Reader Lori emailed me awhile ago about thutt injuries and although I’ve posted this before, I think it’s worth re-posting because pretty much every runner gets injured at one time or another.
So here are my injury tips, how I healed from my piriformis and a hamstring tear and how I have yet to re-injure myself even after 6 marathons in 6 months:
(For new readers: I was training for my first marathon back in April 2009 and running about 70 miles a week but not doing any stretching, icing or core work. I got hurt the DAY BEFORE my first marathon and was diagnosed with piriformis and a hamstring tear.)
I went to a couple sessions of physical therapy and finally got it through my head that I wasn’t invincible and I couldn’t run a marathon without even stretching (which I did in training 3x) I took 4 months off for it to heal which sucked but I learned my lesson.
Now I’m uber careful about taking care of my body. This is what I do:
1. Stretch. morning and night. specifically hamstring, hip flexors, stretches for piriformis, you can google and find tons of sites with stretches for any specific body part.
2. Ice after almost every single run. I bought a couple of cheap ice packets from Walmart and I sit on them for 10 mins to ice my hips. If my knees ache at all, I throw packs on them too.
3. Core work. I haven’t done too much lately, but the PT made it very clear that a strong core really helps your running and prevents injuries especially in the hips.
4. New shoes with inserts. I went and did the treadmill/computer thing where they analyzed my stride, gait, all that. I bought inserts which helped to even out where I was striking my foot which is supposed to stabilize your hips. Buy shoes for your specific needs.
5. Take days off. If anythings sore, I don’t run. I’ll cross train. I doubt if I’ll get near the 70 mile weeks again but I’m also racing a lot faster than I ever have. I’d rather be able to run less miles than be injured and not run at all.
6. The Stick. My brother gave me one for Christmas, and I use it on the outside of my legs where your IT band runs and on my hip. i just rub it hard over those areas and it almosts starts to hurt a little but its like a deep tissue massage.
In my unprofessional opinion, #1-3 are the most important.
Any opinions, tips, stories??