The two-week IT band plan

My running doc has instructed me to lay off the long runs and speedwork

The BOSU and I will become close friends over the next two weeks.

The BOSU and I will become close friends over the next two weeks.

until August to give my hip time to cool down.

So what’s a girl to do with that time, other than run an uninspiring, disappointing 5K?

I’ve been pretty good about my physical therapy exercises, from my much-hated leg lifts to the super-fun BOSU work, and I’m always good for a few minutes of plank position. But for the next two weeks, I’m vowing to make core strength and PT my main focus, with running and swimming mere afterthoughts. This means doing a roundup of core/PT exercises — as much as an hourlong workout — every other day. The idea is to get myself as strong as possible, so when I do start my long runs, I’ve done everything I can to avoid injury.

After the two-week period, I spend a week in Monterey, Calif., where I’ll continue to lay low, with a few awesome trail runs and a bike ride through San Francisco mixed in. Then, as discussed with my running doc, I’ll start with an 8-miler, and work my way up from there. If my hip doesn’t cooperate? Hey, at least my abs and butt will look great!

Here’s a roundup of the exercises I do to keep my IT band strong and supple:

Start sitting upright on a stability ball, then walk your legs forward so the ball travels up your spine until it reaches your shoulder blades. With your arms extended out to the sides, lift your hips up until your torso is parallel to the floor. Then lift one knee about 45 degrees, lower it, then lower hips toward the floor, and repeat on the other side for one set. Do three sets of five to seven reps, with two minutes rest between sets.


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14 responses to “The two-week IT band plan

  1. Thanks for these great links. I had my ITB go mid marathon – which was a *lot* of fun! – and so am always keen on learning some new stretches and treatments.

  2. Hope all that stretching/strengthening does the trick for you!

  3. Sounds like a good plan. Excellent post!

  4. these are all great exercises that should be done anyway! sounds like a good plan and hopefully will help keep your mind off of the limited running.

  5. Kim

    Does swimming bother your ITB? The back of my knee is bothering me. While rolling it last night, I started to think it may be related to the ITB. I’ve been swimming this week, trying to rest my knee so I can run on Saturday. And, like you, I’ve been concentrating on strength and core so I can try to stop getting hurt! LOVE that ITB stretch! Thanks for sharing.

    • Swimming is *mostly* OK, and usually feels really great on it. That said, I use a pull buoy quite a bit to let my poor ITB rest completely, and almost never do kick sets. My swimming suffers in the process, but my ITB usually thanks me.

  6. trialsoftraining

    Ha “at least my abs and butt will look great” – definitely! 😉 a Lot of good suggestions up there!! When do you leave for Cali? That exciting!

    • We leave on Aug. 8 … CANNOT WAIT for some amazing trail runs, winery tours, time spent with some of our best buddies and a trip to my own personal Mecca, the Ghirardelli factory. 🙂

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  10. raquel Jimenez

    Hello I really enjoyed your blogs, I was recently in a car accident and I now have a twisted/ crooked pelvic bone I have pain in my lumbar and pelvic bone/hip area and I was wondering if the exercises you posted on your blog will help with that. I’m currently seeing a chiropractor but I would like to do some physical therapy myself. I was a former Crossfit Trainee and I know I won’t be able to life heavy for awhile so I need to get my core strong

    • Ouch! That sounds terrible. I hope these exercises help you—but since I’m a total layman, I can’t say for sure whether they would help or not. If at all possible, I would consult with a physical therapist who can tailor exercises to your specific condition. Sorry I can’t be of more help!

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