My running doc has instructed me to lay off the long runs and speedwork
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:
- My old physical-therapy routine
- My BOSU routine
- My workout from Georgetown physical therapist (and marathoner) Robert Gillanders
- The ITB stretch my running doc dubbed “the only one that works,” shown in the first photo of this Running Times feature.
- Plus, lots of bridges with the stability ball, planks with the BOSU and Swiss hip extensions, described below:
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.