Help me recover for ultra. Please!!!

I have been training for 9 months for my first ever ultra marathon, which is on 23rd August.  I have no history of knee trouble, but I have had to abort the last 4 runs after a handful of miles, due to a painful knee 'ache', based to the outside of the knee and radiating up and down too.

My sports massage therapist thinks it's tight ITB and has done soft tissue massage, plus some stretches and strengthening exercises; also k-taping and ice. The problem is, it's not getting better. The only thing I haven't given it is rest of over a week, for obvious reasons (3.5 weeks to go).

Please can you advise?  Desperate to do this run.



  • booktrunkbooktrunk ✭✭✭
    Shoes worn out and need replacing? When mine get old or I try new ones that don't work it causes a bit of a ITBand niggle? overuse is another possible thing? Basicslly rest it's few days then just put up with it, if it's ITBand you cannot make it worse from what I understand, so yes it hurts but that's it, it's not damaging anything.

    If you can work out what caused it and change that then you have a reasonable chance. A lot is down to it having to take the staring as your muscles around the knee in your thigh n calf aren't taking the strain so you might need to look at strengthening them, but don't know if you can do that in 3.5 weeks.

    PS: I could be talking out of my arse, hang around and see what others say  
  • stutyrstutyr ✭✭✭

    I'm with booktrunk - if everything else is the same, then the most likely cause is your shoes being past their best.

    With three weeks to go, you have just enough time to break in a new pair.  

    Also, don't panic - the last three weeks should see you tapering down for the event, this is the time that you should be getting more rest.  In the taper period, running too little won't harm your race-day performance, but running too much can. 


  • carterusmcarterusm ✭✭✭

    Tim - I suffered with ITB issues last year and it was caused by overdoing the running. I was out of action for about 9 months and had 2 aborted comebacks in that time, both times coming back too quickly. I went to physio, had massages, did the exercises I was told and used a foam roller but the main thing that helped me was to stop running completely for a month and then build back up the miles really slowly, and when I say slowly I mean I started at 1 mile and added about 10% on every run. It took me about 3 months before I could run for 10 miles. I'm not trying to alarm you but just make you aware that this type of injury can take quite a bit of time to recover from. If I had my time again I would have listened to the physio and done exactly what they said, that would have saved me about 6 months of being out of action.

    Hopefully, the other guys are right and it's just your shoes causing the pain. Best of luck

  • Many thanks booktrunk and stutyr. I haven't completely given up hope, and you have helped with this. Seeing physio tomorrow and will take shoes - I think they're ok, but you never know.

  • Do you use a foam roller? If not, that's definitely something to use. I'd agree with the shoe advice too.

  • try these stretches. I noticed the difference after a couple of days and knee pain was no more after 5ish days. don't overdo it though, once or twice a day should be enough.



  • Many thanks, all.  All good advice.

  • I agree with the foam roller (I prefer to use a hard roller like the Grid) but I'd also add that you likely need to strengthen your glutes (most people do, self included). If the glutes aren't firing properly, which happens if you spend a lot of time sitting, then other muscles take over and can become overused.

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