The right decision to pull out of marathon days before?

I'm due to do a marathon on Sunday 10 April.  I trained hard from January, did the necessary long runs but got injured just over 3 weeks ago doing a 20 mile run. I have a pain in my hip flexor which makes me run and until recently walk with a limp. I've had several sports massages, crossed trained and swimmed.  I felt it was getting better but tried to run on it tonight and was still limping.  I'm totally devastated and feel that unless there is a miracle between now an Sunday I won't be running. 

I feel like it's a shame to waste all the training.  I'm tempted to find another marathon in a few months time. Will all the training I've done count and will i still need to do long runs?  Another part of me thinks perhaps I should just forget about doing a marathon until I'm properly healed and try again next year.

At the moment I'm upset and don't know what to do.  Anyone been in a similar situation and can offer any advice or words of inspiration?


  • Loads of us have been in the same situation and to be honest you have one of the best attitudes to know your injured and don't feel you could run on sunday, so as you say your options are to pull up and look to run another marathon later in the year...only you will know how long it will take you to get may need to go back and run some 16,18 or 20 milers but should not be an issue.

    Best of luck

  • Firstly admiration for training to do a marathon i have yet to do one because im chicken plain and simple!

    Like FF said you trained got injured  so rest get some physio help and built up your legs again.

    You  dont say what other distances you do. I personally would never make a marathon my first proper race.

    5k lots of,  lots of 10k and a few 1/2 marathons get use to mixing up speed stamina and endurance...when I have got injured its always been when I got the training mix wrong.

    Good luck.

  • Sorry to hear you are missing your race after all the training. You mention sports massge, but it might be worth seeing a sports physio to find out what has caused the problem. As well as treatment they should be able to advise on exercises to get you better and prevent it happening again.

    Good idea to aim for a race later on to take advantage of the training you have already done - that's all in the bank, you will just need to do a few long runs nearer the next race to prepare.

  • How did my full stop end up there? Most bizarre. image
  • Careful.............You know if you start getting careless with your punctuation Kwilter, you will be putting !!!!! and:::::: or ***** everywhere

  • I have a ballot place in the London Marathon but I have to defer to next year due to injury. Doing a marathon injured is not fun, I did one injured as it was a Golden Bond place and I felt I couldn't back down. This year at least I can defer it, heal properly and train for the next one.

    I am considering doing a marathon in late October or in November somewhere warm so I have something to spur me on training during the summer but if injuries heal up too slowly I will happily settle for next VLM only.

    If you are injured don't do it, it is not worth it. You will aggravate the injury, you will not enjoy the days before the marathon and you will certainly not enjoy the marathon itself.

  • Thanks for the comments everyone.  When I think about it today with a clear head I know I've made the best decision.  I'm going to get a physio to take a look at it next week.  

    I have lots of races lined up over the summer, everything from 10k to a half marathon. In the meantime I'm going to focus on getting my leg sorted and not even put myself under the pressure of getting fit for another marathon within a time frame.

    Cycling, swimming and yoga are back on the agenda for the next few months! Thanks everyone.

  • I know exactly how you feel!

    its took me 5 years to get a place in london marathon, been really looking forward to it , followed a training plan all going really well then couple of days ago got pain in shin, now i cant walk without pain, just over one week to go! its sooooo frustrating.  I'm icing, resting, anti inflammatories etc etc hoping that it'll be ok next week, if i'm not pain free i'll defer to next year. dont want to cause a bigger problem and end up missing on all my events planned over the year.

    has anyone defered a london marathon number so late on, according to web site you can still defer on the day of the race, how does that work? I'd like to leave it last minute...just in case I'm fit for it.

  • compo 1compo 1 ✭✭✭
    do not get upset all the training makes you better at running even if you do not do the marathon it is how you feel but good luck if you do it

  • Interesting post, I'm in a similar situation and found Devoted2Distance post very useful.

    I've had a groin/hip injury for last five weeks (I think it may be gilmores groin(sports hernia) and am so tempted to see how I feel on the day...I just don't want to miss out on the atmosphere and all the fun, but reading Devoted2Distances story I may be sensible and defer. It's just so frustrating.

    I'm not sure how deferring on the day works either? Tempted to go to Expo and collect kit bag and race number but that may just be torturing myself and quite sad really!
  • Having read all your posts, I have sympathy, I have had a golden bond place for VLM 2011 and was training really well and hard and felt like my aim of just finishing the race was being taken over with the need to run a time!

    I think this is where my problems started and 5 weeks ago I started getting terrible pains in the side of my right knee, I treid everything from foam rolling, hors and hours of physio and lastly injections and not a think has worked.

    Not only this but over the past two weeks I have been struck down with a kidney infection.

    So i have had to make the decision to withdraw this year but my charity have given me a place for next year and are letting me carry the money forward for 2012. The decision is not nice and its not easy but its something that I feel is important and mature to do as running injured or ill can have VERY SEVERE implications.
  • I'm glad to see I'm not the only one in a quandry. Aside from the Fleet 1/2, after which my left knee swelled to twice its normal size I've not run since my longest run on 05/03/2011. I had to stop 19 miles into a 20 miler with severe left knee pain (patello-femoral chondromalacia). Since then I've been confined to swimming.

    I've been seeing a physio who's been v helpful and got me to a state where the knee's still stiff, with a bit of an effusion, but no pain this week doing short (3&4 mile slow runs 10 min miles) for the 1st time since Fleet, just a bit of grinding and clicking of the kneecap. Went out again today and got right calf pain (I fear I've turned into a bit of a biomechanical disaster!).

    I would be interested to know what peoples thoughts are in this sort of situation. Should I crack on? I was going to see how it felt this week with a bit more gentle running,

    I'd been put off deferring in my own mind by the fact that I've got a golden bond place. I will call them tomorrow to see about deferring.Is this usually possible?  

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