I've still been working to recover from an inflamed Ilio-Tibial Band. Wanting to run I have been focused on running shorter distances and whenever possible, barefoot. I'll save the barefoot discussion for a future post, but for now will discuss my immediate training. It is common knowledge that downhill running causes significant stress on the ITB and therefore should be avoided during a recovery period. I have been focused on running uphill as much as possible. Not only is it low impact, but I just love it. The problem is that 'what goes up, must come down'. I've tried to take it really easy on the downhill and, for the most part, have not put any undo stress on my ITB. Yesterday was a longer day, about 10 miles, and I could feel tightness with about a mile left, so I decided to walk off and on just to make sure.
I'll continue to focus on running hills through the winter months. I want to be a climbing machine come spring. I've reflected on races this year and going uphill could be a way for me to shave precious minutes off of race times in the future. I also have a bunch of adventure runs planned for 2010 and all of them have a huge amount of elevation gain and loss. But I need to be healthy, first and foremost. So I'll keep taking it easy and finding ways to strengthen my ITB.