my old shoes contributed or was a result of ITBS but my new asics are the boss - 5 years with saucony too but the new triumph 10 is too narrow.


    Finally - I wasnt tying my laces right either (again prob not a factor) - not using last eyelet so heel slipping up - much more comfy with my new way.


    Who said running was simple image

  • ShedboyShedboy ✭✭✭

    great news ca100 - agree my muscles in hips, quads and hammys on that side were a mess and i knew it but focused on the hot scewdriver sticking into top side of knee.  Let me know how you get on.



  • Well finally back running. Managed two 7k runs with no pain during or after so, touch wood, things are looking good.


    Shedboy when you were running again how gradual did you build it up? My worry is that i'll do too much too soon and the problem will come back...

  • Great news c. I did two weeks reduced mileage and did core and physio twice a day. I foam rolled it religiously thats what cleared mine. Almost immediately i got sore ankle and shins but have run through with 2 to 3 runs a week. Back now and going fine. Good luck plenty time!
  • ca100 - I started with ITB issues about a year ago. I stopped completely for about 4/5 weeks, went to a physio and started doing the stretches and strengthening exercises I was given. After a couple more weeks I went for my first run, on grass, very slowly and only 1 mile. I then added 10% to each run so the first few days were mentally painful running such a short distance. After  about 2 weeks I was up to 5 miles and thought I had cracked it. The 10% rule went out the window and I stopped doing my exercises. Bang, it came back again. So I had to repeat the whole process of short runs and exercises etc. My advice would be:

    - just because you are pain free don't think it has gone away completely and ramp up the miles. I've had it for a year, and although I am now up to some long runs, I still know it's there and could come back at any moment. SLOW build up is the key

    - stretches and strengthening exercises. Again, don't think that because you are pain free you should stop them. My view now is that whilever I'm running I will have to do them

    - get a massage and get them to focus on your ITB rather than the whole leg. It bloomin well hurts but after a few days mine felt great

    - (foam) roller - I've got one of those grid rollers and that is equally as painful. However, this almost replicates having a massage so now I spend a few minutes every day rolling. I feel that this is allowing me to carry on running.

  • Cheers carterusm, all good advice. As i said i have done two 7km runs, but the temptation is there to build this too quickly, especially as i am now in to my 16 week countdown to the edinburgh marathon. Stretching and a lot of foam rolling is what seems to have helped, so i guess slowly increasing the miles and continuing this is the way forward.

  • I managed to do a Half Marathon 2 weeks after suffering ITBS.  The first week consisted of fairly intensive foam rolling every day, and light, flat runs to keep up my CV fitness.  The second week, I continued the last week of my training program as normal (luckily tapering the mileage), with K-tape to support the ITB.  The K-tape gave me the confidence to run normally.  It may have been placebo, but I found comforting.

    For the race itself, I taped up and eased into the pace slowly.  I still managed a sub 2:00, despite the brutal hills

  • I had this around 5 years ago. Lots of foam rollering, stretching and strengthening of your hamstrings and glutes worked for me but it still took me a few months through trial and error.

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