Around this time of year, we often will see an influx of runners coming into our clinic with a variety of ailments. One of my first questions when I find out they are a runner is, "Have you changed anything recently with your workouts?" They will often tell me their mileage has increased as they are training for either a half or full marathon.
Many of these longer distance races will take place in the fall and the training regimens often call for an increase in the distance of the long runs starting around now. This increase in time on the road or treadmill leads to a decrease of time in the weight room.
I totally understand this as I have also done a marathon in the past and know the time sacrifice that has to take place. However, what I frequently see in the clinic when evaluating these runners is weakness in the hip abductor muscles. These muscles are on the outside of hips and are really important for pelvic stability. When they are weak, it causes increased stress to the hip and knee causing conditions like bursitis, IT band tendinitis or patellofemoral syndrome.
It's really important to continue working on strengthening these muscles and not just relying on running to be your strength training. You don't always have to do a lot of heavy weights. Just adding some exercises like side leg lifts, clamshells or bridging can be really helpful to help maintain your hip strength.
If you are someone who has noticed some increased pain as your running volume has increased, or have some other questions or concerns regarding your training, feel free to contact our Sports Medicine Center Runner's Clinic hotline at 414-805-8602
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