To ITBS or not ITBS

If theres any experienced runners out there who could advise me on this id be V. greatful.

I suffered from ITBS during training and ran on it at FLM this year, the result was 6 weeks off running and phsyio.

Now im wondering whether to run this months Snowdonia Marathon.

I seem to following a similar injury pattern, after i ran a good GNR half marathon i had a little ITBS tenderness and tight ITB's.

Since then ive cut down on the long runs and only done the speed training for the marathon and the ITB seems ok.

So the question is am i fit enough to run, my longest run was a 19 miler 4 weeks ago

Thanks for any comments.


  • Suffering from ITBS myself I definitely wouldn't run a marathon on it. Running faster aggravates the ITB less than slow (marathon-paced) running so it's perhaps not surprising that it doesn't hurt to run fast, but the real test would be to do a longish slow run and see what happens. If you can't get through a long run without the ITB hurting you have your answer. Not sure whether you'd be fit enough to run - you would at least have to reduce your target time (if you have one) and probably aim just to get round in one piece.
  • Thanks Jen,

    Yes i think a long slow run this weekend will be a good test, though deep down i know i probably shouldnt risk the marathon and do a load of strengthening and stretching instead but you know how it is when youve had your sights set on a run for months.

  • Yes, unfortunately I do - I had been injured for 2 months before FLM this year, decided to run anyway as had been looking forward to it for so long and - lo and behold - I'm still injured... don't repeat my mistakes!
  • Hmm, doesn't look good for my Luton chances then. Much though I would like to get a mara under me belt, I'd rather keep a 5K in the week and a 10-15K at the weekend on a permanent basis.

    This is also why I am thinking of moving to Tri.

    PS, XC is a LOT less hard on the ITB, by a mile, but they are hillier.
  • Jen: i was just reading the speed work was better for recovering ITBS runners, the reason they gave was that the band crossed the knee quicker, as apposed to slow pace paced distance running where the band crossed the knee slowly and causing more irritation.

    Im not sure which would be best, im still struggling with walking so running is totally out. fast or slow!!
  • Yeah, I've found that to be true Bennett - but I would avoid "speedwork" as such. I've been doing the running sections of my tedious run/walk routine at about 10k-half marathon pace so faster than usual but not all-out by any means. Poor you - is it no better at all?
  • No still sore :( the first half of the day is worse, My it ITB is sore when waking up, i think i must sleep with my leg bent?!? Only starts to feel slightly better when i get home from work and start stretching and icing which i do periodically until i go to bed.

    I have another Physio appointment tomorrow so ill see what she has to say as ill soon be reaching my 5th week of suffereing and i still cant manage a 10minute walk with the dog! I still feel that im at the acute stage after 4+ weeks! surely thats not right? especially after, Ice, Ice and Ice along with anti-inflams, massage, acupuncture, ultra sound and stretches.

    Ive been doing everything the physio has said which the exception of a core stability stretch which involves contracting one of the stomach muscles, she described it a "corset muscle". I cant seem to tense it, well she says that i can and she puts her fingers about 2/3 inches abouve my groin but i cant feel myslef tensing it?!!?

    Good luck with your slightly tedious fartlek training!
  • Good luck with your recoveries, your ITB injury stories have convinced me to give the Snowdonia marathon a miss this year, think I'll concentrate on the strengthening exercises before it gets too bad and aim for a 10K PB in a few months, good luck everyone.

  • Steve - think you're doing the right thing. I know it's hard but believe me when I say that missing several months more than you need to is harder so chin up.

    Bennett - That corset muscle can be tensed most easily at first if you lie on your back. Imagine your pelvis is a bowl - try to tip the bowl up and back. This means your tummy will be sucked in. I've got a whole range of core stability exercises I can tell you about if you want - just email me. They do help I reckon, especially if, like me, your ITBS was brought on my your pelvis maltracking (the core muscles your physio is taking about will help to keep the pelvis in the right position). I would maybe get a second opinion though if you're that sore after 5 weeks of inactivity. There might be something else amiss.

    On the bright side (for me anyway) I managed a 39 min run/walk earlier with all injuries waiting in the wings but never actually getting centre-stage. So that's progress I guess.
  • Bennett - pilates can help you strengthen your core muscles as well.

    When you lie on your back in crook knee postion. Put your hands on your stomach and feel it rise as you breath in and fall as you breath out. As you breath out imagine you are sucking your belly button to you spine. Its that holding in of the stomach that strengthens the core - its quite subtle.

    I found that when my ITB was quite inflamed that sleeping was uncomforatable so I used to sleep with a pillow between my knees.

    Jen - loving the description of your latest run.
  • Hi Steady, my physio described it exactly the same as you RE: pulling your belly buttin in to your spine. and she could feel me doing it but i really couldnt! Guess ill have to keep trying!

  • Oh and sleeping is a nightmare! I sleep with a pillow between my legs but i always wake up without it and in a fair bit of pain!
  • Try putting your hands on your belly it really is quite a subtle movement. I sympathise on the sleeping front - it does get better eventually
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