Injury and completing the marathon

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Hi All

Firstly, sorry for the long blog but im suffering from injury and a lack of confidence at this moment in time.

i have been training for the london marathon since the start of october, up until i started training i was in the gym about four times a week and generally pretty fit, although not running a great deal.

my training to the start of jan was going ok, running about three times in the week varying between 3,4,5,6 miles with one long run at the weekend, the longest being ten mile.

since christmas i have suffered with a string of heavy colds/man flu ;)which have prevented me from running as much and also pains in my shins, i have now stopped running since last week and planned to rest for two whole weeks until the pain hopefully subsides or go's completely, i have been iceing strectching etc.Have also had an x ray today to rule out any possible fracture, the shin is sore but have a dull achey pain right beneath a lump on my shin, im hoping this is a compartment pain from the lump and not anything worse, its hurts when i start running, seems to get a bit better throgh running, but the day after was very sore.

i have a half marathon on the 24th march, if i start training again on the 4th, and have a couple of light runs during the week with a long run on the 1st sunday of 8 mile and a long run on the 2nd sunday of 11ish miles then i have no probelm in finishing the half marathon, my problem is then i have one month to feel i can finish a full marathon, is it possible to fit in only runs of 15 , 18 and 21 to be able to finish.

i realise this is cutting it fine and its not ideal by a long shot and it all depends on my results over the next two weeks of rest, but if someone could help me out with a revised training plan or at least let me know "yes you will be able to finish, not anywhere near where i want to, but just finish" then it would be a great help.

many thanks

Posted 18.02.13, 4:08pm

Hi Glen

Welcome to Realbuzz

Have you had a clear diagnosis of your injury and what caused it/treatment etc from a sports physio etc? The colds etc will obviously hopefully pass but the shin sounds more problematic - its hard to say what the options are without knowing the root cause, You are doing the right thing  with rest and ice etc.

You did 10 miles before Christmas and havent run long since (I think from your post). Thats a problem.

Realistically you need to finish your long runs by 31st March - it takes 2-3 weeks for the physical benefits of a long run to kick in (so even if you push last one to 7th there actually is not a huge point). So if you cant start running again till beginning of March that probably means you have 5 weeks of long runs  done. To be honest thats not a lot of time and in many ways the best option may well be to defer to next year and ensure you are fit and can give it your best.

But if you are going to do it anyway. I would do the following

  1. Do as much swimming etc as you can over the next two weeks (as long as swimming doesnt aggrevate injury)
  2. Get treatment on leg and follow all advice and exercises from physio
  3. If you can start running at beginning of March then I would probably do 8,10,12,15,17 for the Saturdays in March. But time on feet is more important than distance
  4. I would forget the Half you are booked into
  5. I would probably look at run/walk

It will be a strain on your body and there is a chance that you will not be able to start due to injury. Its not to be advised to be honest as you havent got the mileage in your legs to do yourself justice. But others have done similar and got round.

Good luck




Posted 18.02.13, 6:17pm

Hi Keith

Thanks for the quick and honest response, yes i realise its pushing it to its limits and unless i can feel comfortable running again within the two weeks then i will defer.

i have the correct trainers etc, i honestly think i pushed one or two of my training runs a little to much and i have made a small injury worse.

i did have a sore achilles for a few weeks, put a heel support in, then it cleared up, however i think i might of been putting more pressure on the front causing the shin pain, that combined with pushing mysefl i think was the cause.

probably needed a few more days rest rather than continuing.

i will be seeing a sports physio in the next few days so might know more then. as per injury and length of time out etc.

if it is better within the time then i will take your advice on the runs, as that was my main concern

like most people i would like to finish, be it an hour or so slower i dont mind.

thanks again for you help and advice



Posted 18.02.13, 6:37pm

 good advice indeed. I've been out for 3 weeks with a back injury which is still a bit nigglesome, but I'm determined to finish regardless, and have just adjusted the long runs I have left between now and April  accordingly after some advice / treatment from physio and chiropractor.. Frustrating, but I'm with you on the get round, even if it's slower than hoped, philosophy. it will give us something to aim for next year :) hope your injury heals very quickly and all's well soon

Posted 18.02.13, 10:19pm

Hi Glenn.I sympathize with you. This will be my second week out of training, but I have been working the legs down at the gym. Been on the bike and X Trainer. I have a metatarsal problem on the sole of my left foot. Painful and very Frustrating. I will try and catch up as best I can concentrating on the long runs/time on feet. I'm a 5hr guy and nearly 64, so I wont be breaking any records. The atmosphere in the City is second to none and I would'nt miss it for the world. As I've said in earlier threads Glenn, I may end up running it in legs (interval training method). 9 min run and 1 min walk. Something like that, but I'll cross the finish line with a smile on my face. Cheers. Fred-the-vet.

Posted 19.02.13, 4:41pm

I think my main problem is the unknown.

not ever done distance running but always been fit, if my shins are better in a fortnight i really feel two to three weeks of training and i will be able to complete the half marathon without any problem.

my problem is after that i have never run further and i dont know if one month till the marathon and two to three long runs between 15 and 20 miles will be enough to see me through.

i hope your injury clears up in time for you and we both get to the finish.


Posted 19.02.13, 6:25pm

Didn't get in London but doing Edinburgh instead. I have had many injuries in the past so now I just run twice a week. Long run on Tuesday evening and a 6 or 7 mile run on Saturday. I run for 5 mins and walk for 30 secs. As long as I can do 13 miles 5 weeks before the run I know I will be ok. I get up to around 20 miles two weeks before the run then take it easy. Its not ideal but works for me. I did 4hrs 24mins last year not fast but not so bad. This years Edinburgh will be my 5th.


Posted 20.02.13, 10:49am

Personally I would forget the half on 24th March: Too close to run it hard, too short for a long run at that time, big opportunity to aggravate an injury.  The rest I leave to you, clearly you know what sort of long runs you have to do, and it may be possible (if you have recovered) to fit them in before a taper.

Personally, I fear the risk is more that by trying to get there, you may train again harder, sooner than you should, before you are completely fit, and end up even worse.  For that reason, I would defer to take the pressure away and give myself time to recover fully.  Unless of course running this year rather than next year has a special significance for you.

Posted 20.02.13, 11:13am

hi glen which half is it on the 24th you are signed up for? i am doing a half on the 3rd at silverston then continuing with my long runs before tapering down i have just come back from injury myself was problems with my calves i now wear compression socks for support on my calves which really help

Posted 21.02.13, 1:11am

Hi Jamie

Its the Yeovil half marathon, think its in its third year now.


if i do overcome my injury i was still going to do it but treat it as a training run and not a race, with the aim of finishing in a couple of hours but feeling quite comfortable.

as we know this isnt an ideal world, i might finish in 2 hours 30 feeling like my legs are gonna fall off ;)

i have an appointment next week with a sports physio who should be able to tell me what the exact problem is and if im ok to start some light running again.

Posted 21.02.13, 12:54pm

Due to date of yeovil you will have one (sensibly) and at most two weeks worth of long runs after it. Any long runs after that wont make any positive  difference physically.

Posted 21.02.13, 1:02pm

Just wanted to update on my progress for any other injured fellow marathon runners out there.I found out that i had a weak achilles although that possibly wasnt the reason why i was getting the pain and it was probably further up my body.Anyhow, after weeks or physio the shin pain finally passed and the problem was diagnosed as weak core and glute on my left hand side of my body.Although the shin pain has passed i now have itbs but im learning to deal with that with lots of excercising, strectching and foam rolling

At this current moment in time the only running i have done has been at the weekends and have completed 3,6,9 and this weekend 15miles (in about 2.30hrs) since my return.In between this i have been doing my strengthening excercises, swimming and gym work.

My initial goal of 4 hours has long since passed and it then changed to just trying to finish, the last two months have not been ideal, but at the very least, mentally i know i can get to 15miles and feel pretty good.

Sunday the 21st April will be painful phyiscally and mentally but im sure now that i can get to the finish even if i have to walk the last half a dozen miles or so.

either way from where i was a few months ago to where i am now is a great improvement, for anyone else out there that is struggling and is going through the same then i hope we can all get to the end.

good luck to you all.


Posted 08.04.13, 2:11pm

Having read this I can't help feeling that you shouldn't really be racing do the race..!...Your prep is far from appropriate and you have what could be a career threatening injury.!..That said,,, if I was in your shoes I'd probs be saying and doing the exact same things, so I wish you very good luck and hope you get round in one piece. Seriously though, nobody will think any the less of you for pulling out with all the issues you've had so don't risk long term injuries just for the sake of 1's not worth it. 

Posted 09.04.13, 9:48am

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