Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Hip pain on the treadmill and what may help #marathontraining

[By the way, I'm not a medical professional]

So since I started marathon training this year, I have been more religiously:

a) running
b) running on the treadmill, and
c) reading Tuesdays on the Run posts via linkup with MCM Mama Runs [like, ALL of them, so never be afraid to linkup]

The latest posts, combined with an upping of mileage on the treadmill, have got me wanting to return to the running blogger community what I have so often received: a little research on an issue I've been having of late:


Last week I believe I ran the most I have ever in any week on a treadmill (25 miles.) Shocking, I know, considering the length of races I have competed...but if you follow my blog you will know: I've not been a Winter Weather worker-outer! I hibernate and quilt!

But with my marathon looming [because my Ironman is looming], I could not let Winter Weather stave off my mileage. I had to put the miles on the dreadmill.

And thusly:


My right hip started to 'pop' in and out a little after my half-marathon training run last Friday. I took the kids grocery shopping after they came home from school and it began to produce heat and progressively start to hurt worse as we walked around the store. I was couched on Saturday. I began to research what to do.

Whenever I encounter any pain in my training, I start with R.I.C.E., which stands for:
  • REST
  • ICE
I spent a large portion of the day on the couch with these four elements in effect. The compression part was a little difficult with the fact that it was a pain in the joint area, and ibuprofen wasn't really cutting it. I needed something else. 

I started to research online and found this article in Livestrong about possible causes. It explains that: 
  • when we run on the treadmill, we may change our gait and cause pain
  • walking quickly on the treadmill can be unnatural and cause pain
These statements both hit home for me because my pacing is usually all over the place, especially since I took a month [or two] off, and psyching myself out of the half-marathon distance on Friday, I started off on the treadmill with some quick walking instead of running.

I started to research more and found this great YouTube video with hip stretches related, particularly, to triathletes and treadmills [the interwebs has everything]. It explains that:
  • you can watch yourself in a mirror or ask a friend to diagnose hip imbalance in gait
  • you can self-diagnose tightness in the hip with a certain position
  • you can stretch your hip to help self-correct

In many aerobics classes, this would be called the "pretzel stretch", and I know it very well! I have taken to performing this stretch in the car, watching TV on the couch, sitting at lunch with the mommies. It has helped me immensely in the last few days. I was able to run 3 miles on the treadmill the next day with only a small amount of pain left. And strangely, although I had originally gone down to the basement to walk my 3 miles for the day given my situation, I found that running was easier on my hip than walking. On top of that, running at a faster pace rather than my slow, half-marathon pace was becoming more normal and I needed to maintain that pace so that I wasn't altering my gait on the 'mill. Hmph. 

The next day I was struggling. Not with hip pain, but with the fact that I needed to run 7 miles, still a goodly amount for me in my training level, and it was not happening outside as I had hoped, as it was 8 degrees outside. 


I have now surprised myself with running in 30 degree weather, and skiing in 0 degree weather, but I'm still not on board with running in the single digits. Not.

I got all geared up, felt little to no hip pain, and stepped onto the machine. 

I got about 30 seconds in, and stepped off. 

I could NOT motivate. I felt guilty all day long, and I assumed I was doomed to stray from the training schedule, like I always do, and prepare for suckage on marathon day. 

I also assumed I could not face that machine not one more mile not one more day. 

So I ended up taking the day off. 

The next day I faced the beast once more, and found my hip in even better shape. No pain whatsoever. Perhaps the extra day was necessary, and my body knew it. And I ran at a pretty good pace (for me), and I completed it without much cursing. 

Lessons learned:




Hope this carries me through the next few weeks before we all get outside! I know March on the local trail must be all "Howdy's" and "Hey there's" after this Winter!!

Any lessons learned for you on the dreadmill, or in marathon training? IN LIFE?? Do tell! 

I promise to post about the 'updates' in my training cave I've been working on. 
[how else can I avoid running on the treadmill unless I feather the nest around the treadmill?]

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