Welcome Back IT-Band

Another exciting month with ups and downs. The highlight of this month is me getting a sore throat and then hitting my old friend, the IT band syndrome. Let’s take a look at my weight loss progress for August first.

Personal weight chart for August 2022.

My weight loss has been relatively slow, decreasing by 2.5 kg (5.5 lbs). I’m now down to 90.7kg (200 lbs). I’m still happy that the trajectory is pointing down. Especially with the time I had to take off, my expectations were pretty low. Now, let’s talk about that.

Exercise calendar for August 2022.

To keep squeezing in my runs, I did some running very early in the morning, around 4-5 AM, in relatively cold weather. Instead of keeping my throat intentionally moist with frequent gulping, my argument is that I ran and breathed through my mouth, which ended up with me getting a sore throat. I tried to keep exercising after that, but it kept getting worse. So I stopped exercising to give my body some time to heal. This is around the 15th when you see me taking a week off running. Taking a week off just two months before my marathon is definitely not good news.

On the 22nd, I was ready to run. I decided to continue with my baseline of 16K. At the end of the first run, after taking the break, I felt my IT band gently nudging me. I did not focus on it too much. I decided to take a day off and run another 16K. I couldn’t. On the 24th, I had to stop at 14K due to IT band pain. I was screwed. IT-Band pain usually takes a month or two to heal with active rest. My marathon is in 2 months.

So what’s the plan? I decided to fall back to indoor cycling for a while to keep my cardio conditioning up. I started exercising my gluteus muscles, which are one of the core reasons for IT-band pain. After a couple of days, I wanted to see if things were still bad. For the record, this was a too-early test after a couple of days of gluteus strengthening. But it worked. On the 28th, I was able to run a 16K with no pain. I still gave my body a couple more days of indoor cycling before running full-on again next month.

Phew! That was close! I’m not sure I made it yet, but getting rid of IT band pain with a couple of days of strengthening is definitely not usual and is a strong signal that my gluteus muscles are weak. Just taking a week off from my running was enough to surface that weakness. I plan to keep the strengthening exercises up and start building a new baseline for my running. I will decrease the daily running time but increase the number of sessions per week. I probably will go with a six-day running plan where I run 40-minute to hour-long sessions, one of which will be a long run.

As you can tell, this was mostly a survival month. 😃 I kept my diet as it was, and I have no plans to change anything on that front. If you are wondering what exercises I did to strengthen my gluteus muscles, I simply used the IT-band exercise program from Recover Athletics daily. I did the exercises every night just before bed. I will keep doing it for a while and then slowly switch to a bi-daily plan.

See you next month!