Marathon and injury

Without getting into many details I have a marathon abroad scheduled for 16 October this year. Since last July I have had 3 injuries plus a number of smaller issues with my biomechanics. I work closely with a chartered physio who prescribed me custom made orthotics in March, I ran in them happily and injury free until the beginning of July when due to them altering my posture I got myself adductor problem. Since then I have had plantar fasciitis injury in the right foot which has cleared itself and currently have stiff joints in my left side and foot with pain on the outside of my right foot. Overall in the last 6 weeks I did not do a lot of running dropping from 50-55 miles pw to about 20 but I kept my fitness up by gym and cycling sessions as well as short runs in between. I am by no means cured but I am getting better and starting to think that maybe I could attempt this marathon although I did not make any long runs since end of June. I am looking for advice as to how to train in the meantime, is there still time, is this too crazy an idea, what to concentrate on. I reckon I need to start long runs, will start Monday with a 10 miler and see how coping with that, any other ideas, it will be my first marathon so I'm not sure how to tackle things yet. Thanks for all advice.


  • Mr PuffyMr Puffy ✭✭✭
    From my own experience of missing a chunk of marathon training, I don't really think there is, I think your recovery will stop and the injuries will recur.

    Ideally you would want to be hitting 20+ miles by late September and starting to taper. If you haven't done a long run for 6 weeks, this probably won't be feasible in the timescale you have, even if you weren't carrying several injuries.

    If you are committed to travel, accomodation etc and want to do the race badly, just build up gradually what you can manage without aggravating your injuries and prepare to walk a lot of the course on the day. I would bite the bullet and cancel, or just go for a break and watch the race.
  • Depends what you want from the mara, as its your first one you should be focusing on getting around.  My mara PB came off 8 weeks training then 8 weeks of not a lot of running with a bit of x training. I thing you should try and build up your runs, slowly, if you can get up to a 20 miler or 3 hours running 3 weeks before  go for it but keep expectations low. You running Abo? If so hope to see you there.
  • I am running Poznan in Poland. I definitely would go in order to start but being quite aware that could not finish. The thing is I'm wildly competitive and when I'm in a race all commonsense goes out of the window. I did a crazy half mara with shin splints from hell and they even stopped hurting during the race only I could hardly walk for a week afterwards. Yesterday I ran 6 miles, today 5 and now my left foot hurts badly. But when I was running I felt no pain, only when I stopped, that's why I either run it or walk it as it's painful stopping and starting.
  • Thought I hadn't seen you around...
    You said physio, but have you had any sports massage? It was the sports massage lady who kept me going so I managed to do my first marathon (and who I took notice of later when she suggested I REST! ;/ ). I am similar to you in the high pain threshold stakes so perhaps not the best person to advise. But *in general* I reckon 2 runs a week, possibly done with walk breaks which really help keep injury at bay, peaking at 9 and 18 miles, would get someone round.
  • Thanks for your reply. I have got to come round on Tuesday one day, last time I did it was March. I miss running with people and chatting. I never had any sports massage done so cannot claim the effects it had on me, maybe should give it a try. This morning I'm limping badly after the pain in my foot got bad. All afer running 5 miles yesterday. Maybe I'm just not cut out for running such long races.

  • I think you know the answer- you're not realy going to manage, are you? IF you insist on continuing to try- try deepwater running, will keep the running muscles going, without the impact on feet.

    Elliptical trainer ( backwards for some reasaon) is a second option, sounds like you'll need to give the foot a rest from impact, though.  Have you tried a walk/ run approach?- if this helps, you might be abel to get round slowly, but otherwise, you are likely to DNF, and crock yourself long term.

  • Thanks tricialitt for your reply. Honest and to the point. I go on Vario eliptical trainer, different from cross trainer as it resembles running but you can control the stride yourself, I go on these all the time.

    I think at the moment I'm thinking of going for it even if I don't finish. I expect not to finish to put it this way but I would be wondering 'what if' if I didn't try. I have a ticket booked, family will put me up and I'm not really going to rack any costs doing that trip.

    Walk/run does not really work for me as it hurts to stop and start, it hurts in groin where adductor injury is and I limp for a while before it gets better. I either run and when I stop I stop and that's it.

  • JoolskaJoolska ✭✭✭
    I'm afraid I think it's far too risky. If your pain threshold is as you describe, so that you are not aware of the pain whilst running, there's a real risk that during the marathon you will be causing yourself significant injury which will take an extremely long time to recover from but which you will not be aware of whilst you are running and therefore you won't drop out, however much you might intend to. At the moment 5M is causing significant pain and a marathon is (just over) 5 times that distance. I just don't see this one working. Sorry...
  • tbh, I would agree with above advice that it's a very real risk if you decide to go for it. Especially if you discount any walk/ run strategy.

    My personal experience was: I did a spring marathon this year. I was injured all the way through training (sounded similar to the injuries you describe) but determined to complete it. I did (with a few walk breaks!) and in a reasonable time. I thought I had got away with it and made a recovery, but apparently not. In the last few weeks, I have had to admit defeat and get an injection in the adductor, plus the PF has recurred(!)

    There are plenty of other marathons, but there are probably other considerations which may make this one particularly important to you.

    Whatever you decide. Good luck image
  • Thanks to all those who replied. I decided to give it a miss after all, I will back off competitive running till Christmas keeping to low mileage for the time being and then will follow novice plan for marathoners and hopefully in the spring will complete a marathon. Thanks for all your advice, it really helped.
  • I am reheating this thread but I wanted to tell all those who replied that I did run this marathon after all, I did 10 milers mid week and then one week 15 miler and then another week 20 miler 2 weeks before the race and managed this marathon in 4:28:28. I made a decision on 11 September after running Cotswold 10 mile road race and afterwards started training for the marathon doing three runs a week and also doing intervals on eliptical trainer. It's been a brilliant experience and I am already looking for another marathon to train for. This time though I hope to follow a plan with fewer weekly runs and cross training other days and hope not to get injured on the way.
  • I saw it on the club website - how was P? Would you recommend it as a race? The upside of not going eyeballs-out is that you will have been able to soak it all in image
  • I couldn't fault it as a race really, organisation really good, you had to pick your number pack yourself but that made you visit the expo, not too big to really tire you. On the race day everything worked smoothly, did not see any marshalls like you do in the UK but then the route follows wide roads lined with people and you can't get lost really. Plus it's my home town so I knew where I was going. You couldn't put out your own drinks but quite a few people had crew cycling after them on the edge of the route and dispensing them (my uncle did, I relied on myself as usual, tested that Powerade in training, just used my own gels). People cheering and lining the streets, bands playing, encouragement was amazing. The downside were two or actually three: First the city is getting ready for Euro 2012 which it is hosting and the centre has tram lines dug up, terrible jams all over the place so on junctions police directed the traffic and let  cars go in gaps, in one such gap the car was a bit late in starting out and I nearly ran into it. Also, there were 2 laps and because of these roadworks the route had to be changed so it was not very scenic and two laps of it as well, some of it through residential areas, that will change from next year, route will go back to original but still two laps. And finally they had cut up bananas in peels on water stations, on the second lap it was quite slippery, I think cut up energy bars would have been better. Overall, Poznan is a beautiful place, I may be biased though, the route starts and finishes near Malta Lake and there are many attractions there, artificial ski slope, brand new, just opened on Monday complex of swimming baths, restaurants, a zoo nearby.

    Organisers offer free accommodation in the dorm the night before the marathon and there is pasta party as well. Overall great event, I'm very pleased I took part. There were three of us from the family taking part, I was the fastest image. Great race.

  • acdcgirl, well done image Just goes to show, our well meaning advice isn't always right! image
    Glad you had such an excellent experience. Hope it'll be the first of many for you, and thanks for updating us on progress!!
    All the best for the future image
  • Thanks Juggler, you are very kind.
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