I started the Couch 2 5K over a month ago and have just completed week 5 of this today, with my first 20 minute run with no walking. When I started 5 weeks ago I had some discomfort running from my lower back, across my right buttock and down the right side of my right leg to my knee. I raised this concern on this forum and got some really helpful responses, pointing out that it was my IT Band and offering some advise re stretches. I have used that advise and been really diligent with my stretching before and after I run and had no difficulties until today. I completed the 20 minute run this morning and my lower back on the left hand side was a bit sore throughout the run and eased off when I had finished running and was walking home. Interestingly it has always been my right side where I have the most weakness and on this occasion that felt fine, with the discomfort shifting to the left.
In general the run went well today and my breathing seemed fine and no other cramps or pains, but my lower back on the left hand side has been niggling me all day.
Now I'm speculating that this has something to do with the way I am running, and so was looking for some advise as to what people think may be going on, and things I can do to work through this?
For more info about me if that helps: I'm a 39 year old man, about 10kg overweight, 6ft 2 in height, and obviously up until now have been doing runs of a few minutes interspersed with walks of a few minutes; so this was the first time I had run without walking, so a lot longer than I have done before.
For strengthening I'd recommend doing some core exercises like the plank. www.coreessentials.biz has a cart load of easy and difficult core exercises. Pick a couple and do them a few times a week. That will strengthen your middle and "tighten" your form. Next, when you talk about pain in the butt and going down the side leg of the leg, I think sciatic nerve. You may not only have something going on with your IT band but also your butt muscles. Use the foam roller to roll the IT band (google self myofascial release for foam roller pictures) as well as the piriformis. The piriformis is in the butt area right around where the sciatic nerve passes. If the piriformis gets a bit inflamed it presses on the sciatic nerve and you get pain in the butt and down the leg. First roll the area, then stretch it. When the pain goes away try strengthening your butt with exercises like that back bridge exercise that shows up on the core essentials web site. Good luck and let us know how your first race goes!
The issue with the soreness in the butt and down the leg disappeared when I started doing the IT Band stretches 5 weeks ago. However there was still the odd niggle with my back and butt, but that was on the right side and would settle very easily - caused no ongoing discomfort. Yesterday I didn't have any pain going down my legs or in my butt just my lower back on the left hand side and it is still sore today so is a bit of a worry. I had an appointment with my chiropractor just after I started the Couch 2 5K and he felt the issues related to my lower back and gave me some exercises to do in relation to that, which seemed to help, and I do those every day even when not running.That's what made me think that it may relate more to my pusture/style when running?
Difficult to know I suppose. I will look at the sites you've suggested and see what I can do to further strengthen my lower back/core, as this seems to be where the issue is focussed. Any suggestion re running styles that I could try out, that may take some of the pressure off would be appreciated as well, so don't know if anyone has any thoughts re that?