I've been fighting with my IT band for some time, and it seems just when I think I've gotten it under control I'm hit with a twinge of pain that reminds me that my IT band still needs some TLC. One of my biggest fears is that I'll get a flare-up right before a race day, and since I'm gearing up to run San Francisco's notorious Bay to Breakers race this weekend, I've been taking some steps to ensure I'm still feeling good come Sunday.
Here are five last-minute steps to take that'll keep you happy and healthy on race day:
- No more leg-crossing. As comfortable as it is, crossing your legs when sitting down is a very bad idea for your IT band. It's awful for your posture, and can cause joint pain in your hips and knees. If you must, cross your ankles instead.
- No high heels. No matter how hard I try, I always walk a little differently when I'm wearing high heels. I'm not sure exactly how my stride changes in heels, but I've introduced a high-heels ban during race weeks, just in case.
Find out how else I stay prepared when you keep reading.
- Wear your running shoes. I commute on a bus or train to work every day, which means a significant amount of walking — not to mention a significant chance my foot will get stepped on while I'm on a crowded train. Wearing my shoes around during the day helps my feet get comfy, plus it keeps me from shuffling my feet around in a pair of flats. Just be sure to give your shoes a rest for a day before you run for maximum support and protection.
- Stretch, roll, massage, repeat. I usually take a few days off from running and working out before a race, but that doesn't mean it's OK to take time off from the rest of your routine. Continue your foam roller, stretching, or massage routine as you would while training.
- Drink water. Staying hydrated before the race is just as important as staying hydrated during the race. Make an effort to drink enough water in the days before the race to feel your best.
Do you have any other pre-race tips for me? Let me know in the comments!