Back On The Bus: Sort Of…

OK, so I want to get back on the bus, but the bus is turning out to be a 30-year-old VW van in need of an overhaul. The illotibial band remains cranky. After much trial and error I found a way to get in my daily run using a complicated mixture of stretching, icing, foam rolling, quad exercises and something that feels a lot like luck.

Other discoveries: one of the common approaches to getting through IT band syndrome is to run on soft surfaces. I live near Balboa Park in San Diego, with plenty of soft turf to run on, but I noticed that the uneven nature of the terrain, even though slight, wreaks havoc on the knee. I end up walking after 20 minutes.

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But the one terrain I have found that is relatively low impact and without the instability of grass is the infinite rubber road of a treadmill. Although the cost of doing business on a treadmill is brain damage, I am able to put in hours on the contraption with only minor inflammation to the right knee.

My goal for the NYC Marathon has been adapted to my new set of circumstances. Before I had a certain time frame in mind; but no longer. Rather, my goal is simply to address the start line completely healthy and cross the finish line with nothing more than the basic muscle damage that running a marathon generally incurs.

So to get to there from here I will need to apply a mix of running, cross-training, strengthening and know that my long runs might not necessarily be wonderful outdoor romps in later summer or early fall, but stuck squarely on a machine at LA Fitness bolted to the floor with various televisions strung to the ceiling about 20 feet from my melting brain.

Follow former 2:38 marathoner, and current editor-in-chief of Inside Triahlon magazine, TJ Murphy as he trains for his return to the marathon at the 2009 ING New York City Marathon. TJ will be getting “back on the bus” of marathon training with the guidance of elite coach Terrence Mahon under the Asics Editor’s Run NYC Marathon program. Learn more about Terrence, his athletes and his programs at

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