Injured...4 weeks till conference

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Injured...4 weeks till conference

Post by froggerThejogger » Thu Mar 22, 2007 4:56 pm

So as of about a week ago I have an IT band problem. Just kind of popped up. I finished a workout and about 3 hours later I moved my leg and felt a twinge. It isn't dreadfully painful, although it does hurt.

My problem, I am 4 weeks out from my conference meet. I am currently the top 5k runner in the conference, and I need to maintain my fitness. I am worried about taking time off, as I don't want to lose fitness this late in the season since I dont think I have much time to get it back. It is ITBS is what the trainers tell me.

I am currently stretching a lot, trying to strengthen my core, using the foam roller, icing, and getting massage.

What is the best way to train through this until I have the chance to sit out a couple weeks and heal? My previous 6 weeks I have averaged about 76 miles a week, and have been getting in good quality work. A fartlek(4:00/2:00, 3:00/2:00, or 2:00/1:00) and then either a tempo run, or else longer(1000-2000m) intervals.

After it popped up I have still been doing workouts, which are ok, my leg feels weak, a little painful, but I can manage, and then on my "easy days" doing 4-5 miles, which also hurt a bit, and then cross training(swimming/aqua-running) for about an hour. Will this work to an okay extent? Do I need to do something different? Should I be taking time off? My leg hasnt been getting worse, nor better, I think I have it under some sort of control. Can I do anything else to recover quicker, or maintain fitness better?


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Injured...4 weeks till conference

Post by Tinman » Thu Mar 22, 2007 7:37 pm

Frogger -

Bad situation to be in, ay! You have worked hard and are in good shape, so that is good. But, you have the ITBS problem to deal with now!

The therapy you are doing seems perfectly correct. It takes time to get over ITBS. Keep doing the therapy.

About your running:

First, let me say that you should avoidn running on uneven surfaces -even grass, for the most part. I strongly recommend that you run on two particular surfaces. First, run on a bike path or trail that is level. Second, run on the outside lane of a soft, all-weather track. Run in lane 8. The turns are not too sharp and the surface won't make you constantly adjust your leg pattern like grass, sidewalks or uneven roads will.

Second, try different running shoes. Heavy trainers, stability shoes, and thick, soft shoes are problem causers! Road flats that are not elevated are often the best shoes for training in when you have injuries like ITBS, Plantar Fascitis or Achiles Tendonitis. I've also noticed, in my personal situation, the my lower back is less stiff when I use lower profile shoes.

Third, try doing frequent and limiting your training volume per workout. Do lots of TTR (Tinman Tempo Running) and CV work You can tack on just short, quick striders; up to 800m (total) per session. Example, 8 x 100m or 4 x 200m, jogging the same distance as the rep - for recovery. Don't sprint them or you'll find your IT band flaring up! Run in the morning and afternoon, for sure, and even try doing a third workout per day if you can.

A real story to illustrate how I once dealt with an injured runner:

I coached a D3 female distance runner who was dealing with a sore knee in 1990. I gave her no more than 5km in the morning, at noon, and in the late afternoon.

*She was worried about losing hard-earned fitness. She had been running 65 miles per week for several weeks, prior to the injury / pain in her knee. So, I had to come up with a way to keep her total volume up, yet make it possible for her knee to heal or at least not get worse.

Anyway, She jogged a 3 mile route at about 10 minute pace every morning at 6-6:30 am. At 11:30 or 12, depending upon her class schedule, she ran 1km loops around a cemetery (across from our campus) on a smooth road that had little traffic. I required her to rest 1 minute after each loop. The first one was run at a Slow to EZ pace - totally by feel. She felt fine and warmed up quickly if she did her morning jog as prescribed. She felt stiffness and pain if she skipped the morning jog!

Her second and third loops were run at Tinman Tempo Pace, yet she still rested 1 minute after each loop - walking around, sometimes doing toe touches with crossed legs in order to gently stretch her it bands.

Her 4th and 5th loops were run at CV pace.

She walked 10 minutes to cool down.

Later in the day - about 5 pm, after her last physical therapy class (she was a p.t. student), she ran 6 x 800m on a smooth gravel trail at the backside of a park near campus. She did the same thing every day! The first rep was run slowly; to warm up. The second and third were run at TT pace. The 4th, 5th, and 6th were run at CV pace. She rested 30 seconds after each rep, walking around, stretching.

I insisted that she ice after each workout - so she carried one of three blue freezable bags around all the time in her backpack. She elevated her legs in the evening for at least an hour, above her heart level to reduce swelling. She stretched 3 times per day, about 5-10 minutes each. She did back, glute, and hamstring body-weight exercises every day, just 15 reps x 2 sets.

She had run 10:31 indoors in a 3k on 65 miles per week and looked fit and happy. She looked horrible for about a week just prior to changing her training schema. By the end of two weeks of doing the training as described above, smoothness and lightness in her stride was apparent along with joy in her voice.

She ran a 1600m time trial at the end of 3-weeks on the track in 5:12 with just me helping her pace the last two laps.That was better than her p.r. in the 1600m (her best 1500m prior to that was 4:52, and her 1600m equivalent was 4:48 in the trial)!

The next week, she ran the same schedule as listed on Monday and Wednesday. On Tuesday and Thurday she ran 5km slowly 3 times each day. On Friday, she ran 17:42 in a 5,000m on the track, in the evening under the lights, in good weather conditions, all by herself. Remember, her indoor 3k time of 10:31 was equivalent to an 18:02 over 5km, so her 17:42 after new training was an equivalent 20 second improvement!

The next week she ran a 10k in 38:20 something (about 90% effort), as I recall, to "just qualify" for the conference track meet. She ran the following week, at conference, in the 10k and 5k, placing high in both (I am embarrassed to say, I can't remember her times and her place. I think she was 1st in the 10k and 2nd in the 5k. I don't know why I can't remember, but maybe it was because I had about 8 female distance or middle distance runners doing multiple events and doing quite well at the time - so I was running around getting everyone to warm up, stretch, do their striders, run their cool downs, and hydrate - especially because it was quite hot at conference!).

Anyway, she went to Nationals and placed 6th in the 10k. The most she ran from late March until Nationals in May was about 8km at a time. Most workouts were 5km of running - 3 times per day. Lots of TT and CV work. She felt really good and seemed to be very cheerful, so that was an indicator to me that she was pleased with the the whole thing. In retrospect, had I to do it over, I would have asked her at the end of the season to share her insights. I was a young coach and had my own life - including graduate school - jetting me around like a rocket, so I missed out on a learning experience. Now days, I ask lots of questions of my athletes, in order to learn and grow!

Long story, I know! But, the principle is this: you can do short, frequent runs to elevate or maintain endurance and improves efficiency - in lieu of longer runs you normally do when you are not injured, and you can succeed too, as a result of such an approach!

Take care,

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