I have been running for over 3 years and have recently experienced my first IT Band issue, hence the blog being neglected for over 2 weeks. My apologies. This should have been the first place I went to in order to share my working through a very common runner's injury. Simply put, an IT Band (Iliotibial Band Syndrome: ITBS) injury is a pain in the outside edge of the knee that is commonly caused by — and here is the word — 'overuse.' Even more commonly referred to as 'too many miles, too quickly.' Basically there is a muscle below the hip that is connected by a long band of tissue going down the outside of the leg connecting to the shin bone below the outside of the knee. (source) When the tendon loses its strength and is pushed beyond capacity it becomes irritated in 2 possible places. Above and/or below the knee. Let me get away from the technical and state it hurts when you run.
So here is what I have been doing for the last couple weeks: Not running, icing and stretching. Luckily, this is an injury that is fixable fairly easily if you take the right steps. I have taken extra precautions since I have a half-marathon in early October and in early November. The last thing I want to do is sideline myself due to my own stubbornness.
Since this is a common runner's injury, here are some great sources for useful information and prevention regarding the IT Band:
If you've had similar experiences or have a remedy that got you back out, feel free to share in the comments below.