After 112 miserable days of not running, I’m finally running again! And I’m 90% certain that my recovery is due to yoga.
I’ve been dealing with some ITBS for pretty much the last year and a half. I had to take a 6 weeks off running in November of 2010 to make sure I could run the Mercedes Half Marathon in Birmingham, Alabama in February 2011. I managed to get my knee to a healthy enough point to run Mercedes (although I stopped every other mile or so to stretch out my IT band, adding a good 5 or so extra minutes to my finish time), and finished that race on a wonderful runner’s high.
However, during that race, I managed to develop both a stress fracture in my fourth metatarsal in my right foot, which healed fairly rapidly, and some mysterious/spontaneous bone marrow edema in my middle cuneiform bone, with literally took 3 months to heal to the point where I was not in a walking boot. To make it even better, during my recovery time my ITBS came back with a vengeance. I couldn’t even walk down the stairs at my apartment without excruciating ITBS pain.
I escaped to Peru for most of May and June (for field work for my doctoral dissertation), and when I arrived home, I realized I had only 17 weeks before the Marine Corps Marathon. It was getting down to the wire; I needed to start training asap if I was going to even finish the marathon in October.
Since I figured jumping back on the treadmill right away was a bad move, I decided to start with a few yoga classes. I figured some good deep stretching for a few weeks would help my relax my ridiculously tight muscles in my hips and quads, and maybe help out with my peroneal tendonitis.
Well that one yoga class turned into 2-3x a week of yoga. And those 2-3x per week of yoga got me back running again.
That’s right. I’m pretty much ITBS pain free after a half dozen or so times of kicking my own ass in ashtanga yoga.
I’m not saying it will be the end all cure for your ITBS, and it was definitely not the only thing I’ve been doing to keep my IT bands, peroneal tendons, and quads in happy/healthy mode. But if you’re having problems with some chronic ITBS, you may want to check out some yoga classes.
I’ll blog one of these days soon about everything I did (and am still doing) to take a big leap forward in getting over my ITBS, but right now…
I’m going to go for a run.