Sage Advice: IT Band Boilerplate

I get questions from y’all sometimes, and they are usually interesting and often good fodder for a blog post. IT band problems are so frequent that I created a boilerplate response in Evernote, ready to whip out at a moment’s notice. Here it is.

Caveat: I am not a PT or medical doctor. Just a coach and yoga teacher.

The likely problem: weak hip muscles. Solution: strengthen your glutes, as explained here: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/21/when-the-diagnosis-is-dead-butt-syndrome
Secondary approaches:

No. 1: Check your shoes. Are they old? Are they right for you? No investment in running is more important than your shoes. Go to a specialty store like Fleet Feet. They should watch you walk barefoot and run in various shoes. Go for FIT over color or price.

No. 2: Look at your mileage. Has it risen steadily, or are there big jumps? Add no more than 10 percent per week.

No. 3: Ice. Brr. 10-15 mins., 2-3x/day.

No. 4: Massage, incl. self-massage on foam roller.

Yoga works because it helps strengthen your glutes while promoting balanced flexibility. Try adding these:

1. Pre-run warmup as shown here: http://www.yogavibes.com/videos/watch/carrboro-sage-rountree-vignette-1-010810/
2. Post-run strength routine as shown here: http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-238-409–13813-0,00.html

Hope that helps. The ITBS isn’t a problem per se, unless it’s altering your gait. Instead, it’s a symptom of a bigger issue. Get to the root of that issue, be it hip strength, worn shoes, or too much mileage/not enough recovery, and the ITBS will disappear.

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