I would like to introduce you all to my new best friend, the foam roller. I bought this baby late last year but only started using it earlier this year once my IT Band started giving me trouble (this is the ligament that runs from the hip down the outside of the thigh to the shin). Mine has decided to become tight and / or inflamed (whichever one I have means there is pain) so it hurts when I run. I am trying very hard to sort it out and through all my internet travels I have discovered some truly brilliant gems of wisdom.
I didn’t understand or realise how tight the muscles in my legs were until I started using my foam roller. Sadly this does not cure IT Band pain but helps mitigate it.
There are four main exercises I love:
- Rolling the foam under my hamstrings;
- Same as above by on my front;
- Relieving the tension on the outside of my thigh;
- Reliving the tension on the inside of my thigh.
I didn’t know how to use a foam roller and had to do research but this is possibly the best link ever. Have a go and I hope it helps you.
Strengthen the area
It is so important to make the whole area stronger. Get yourself checked out and see where your weaknesses are – for me my weak hips and glutes don’t help so I need to really work on them to make them stronger. This means squats (but gentle because my knees can’t always take it), climbing stairs, and planks. Katarina Johnson Thompson’s Runner’s Strength and balance workout on the NTC app is doing wonders for me. The NTC (Nike Training App) is free to download and use and I really recommend it. Not just for this but for every other workout on there.
- This isn’t the sort of pain you should run through because it won’t get any better if you try and push through it. Decrease your mileage (sob – something that is so hard) and rest.
- If you can walk for a while before you run. Think of it as a warm up and it definitely helps me.
- Have good shoes – are your knee pains worsened because of your footwear like mine were? Get it checked out and if you need to change your shoes.
- Change speed and directions. Don’t know why this helps but it does.
- Try not to run on hard surfaces. I know this is difficult and it’s a little bit harder when you have new trainers you don’t want to get dirty but it’s worth it.
If you have knee pain then I really hope some of this helps. Please remember I am no expert and what I have learnt is from the internet. Go and see an expert and get to the bottom of the pain – I am hoping I soon will be able to.