Ok- I need advice from anyone out there that has some experience or insight. I'll try to be brief. I have suffered from all kinds of injuries/ailments, ALWAYS on my right side. I have run for 22 years, the last 2.5 in minimalist shoes. Had LOTS of IT band trouble before going minimalist. At first, after switching to minimalist/forefoot striking, most problems worked themselves out. But slowly I've dealt with IT band trouble, piriformis pain, stress fracture in foot (maybe unrelated, not sure), and most recently plantar fasciitis. I've tried all the suggestions from this website plus anything else I can find on the web. I've had a chiropractor check the alignment of my hips. Also, I've been tripping during running WAY more often than ever before. And its always my right foot that I trip on. I've convinced myself that I have something going on with my right side, but I have no clue how to begin working on it. I've been doing Eric's slant board sequence since July 2013, until this last week when it hurt my arch to do them. I'm taking a week off running to see if my plantar fasciitis will ease up. On a side note, I'm a teacher, a mom, and not very sedentary, so I'm on my feet a lot. Many thanks for any suggestions!!
I'm running in Merrill Pace Gloves.
I just finished Phase 1, peaking around 38-40 miles/week. Last Sunday's long run was 2 hrs, 40 minutes.
Been doing pistol squats and fit ball lunges with 2 poles along with slant board sequence (sorry, forgot to mention those.)
I'd estimate I'm doing between 130-190 minutes a week in HRZ 2.
Not sure about my knees- I've tried to pay close attention to my form and cadence, but unless I video myself it'll be hard to say. Guess I need to sweet-talk someone?
I've specifically run hills about once a month, otherwise, same terrain.
This is great. One thing that really helps with IT band, aside from exercises/form/zone 2, is to start doing more very short hill sprints. Now that you are entering Phase 2, this is good timing and you might try adding some 10-15 second hill sprints as part of your warm-up in 1-2 of your runs per week.
BUT - keep at the fit ball lunge as this will really help the IT band. Be sure to do them barefoot AND on the floor ONLY right now to really hone your technique, and then progress to using the slant board.
Same with pistol squat, do this on the floor right now and really practice "hinging" at the hips, and to letting the knee go FORWARD when you squat. You should really feel these in your glutes - both lunge and pistol.
Also, be sure to revisit the run drills, especially the skipping for distance, as this will help get hips extension in case you are keeping knees a little too bend when running.
OK, last thing, when doing the slant board movement sequence, be sure you are locking out your knee when doing these and not keeping it slightly bent.
We need to get your glutes firing and working better - not your quads.
WOW! Thanks for you replies, Eric. Much more than I could've asked for! I will follow your directions and keep you posted. I've been trying to figure out if my glutes are firing properly, which I'm betting they aren't.
One more question, if I may: Since my heel and arch have been sore, should I delay beginning Phase 2 or will the work I'm going to be doing fix the issue, thus easing my plantar fasciitis? Many, many thanks!!!
Do the slant board movement sequence, with good focus on keeping leg/knee locked and let me know if this is difficult to do. But in general, when doing these exercises, are you feeling the glute fatigue?
Looks like it is time to write up something on plantar F. So stay tuned on that, but massage your calf of that leg and see if there is a very tender spot in the muscle of that calf?
I did the slant board sequence this morning. Really focused on locking the knee. Began to feel the glutes fatigue by the end. My heel and arch weren't painful, just a tightness/pulling sensation in my arch while doing the slant board. Also did pistol squats and fitball lunges without heel/arch pain.