This is my first time training for a half marathon- all had been going extremely well up till 2 weeks ago. I don't know exactly what was the source of the cause of my IT band issues, but I have a feeling a big part of it was breaking in a new (same model as old) pair of running shoes on a hilly 10 mile run. Stupid. At mile 8 I had to walk my outer knee and thigh hurt so bad. I have been cross training, icing, taking anti-inflamitory and foam rolling the S out of this leg for the last 2 weeks.
I have since returned those new shoes and decided to just continue my training in the old pair. Well, today was the test to see if it had healed at all. I decided I was going to aim for 8 miles, but stop if there was pain. I ran really slow, like 13.30 min miles and by mile 3 the discomfort slowly started coming back. I kept going for about another half mile and it just got worse, to the point of the same pain I felt 2 weeks ago. I stopped running immediately, but my ego and dreams of running my first half are in shambles. I don't know what to do at this point as the race is next Saturday and I know for damn sure I'm not going to be able to run the full 13.1.
I could really use some advice- do I try to walk run the half: run 1 walk 1 the whole way or just scrap the race? Like I said, this is a tough pill to swallow, and I have no doubt others can relate... So I guess I'm looking for what you guys have done in similar situations. I don't want to be stupid, but I also want to see if there'd be any more damage done if I did a walk run.
I would try a knee support, sleeve or dual support strap at this point. You may even require a brace, but it certainly would be worth the effort to try out some the readily available products because the added stability will make a difference. Go to a good sporting goods or running store and get some expert advice about the options. If you know what your issues are regarding shoes and pronation, then get some arch supports or other inserts that might also be of some assistance.
The primary thing is the knee support...along with strength exercises for the quads and stretching routines for the IT band. You may need custom orthotics in the future, but you may also be able to "patch things together" to get through the half.
Since you only have a week, I would say try out the new products in training, avoiding hills, and taking things at a slower pace. If you can get the exact same make, model of your old shoes, then look at that option. If you decide to do the half with your old shoes, consider the supports/inserts if those to see if that might be the extra boost to get you through.
Having said all that, if you are in continued pain (with all the above assistance added), then it would be better to postpone your first half because you would not want to risk your running career with a more serious injury from trying to get through one specific event. It is a common issue, but still requires serious intervention and close monitoring, so try all the immediate options available to you and it is okay to make a last-minute decision either way.
Wishing you all the best and keep the great confidence going.
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