It’s glaringly obvious where it all went wrong. Prior to training for the marathon I’d always integrated some other kind of exercise, whether at the gym, a fitness class or something else. Once the marathon training commenced my sole focus was building distance and my first mistake was to let other sporting activities diminish to the point where I was only running. The second mistake was concentrating only on distance instead of including speed and more importantly hills. Mistake number three was a huge reduction in time spent on stretching and mistake four was completely omitting core strengthening exercises. Oops!
Learning the hard way but at least the lesson has been learned. Surely this should do me in good stead for the future and hopefully prevent recurrence of further IT Band problems and make me stronger as a runner at the same time. Now aware that my left leg is weaker than my right, the necessity is to strengthen my glutes and quads and of course my core muscles.
My recovery plan:
1. Strengthen my leg muscles: Grr this means lots of lunges, steps and hills, basically lots of activity that hurts. (I must admit I could be doing the exercises and stretches from the Physio more consistently).
2. Build my non-existent core muscles: Variations of sit-ups but not just hundreds of sit-ups! Building in swimming is already making a difference. Other cross-training will also help. Currently considering yoga or pilates.
3. Stop avoiding: hills and hill sprints! Time to get off road to make this fun!