Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Yoga for Runners

A Bit of Background

I'm a recreational runner. I've been in a few races, but I really don't like to race and have no intention of ever doing a marathon. I just like to run. I usually run about 3 miles 3-4 times a week as one part of my exercise routine.

Three years ago I started having pain on the outer side of my knee about a mile into my run. I learned that this was (ITBS) ilio-tibial band syndrome after I had really hurt myself, hoping that I could "run" the pain off. I took a whole year off from running hoping things would heal on their own. But, when I started to run again, I had the same problem of knee pain early on in my run. I learned some exercises and stretches I could do for my ITB and learned to slowly increase my distance over a few days. That helped. Then I got a bike to incorporate cycling into my exercise. Not long after I started cycling, I started having pain on the same ITBS knee, but this time it felt like it was under my knee cap. I found that it was all part of ITBS.

Rather than let the problem continue, I decided to turn to Yoga for some help. I have shared some of Esther's yoga videos before. They are excellent! Here are some particularly helpful videos for ITBS and running. I have been doing them on the days I'm not running or biking and so far I haven't had any pain. I hope this will continue!

First, a general yoga video for runners:


This one is targeted for opening hips so that you don't strain your knees to begin with, but is also helpful in correcting the problem once it has started.


And this one is for the knees.


As I have learned, coming back from an injury takes patience as well as persistence. Patience, to keep yourself from doing too much too soon. Persistence, to continue with the therapy to help correct the injury. Hope this helps other runners/cyclists out there.

Update: August 12, 2010
For the past year, my husband has been having knee pain when he rides his bike. He decided to give the above yoga techniques a try and he too noticed improvement. He stretches before he goes out on his bike now with the knee and hip opening techniques. It's really helped!

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