Last night, my mini marathon training group had an amazing 10 mile run! This would be the first run in double digits I have completed since last November in the Monumental Half Marathon…crazy to think it’s been about 6 months!
This would be my group before:
And this is my group after. I love that we are still all smiles!
So far, this training has been really great for me. Even though the runs are in the evening, I am finding I have plenty of energy to complete the necessary distance and I have had minimal next day soreness. Win, win!
Despite having minimal soreness, last Monday I noticed a strange feeling in my left hip.
It was a pain, but it honestly felt like a bruise and it was hard for me to pinpoint and describe what I was feeling because I had never felt it before.
The pain started in my hip, but when I completed exercises with impact (running, jumping, etc…) the pain felt as if it was in my bones and in the inside portion of my lower leg. Needless to say, this pain had me pretty worried!
I wanted to make sure it wasn’t shin splints or something more serious, so I spoke with one of the trainers at my gym who is a much more experienced runner than me. She gave me the advice to rest for a couple of days, stretch, and do some foam rolling/myofascial release.
After the much needed rest and lots of stretching I feel back to normal! Thank goodness it wasn’t something more serious 🙂
These are three of my favorite stretches that allowed me to alleviate my hip/glute/IT band tightness and get back into my running routine.
To get into this position, place your hands on a chair, desk, or some stable surface/object you can “pull” on to get some leverage. Cross one foot over the opposite knee (as you see in the picture above). Sit your hips down and back so you really get deep into the glutes and the hip. This is why you need a stable surface or object, because you will need to pull on this object as you sit deeper into the stretch. Make sure to repeat on the other side.
*This stretch was very easy for me to do throughout my work day. I would take a minute to stand, get into the stretch on both sides and then get back to work. Even though I feel better, I still try to do this stretch periodically throughout the day!
Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
This stretch gets the hip flexors, or the front of the hips. This area is often tight in cyclists, walkers, and people who sit at a desk job all day. Simply come onto one knee and make sure the front bent knee does not come farther than your front toe. Press your hips forward until you feel the slight pull of the stretch. Repeat on the other side.
I have had tight IT band issues in the past. After talking with my friend at the gym, I started thinking about my previous pain and decided that I should probably release some tension along my IT band to help this pain too.
Simply take a tennis ball and rub it along the outside of your thigh. When you find a sore spot, STOP! Continue to rub that spot for about 30-60 seconds, then move on to the next sore spot. For me, the sore spots were right above my knee on the outside of my thigh and on the outside of my hip.
*This is another easy one to do at your desk while working!! 🙂
Of course there are many other stretches to help with hip pain and IT band tightness, but these are the three stretches I decided to focus on and it made a world of a difference!
Try these stretches and let me know how they make you feel. If you have any questions, please let me know!