Run to the Hills

Last year, I spent pretty much all summer going to physical therapy 2 or 3 times per week after experiencing really bad pain in my right knee.  I’d started trying to up the speeds on my interval sprinting, and suddenly, OW!  The pain was on the side of the knee, and mainly hurt when either running or walking down stairs.  The good news was that it was not a problem with the bones or joint itself.  I was quickly diagnosed with IT Band Syndrome. The iliotibial band is a tendon that runs down the thigh and outside of the knee and, for one reason or another, start to aggravate the knee after overuse.  So I cut out running so fast for a month or so, did all sorts of exercises that were supposed to help strengthen my hips and stretch the IT band, and the pain went away and I resumed my normal workout with no pain.

Cut to last month, when it began to flare up again.  I hadn’t changed my treadmill routine but when I went back to work, I got into the habit of walking up the eight floors to my office every day, so that was probably the culprit.  In my attempt to be extra-healthy, I ended up shooting myself in the IT Band.  Feh.

Soooo, I laid of jogging and sprinting again for the last few weeks and I kinda have been thinking that, even though I get a self-esteem boost from it, running might not be worth the long-term effects.  Now I’m even more convinced.  Today I started “easing back” into sprinting, did my sprint intervals for 10 minutes then started brisk walking and cranking up the incline more than I normally do.  My treadmill calculates calories burned, so right away I noticed that I burned significantly more calories walking up inclines than I do in the same time of running!

So I think I’m going to be trying that for a while.  Because I’d really like to be able to keep the use of my joints for the forseeable future.  And hey, with lower impact, more calories…what’s not to like?  Further, inclines help build up your butt and thigh muscles.

After all, the ideal body type I’ve always wished for has never been this

But has always been this

Leave a Reply