As we runners tend to self-diagnose and self-treat, I decided to stay with the pack and dissect the underlying issue that caused the IT band injury in the first place.
Here's what I came up with:
- It happened not too long after starting to run post-marathon.
- Post-marathon runs were more exploratory. I ran roads that I had never run before because I was bored with the standard routes.
- Most of those routes had hills--BIG hills.
- I ran the hills too fast because I had tended to just muscle through the hills and push through the fatigue.
How do I know that the hills were the culprit? I ran in Ireland with a much faster friend and we ran up hills much faster than I should have. The result? IT band problems. How did they go away? Stop running hills so darn fast.
For those of you with IT band issues, Rice University has a nice page with an explanation of the syndrome and suggested stretches to combat it.