Questions for the runners

Hey guys, I have a few running injury/pain questions. Just a little background - I got into running about 6-7 years ago, and the last marathon I ran was in Dec. 2019. COVID happened soon after so it's been a few years since I've ran a race. Last year I got back to serious training and planned on easing myself back in with a half but my dog was diagnosed with cancer so I put everything on pause to focus on him. That went on for about 6 months, during that time I still got in some runs but mostly just tried to get a mile in every day because I didn't want to spend more time away from him then I needed to. Physically, everything was fine, no injuries, no pain. A little weirdness with one knee but I switched shoes and that fixed it.

I got back to logging more miles soon after he passed (in Feb) to deal with grief. It started out fine enough but about a month ago my right knee and hip started feeling weird. Not quite painful but something feels off. Occasionally, I'll feel minor pain. I started marathon training a few weeks ago and I've tried incorporating more strength training thinking that would help but it hasn't. My doctor said it sounded like IT band syndrome and gave me some print out of stretches, which is everything that I already do. So for those of y'all who've dealt with it, what has worked for you?

I'm also having some lower back pain when I wake up in the mornings. I'm not sure if it's from running, my mattress or the way I'm sleeping.

A few other things - bruised toenails. I've been fitted for running shoes, I've switched to running specific socks and I still end up with bruised toenails. For the past three weeks when I run my legs have felt like deadweight; outdoor running, when I'm the dreadmill my legs feel fine.

Replies

  • WailingDusk
    WailingDusk Posts: 58 Member
    Hey, I started running 2 months ago, and I noticed the same thing, except it was in my left knee and right hip. The problem was a combination of not warming up properly before each run, my gait due to bad shoes, and not incorporating enough core and leg exercises.

    I bought new running shoes which helped A TON (I bought the Brooks Ghost 14 which are incredibly comfortable and helped my gait. I started doing more core strengthening and bodyweight leg exercises (squats, Bulgarian split squats, and dumbbell split squats, and single leg romanian dead lifts for my hips). It seems to be working because I don't get the same pain that I did when I first started running. My hips would start hurting at about mile 1.5. Now I can do three miles without hip and knee pain.

    Now if only it weren't so hot. :(
  • mrmota70
    mrmota70 Posts: 355 Member
    edited May 15
    Check this link out…

    https://marathonhandbook.com/bruised-toenail-from-running/

    I just got done running a week of 1 10k a day. No issues with my toes except for my 2nd toe being longer than my big toe. On occasion he gets sore on the faster 10ks. I’m flat footed and I’m very much aware of how my foot drops. I’m pretty much a dead center drop. You may be either a toe runner or you doing a good amount of launching during your runs. This may be creating the toenail hematomas you describe. Check out the link and see if it gives you some pointers. Do update on how things progress. Ran 5 miles today in 93 degree weather. I’m from the south most tip of Texas so unless it’s over 100 well it just ain’t a bad day for a run.
  • littlegreenparrot1
    littlegreenparrot1 Posts: 603 Member
    This is going to sound weird, but Google different ways to lace your trainers.

    Essentially different ways of lacing them suit different foot shapes.

    I find a lace lock helpful, stops my foot moving around so much in the shoe. Worth a try to stop those toes bashing about so much.
  • desertfoxcoffee
    desertfoxcoffee Posts: 46 Member
    Hey, I started running 2 months ago, and I noticed the same thing, except it was in my left knee and right hip. The problem was a combination of not warming up properly before each run, my gait due to bad shoes, and not incorporating enough core and leg exercises.

    I bought new running shoes which helped A TON (I bought the Brooks Ghost 14 which are incredibly comfortable and helped my gait. I started doing more core strengthening and bodyweight leg exercises (squats, Bulgarian split squats, and dumbbell split squats, and single leg romanian dead lifts for my hips). It seems to be working because I don't get the same pain that I did when I first started running. My hips would start hurting at about mile 1.5. Now I can do three miles without hip and knee pain.

    Now if only it weren't so hot. :(

    I have a feeling it may be an imbalance with my hips, possibly because I usually run the same route and the trails tend to lean. My Hokas helped a lot with the feet and leg fatigue so I wonder if maybe it had something to do with the fact that I kept running in worn shoes for longer than I should've (I was waiting for my new pair to come in) or if I just need to work on my hip issues. I'll try working in deadlifting again and other squat variations.
    mrmota70 wrote: »
    Check this link out…

    https://marathonhandbook.com/bruised-toenail-from-running/

    I just got done running a week of 1 10k a day. No issues with my toes except for my 2nd toe being longer than my big toe. On occasion he gets sore on the faster 10ks. I’m flat footed and I’m very much aware of how my foot drops. I’m pretty much a dead center drop. You may be either a toe runner or you doing a good amount of launching during your runs. This may be creating the toenail hematomas you describe. Check out the link and see if it gives you some pointers. Do update on how things progress. Ran 5 miles today in 93 degree weather. I’m from the south most tip of Texas so unless it’s over 100 well it just ain’t a bad day for a run.

    My 2nd toe on both feet is the issue for me, too. Just slightly longer than the big toe. I'm also flat footed, but my podiatrist said it's slight because my arch has collapsed over time.
    And thank you, I'll check out the link. I've also been looking at those funky toe caps. They look like condom for toes. lol I'll try anything at this point.
    I'm in Dallas by the way. :smile: I grew down south near Corpus Christi. The heat actually doesn't bother me too much if I acclimated myself from the start of summer, and I find I run easier and faster come late fall and winter.
    This is going to sound weird, but Google different ways to lace your trainers.

    Essentially different ways of lacing them suit different foot shapes.

    I find a lace lock helpful, stops my foot moving around so much in the shoe. Worth a try to stop those toes bashing about so much.

    I'll try that :smile: Thank you. I've had them laced the same way for years when I first had issues with my toes, but have since switched brands.

  • LaRuse
    LaRuse Posts: 3 Member
    I have dealt with IT band issues a couple of times in my running years. Sitting a lot for my job is a primary contributor for me.
    What helped besides the stretches was seeing a chiropractor that offered Active Release Therapy (essentially sports massage), who also taught me KT taping techniques, and spending time on a TENs unit. Late in the phase of a half marathon training season one year, I was hurting so bad I could barely walk and so on top of the other therapies, he also wrote me a script for a muscle relaxer. The stretches, KT tape, massage, prescription, and TENs therapy let me get across the finish line that fall when it looked like I might need to defer that year.
    Today, to keep IT band issues away, I still do all of those stretches regularly, but at least 2 times a week I also do a yoga for psoas session (I like Yoga With Adriene - free on YouTube and her Yoga for Psoas routine is only 20 minutes).
  • desertfoxcoffee
    desertfoxcoffee Posts: 46 Member
    LaRuse wrote: »
    I have dealt with IT band issues a couple of times in my running years. Sitting a lot for my job is a primary contributor for me.
    What helped besides the stretches was seeing a chiropractor that offered Active Release Therapy (essentially sports massage), who also taught me KT taping techniques, and spending time on a TENs unit. Late in the phase of a half marathon training season one year, I was hurting so bad I could barely walk and so on top of the other therapies, he also wrote me a script for a muscle relaxer. The stretches, KT tape, massage, prescription, and TENs therapy let me get across the finish line that fall when it looked like I might need to defer that year.
    Today, to keep IT band issues away, I still do all of those stretches regularly, but at least 2 times a week I also do a yoga for psoas session (I like Yoga With Adriene - free on YouTube and her Yoga for Psoas routine is only 20 minutes).

    Thank you! I've applied KT Tape so far it's helped me get through Muay Thai class but I haven't ran in it so we'll see. I'll have to look into TENs, never heard of it.
  • mrmota70
    mrmota70 Posts: 355 Member
    edited May 16
    mrmota70 wrote: »
    Check this link out…

    https://marathonhandbook.com/bruised-toenail-from-running/

    I just got done running a week of 1 10k a day. No issues with my toes except for my 2nd toe being longer than my big toe. On occasion he gets sore on the faster 10ks. I’m flat footed and I’m very much aware of how my foot drops. I’m pretty much a dead center drop. You may be either a toe runner or you doing a good amount of launching during your runs. This may be creating the toenail hematomas you describe. Check out the link and see if it gives you some pointers. Do update on how things progress. Ran 5 miles today in 93 degree weather. I’m from the south most tip of Texas so unless it’s over 100 well it just ain’t a bad day for a run.

    My 2nd toe on both feet is the issue for me, too. Just slightly longer than the big toe. I'm also flat footed, but my podiatrist said it's slight because my arch has collapsed over time.
    And thank you, I'll check out the link. I've also been looking at those funky toe caps. They look like condom for toes. lol I'll try anything at this point.
    I'm in Dallas by the way. :smile: I grew down south near Corpus Christi. The heat actually doesn't bother me too much if I acclimated myself from the start of summer, and I find I run easier and faster come late fall and winter.

    Cool a fellow Texan. Having the longer 2nd toe is a pain.. I adjust on runs as he especially right one starts acting up…. 🧐 toe condoms I’m in. 😂I need to see a pediatrist about my toenails. Old war wounds from my early 20s.
  • emmamcgarity
    emmamcgarity Posts: 1,577 Member
    What kind of cross training are you doing to support your running? I read something a couple years back about running injuries related to hip and/or knees often being related to not having enough lateral movement. Since then I find myself taking breaks through the day to work in some sidesteps or alternating knee lifts or hamstring curls. I sometimes will use a Leslie Sansone YouTube workout (even if only a 15 minute workout) because she incorporates a lot of simple lateral moves.

    I have had IT band issues in the past when I was new to running. For me, some stretching helped a bit, but new shoes made the bigger difference.
  • desertfoxcoffee
    desertfoxcoffee Posts: 46 Member
    What kind of cross training are you doing to support your running? I read something a couple years back about running injuries related to hip and/or knees often being related to not having enough lateral movement. Since then I find myself taking breaks through the day to work in some sidesteps or alternating knee lifts or hamstring curls. I sometimes will use a Leslie Sansone YouTube workout (even if only a 15 minute workout) because she incorporates a lot of simple lateral moves.

    I have had IT band issues in the past when I was new to running. For me, some stretching helped a bit, but new shoes made the bigger difference.

    I do HIIT workouts during my cross training days and I just started back up with Muay Thai. I'll look up Leslie Sansone. 😊
  • westrich20940
    westrich20940 Posts: 505 Member
    I have never run or trained for a marathon but I'll assume that when you got back into running you didn't do too much too fast.

    I have dealt with hip pain/knee pain/IT band issues. I do try to do stretches everyday (I'm just sort of at the age now where if I don't I am not as mobile as I could/should be). For my hip/knee/IT pain I took a couple weeks off of training bc my knee would just BAM start hurting at ~3-4 miles. I spent that time focusing on glute/core/lower back strengthening stuff. Then slowly got back into running and still had some random pains along the way. I also began more dynamic stretching before my runs. I was not good about that before and would just...get up and go. That has helped.

    It's hard bc the sources of those issues can vary wildly among people. My glutes are weak bc I sit for my job and other than running/hiking am very sedentary at home as well. So I just have to keep on top of it and I tent to be OK. So I think you will get plenty of ideas for what to do about it here...but the more important question is what is causing it and I think a PT would best help with that, are you able to make an appt with one that specializes in sports medicine?

  • desertfoxcoffee
    desertfoxcoffee Posts: 46 Member
    I have never run or trained for a marathon but I'll assume that when you got back into running you didn't do too much too fast.

    I have dealt with hip pain/knee pain/IT band issues. I do try to do stretches everyday (I'm just sort of at the age now where if I don't I am not as mobile as I could/should be). For my hip/knee/IT pain I took a couple weeks off of training bc my knee would just BAM start hurting at ~3-4 miles. I spent that time focusing on glute/core/lower back strengthening stuff. Then slowly got back into running and still had some random pains along the way. I also began more dynamic stretching before my runs. I was not good about that before and would just...get up and go. That has helped.

    It's hard bc the sources of those issues can vary wildly among people. My glutes are weak bc I sit for my job and other than running/hiking am very sedentary at home as well. So I just have to keep on top of it and I tent to be OK. So I think you will get plenty of ideas for what to do about it here...but the more important question is what is causing it and I think a PT would best help with that, are you able to make an appt with one that specializes in sports medicine?

    Right now it's a very mild pain (more like a discomfort than a pain) so I haven't considered seeing a PT, but my primary care doctor has a background in sports medicine. Training wise, I don't think it's too much, too soon because I work off of a Hal Higdon schedule, a combination of training plans he has available that I tweaked to work with my schedule and needs. I'm trying KT tape for now and seeing how it works out, but I'll look at more stretching. I stretch every morning, before and after my runs but maybe I'm not doing enough. I do goblet squats with a 30 lbs weight nearly every morning outside of my hiit/strength training/cross training days, so I don't know if I just need to work out my glutes more or less. I'm going to try as much of the suggestions as I can and see what works.
  • westrich20940
    westrich20940 Posts: 505 Member
    edited May 17
    I have never run or trained for a marathon but I'll assume that when you got back into running you didn't do too much too fast.

    I have dealt with hip pain/knee pain/IT band issues. I do try to do stretches everyday (I'm just sort of at the age now where if I don't I am not as mobile as I could/should be). For my hip/knee/IT pain I took a couple weeks off of training bc my knee would just BAM start hurting at ~3-4 miles. I spent that time focusing on glute/core/lower back strengthening stuff. Then slowly got back into running and still had some random pains along the way. I also began more dynamic stretching before my runs. I was not good about that before and would just...get up and go. That has helped.

    It's hard bc the sources of those issues can vary wildly among people. My glutes are weak bc I sit for my job and other than running/hiking am very sedentary at home as well. So I just have to keep on top of it and I tent to be OK. So I think you will get plenty of ideas for what to do about it here...but the more important question is what is causing it and I think a PT would best help with that, are you able to make an appt with one that specializes in sports medicine?

    Right now it's a very mild pain (more like a discomfort than a pain) so I haven't considered seeing a PT, but my primary care doctor has a background in sports medicine. Training wise, I don't think it's too much, too soon because I work off of a Hal Higdon schedule, a combination of training plans he has available that I tweaked to work with my schedule and needs. I'm trying KT tape for now and seeing how it works out, but I'll look at more stretching. I stretch every morning, before and after my runs but maybe I'm not doing enough. I do goblet squats with a 30 lbs weight nearly every morning outside of my hiit/strength training/cross training days, so I don't know if I just need to work out my glutes more or less. I'm going to try as much of the suggestions as I can and see what works.

    I think it's really a matter of making sure to engage your glutes when you are doing those exercises and to make sure you are working ALL of those muscles and not just 1-2 of them (especially medius, minimus, and piriformis)....lots of stuff gets your maximus, but that's not all we need to be stable. I don't know if that's what's happening with you - and I know it can be hard when the feeling isn't exactly pain, but moreso just knowing something isn't feeling 'right'. When I do any glute movement too , I put my hands ON my glutes (I know I look dumb in the gym lol) but I want to make sure that I am connecting that contraction from my brain and actually feeling it WHERE I'm supposed to be feeling it. I found I noticed a large improvement with my IT band/knee pain issues once I incorporated much more abduction movements. Banded stuff too (like monster walk...etc.)
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 40,888 Member
    The knee/hip thing does sound like IT band syndrome. I get that with both running and cycling. Before I received my massage gun for Christmas, I did a ton of foam rolling of my IT band and that worked well. I mostly use my massage gun now or have my wife use it on me. I can get a lot deeper into my hips and glutes with the gun. All that stuff is connected...lower back could also be related to that.
  • desertfoxcoffee
    desertfoxcoffee Posts: 46 Member
    Just a quick update: So I tried a lot of the suggestions mentioned here - stretching more, adding more variations to my stretches to work my hips, worked deadlifting back into my workout, and just Youtubing some different workouts to help with hip flexibility and it seems to have helped. That weird knee discomfort is gone, still feels a little weird sometimes after a long run like there's a slight tension on the outside of my right knee. The best way I can describe is that it feels like my knee joints needs some grease. lol It eventually works itself out as I go through my day.
    Still haven't quite figured out the toe situation, though. I've tried socks with more cushion around the toes and heels and that helps some but then it makes my feet so sweaty I get blisters (even when I apply some type of lubricant). I've tried re-lacing my shoes a few different ways and that doesn't seem to help either. I've applied blister bandages around the areas I'm prone to it but again, my feet gets so sweaty they start sliding out of place.
  • coral_toes
    coral_toes Posts: 1 Member
    Have you tried Injinji socks? I still get bruising under the toenail of my also very long second toe (pink nail polish is a great disguise) but overall my toes are much happier. No compression ridges or blisters in 10+ years. They take a little getting used to but give them a fair chance. I will never go back to ‘regular’ socks.
  • desertfoxcoffee
    desertfoxcoffee Posts: 46 Member
    coral_toes wrote: »
    Have you tried Injinji socks? I still get bruising under the toenail of my also very long second toe (pink nail polish is a great disguise) but overall my toes are much happier. No compression ridges or blisters in 10+ years. They take a little getting used to but give them a fair chance. I will never go back to ‘regular’ socks.

    Never heard of it, but I'll look into it. :)
  • Sinisterbarbie1
    Sinisterbarbie1 Posts: 291 Member
    I don’t run anymore because of post chemo neuropathy that makes it too dangerous (I trip a lot) but on socks I also have hammer toes and bunions and every ugly bony foot protrusion imaginable. Smart wool and another company used to make short running socks with a tight but not compression weave that were specifically knit for either your right or your left foot. They were brilliant. Perfect cushion and not sweaty even in heat and humidity.

    On cross training - pilates !! Especially reformer classes. They stretch/lengthen and strengthen muscles. The studio I went to sometimes offered a pilates for runners class but a basic beginners reformer routine dos great all over core and leg /it band stretching and toning.