emergancy marathon training


I could do with some advise please. I have been running for 3 years completed 5 marathons and have a place for london this year. Nearly 4 weeks ago I pulled/tore a ligament in my ankle so have not run since then.  I am under the physio who thinks Im about another week off being fixed. I was going to go for 3.45 (best 3.52) and relise that is gone, however London is London so thoughts about if I should run and if so some sort of prog would be great. I have always used the FIRST system so only run 3 times a week .



  • I would defer to be honest. You'll be struggling round - and thats not gonna be the same as running your 3.52 is it ?
  • I'm nowhere near your pace or experience, but had a similar problem last year (missed 10 weeks of running and endured mindless hours on exercise bike).  My physio advised me not to make any decisions about deferring until I was back running again and knew how I felt. 

    If you're after a fast time, I guess you'll defer.  If you just want to run London, and don't mind a slower time, then hang in there a bit longer. If its your first London, then maybe the experience is worth it regardless of the time (I thought so).

    Good luck with the recovery.

  • It depends upon how much fitness you have lost and how fit you were before the injury.

    Running Coach Jack Daniels quotes some specific numbers in his book Daniel’s Running Formula


    “. He are some sample values in the loss of cardio-vascular fitness from his book:
    Up to 5 days — no loss
    7 days off — 0.6%
    14 days off — 2.7%
    21 days off — 4.8%
    28 days off (one month) — 6.9%
    56 days (two months) — 15.3%

    Another good rule of thumb is to take the number of days you have been injured and subtract that from the point of the injury and start running again at the level you were then. So, if you were injured on 1st Feb and recovered on the 28th Feb, you'd subtract 28 days from 1st Feb giving you 3rd Jan.

    With a break in a marathon training programme, the difficulty is over whether you have covered enough total mileage. If you have a long history of high mileage, you can get away with a lot less. If you normally average 20-30 miles a week and are just building mileage for a marathon, you'll struggle.

    One suggestion would be to run/walk. Jeff Galloway is a strong advocate and has written quite extensively about it.

    If you'd like more specifics I'd be happy to help.

  • Thanks all

    Great advise so far. Been out for a mile tonight some discomfort but the heart felt fine. A bit more detail

    My last mara was last sep and have kept my LSR above 10 miles every week since, although I am in the 20-30 a week band I was building well with my last 2 long runs 20 and 18. In the last 3 weeks Ive been swimming and used the gym a couple of times. back to the fizz monday/friday then rhyder next weekend. Was running the 20 but they have a 5 miler which Ive not given up on.

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