Today’s guest post comes from Stephanie Anne who writes Running to Health.
Since I began running over five years ago on my quest for the Mickey Mouse medal, I am lucky to say I’ve been sidelined from running very little. My bunion surgery last summer put me out for a few months, and every now and then I missed a run or two. Then, this past fall/winter my right knee starting acting up while I was training for the Rock N Roll Mardi Gras Half-Marathon.
At first it would start acting up toward the end of a 9+ mile long run, and eventually it started lingering. It would ache when I was sitting with my knee bent, but would disappear with walking. Using my physical therapist brain, I started brainstorming.
Were my IT bands tight? The IT band attaches on the outside of the knee, and the tightness and spasms I had there were giving me some lateral knee pain. With some massage and foam rolling, I got the IT band taken care of, but the joint pain still persisted. My patella was in good alignment, and tracking without problems, I performed several tests to check the ligaments and meniscus with the help of a coworker. Finally it hit me. My hips.
Glute Anatomy (source)
Your glutes do an important job of stabilizing the hips during running, propelling the legs forward, and maintaining trunk, leg and pelvic alignment. Honestly, I couldn’t remember the last time I had done any strength training, so I made it a point to do a short circuit twice a week. I added squats (single and double leg), hip abduction, bridging and hip flexor stretching. When my knee pain disappeared, I knew that I really needed to kick it up a notch to keep the pain away.
Most runners or triathletes think that they’re too busy to strength train. While getting enough practice of all three sports can be a big time sucker alone, I remind myself that my performance and strength will increase and my likelihood of injury decrease the more I stick with it. Now I go to boot camp twice a week. I do high intensity functional training with slam balls, TRX, resistance bands, battle ropes and more. When I did my strength training on my own, I was always formulating an excuse not to do it, but now doing it in a style I love and with others to motivate me, I never want to miss a class.
TRX Jump Squats at Boot Camp
Do you strength train?
How do you get your strengthening exercises to work with your schedule?
(My name is Stephanie Anne, I am a runner and triathlete currently training for my first full marathon to earn my Mickey Mouse medal at Disney in January. Check out my blog, Running to Health, to learn more about my journey, struggles and triumphs on running, multi-sports, weight loss and life!)