ITBS

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So I’ve been training for my triathlon and everything was going swimmingly (no pun intended). My pool times were getting faster and I was down to 1h 17mins for the 2.4 mile pool swim. My running, something I only started two months ago, was going well and I ran various distances up to 16 miles. Cycling, I’m focusing on getting faster and I’ve recently found a coach to assist with that. So yeah everything’s going fine…..up to last week.

I’ve had a few niggles since I started training, mainly with the running side of things as it’s something that I’m completely new to. That said, I was completing the distances with no major problems. However last Saturday I went out with a few cycling friends and did a few efforts before heading out for a 10k run straight after (cue disaster music)…….

I felt a bit of a pain at the side of my left knee halfway through the run but carried on regardless. When I arrived at home I knew this was no niggle, it was really quite sore when I extended my leg and it was obvious I had done some damage. I googled “pain at side of the knee” and found hundreds of articles on Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS), a common problem amongst runners, especially novice ones. To cut a long story short I’ve probably overdone it. Admittedly, going from running 0 to 16 miles in 6 weeks is totally stupid. I decided to have some time off running and focus on cycling and swimming, two things that didn’t bother my knee. However that idea was soon dismissed whilst out cycling Saturday and – on a hilly route I have done dozens of times with no issues – this bloody IT band started to hurt. I’m pissed off. Having cycled over 3000 miles in 28 days only two months ago I was really quite gutted about struggling with a 40 miler.

“I’ve spoke to a few people and most can’t see any logic in being sad about this, but to me it’s like being stripped of my manhood”

It is obvious that I’m doing more harm than good and I need to be careful not to make this chronic. So, as of today, I’ve decided to have a week or two off from training. This means I don’t have to get up at 5/6am for six days a week, it also means that I don’t have to be knackered all day (especially at work). But I’m actually really gutted about it.
I’ve spoke to a few people and most can’t see any logic in being sad about this, but to me it’s like being stripped of my manhood.
Rest, bizarrely, is something that’s not attractive for many people who train. To me, missing sessions means I’m not going to be as fit, I’m going to struggle with Ironman and I’m getting lazy and weak. Rest is a very important aspect of my training which enables my body to recover and strengthen and I do look forward to one day a week doing nothing. However 7 days – or even 14 plus – is not a nice thought!

“Having trained most days for the last year, this thought is abnormal for me and I’m already thinking what the hell I’m going to do tonight/this week/ this weekend!”

However at the end of the day I’m injured and I need to take a break while my body recovers. Having trained most days for the last year, this thought is abnormal for me and I’m already thinking what the hell I’m going to do tonight/this week/this weekend!

I’ve wrote this post as I like to read back on injuries once I’ve overcome them. Just like I did when I had a bad back earlier this year!

For anyone who’s reading this post with ITBS/injury issues themselves:

  •  Swimming is perhaps ok, but I’m a bit concerned about the push off the wall after my flip turn. I don’t want anything to prevent it from healing
  • When I come back I’m going to take running really steady, increasing by 10% or so a week. Hopefully my cycling and swimming should be no problem
  • It’s suggested that my glutes/hamstrings might not be strong enough so I’m doing various exercises to strengthen them.
  • I’m trying to focus on that fact a rest will do me good. I’ve trained hard for a long time and will come out of this stronger
  • Injuries are frustrating but they’re also inevitable, whoever you are.

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