I have a half iron man coming up in a few weeks but I developed lateral knee pain. I think its my ITB, and it is getting worse because it hurts all the time when I run now. It used to only hurt after 5 miles. I am concerned that I will not have enough time to prepare for the half iron. Any ideas?
Brian, thanks for the question. This is a really common injury in runners. It is especially true in triathletes because of all the time in the saddle. What happens is that the ITB gets shortened with all the riding where the knee is not straightened and then it flips back and forth over the lateral femoral condyle during the run and gets irritated.
You have a few options. First of all, if you are in the area, we have an Alter G anti gravity treadmill that will let you run pain free and keep you fit leading up to the race. Second, if not, you can probably run pain free up hills (your knee will remain flexed as you run up the hill so the tissue will not get irritated). Third, you need to ice and stretch the ITB (my iPhone app, Pain Free Back, has great videos of the stretches). Fourth, you can use a stick to roll out the tissue, and fifth, you can use Kinesio tape to support the tissue each day.
Your best bet though is to find access to the Alter G (again, if you are in the Seattle/Bellevue area, you can download a 10 minute free card on our website (www.srcpt.com.alterg.php)