Strength and Conditioning Insider Secrets [From Pain to Marathon]

Women running a marathon

I get the feeling that this is going to be the first in a long series (maybe never-ending) series of Strength and Conditioning insider secrets. 

So let's kick the series off with a little story.

Roughly one year ago, I had a nice young lady come visit me for some restorative therapy. Her complaint was some right knee pain and it was my pleasure to tune this up.

But we had a bit of a pickle on our hands. She wanted to run a marathon that was going to kick off around two weeks later and she was hoping to do it without pain.

Marathons are challenging enough. Maintaining strong running form for 26.2 miles is no cupcake but doing it on an already shoddy rig is, as the kids say, "sus." 

No matter who you are, as you read this article, you probably had some reaction to the fact that she wanted to accomplish this in two weeks. Nonetheless, it is my duty to try and make this happen.

Typically when I see right knee issues, my first thought is the sneaky Vastus Lateralis. The VL has been victimizing the patellofemoral joint for centuries and blaming it on the IT Band. The IT Band is almost never the problem (I say almost because I haven't gone through all of the records and I assume since the dawn of man it has at least once, been the problem). 

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Right knee pain

Check out this picture. Look at the VL (outer thigh) on the right vs. left. This is what right knee pain looks like folks. 

I'll go in with some VL compression to turn it off, fire up the right glute, left adductor, left abs and then send 'em out to the front desk to handle the bill. 

I could do this for this gal but how long into the marathon would that last. Not very long at all. It takes six weeks to strengthen a muscle and we have a lot of strengthening to do.

Thankfully, my intake is extensive. I want to know everything. I NEED to know everything. I ask about workouts, diet, work-life, social-life, what shoes do you wear, anything going on with your teeth, how's your hearing, what side of the bed do you get out of and thankfully in this situation, I asked her about her training route.

She told me that she left her apartment and ran east through the streets of Manhattan for a few blocks until she hit the water. She ran up the east side so she could enjoy the view of the east river and beautiful Queens, New York. She would then loop it back into the city streets until she came up on Central Park East where she would start heading south back down towards her apartment. What a beautiful sight the foliage must be jogging down Central Park East.

5th Avenue in New York City along Central Park

Beautiful 5th Avenue along Central Park East in Manhattan. Who wouldn't want to soak up that view?

It was at this point, I thought I had a chance of fixing this issue and doing it quickly. I asked her to go home and run the opposite way so that now all of the beautiful scenery would now be on her left.

And guess what, it worked. Her knee pain went away instantly.

My thought process was that we already know that the human body is biased towards the right. If you are always directing your eyes towards the right side, it is going to add to that right sided bias, so you simply reverse that and voila, you can now run a marathon.

This entire blog is dedicated to showing you the pathway to incredible success in your fitness career. And not the type of success that sounds reasonable and rationale. I'm talking about scream from the mountaintops, dreams do come true success. Each post is intended to bring you one step closer. If you'd like to take 20 steps forward, sign up for one of our free webinars on how to win in the fitness industry. Or don't. That will make it easier for the rest of us to win.

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