First time marathon - injury with 3 weeks to go!

Hello all,

looking for some advice. I'm running Baxters Loch Ness Marathon on 30th September. My training has been going really well (following hal higdons novice 2 plan) up until last week when I picked up an injury in my right foot. I stopped running for a couple of days, but attempted my 20miler this morning as I thought foot was better. Pain flared up after 6miles so ran home instead of finishing total 20miles.

Have booked appt with sports therapist tomorrow morning - but I am now very scared about being prepared for race. My longest distance so far was 19miles (during a weeks total milage of 36) and I found it OK - this was two weeks ago. 

With three training weeks left until race day, should I be concerned about not completing my 20miles peak run? Or missing out on training runs in the next 3 weeks?

Any wise words would be much appreciated!




  • Laura,

    I wouldn’t lose sleep over missing one long run, and the last few weeks of your training is about tapering anyway. Most of your key training is done and banked, so see what the fizz suggests and then take it from there. You just might have to find other ways to keep your fitness levels where they are over the next few weeks.


  • Thanks Zapo...had thought as much but just looking for someone with a bit of experience to reassure me!

  • Hi Laura; I am doing the Loch Ness marathon too and its my first as well; I set out for my 20 miler on Saturday and got bored after 13 miles and ran home; I think if you stuck to the rest of your training plan you will have enough miles in your legs for the marathon.  The longest run I did was 18 miles and I feel quietly confident about making it to the finish line.  Look at the next three weeks as a rest period and think of the fresh legs you will have on the day.  Try and do some low impact exercise to keep your legs fresh like cycling or if you have access to a stepper machine they are fantastic; otherwise use your bottom step at home and step on and off. Good luck!!!

  • You'd be starting tapering soon anyway. Rest it and don't stress. Cycling is a good idea, or you might be able to try aqua jogging if you're desperate to run and it doesn't hurt. But you've done the hard work now and you should be fine for race day.

  • Felt good on my 19mile run, and I was confident up until this week! Been for sports massage this morning and planning to rest until Thursday when I might do swimming or some HITT on the bike. I guess I just need to focus on keeping my cardio fitness up! Tapering was scheduled to start this week anyway. 

    Thanks for the reassurance - it's helping ease my fears!


  • Hi Laura

    Ran my first marathon 3 years ago and 6 weeks before was stopped dead in my tracks by an ITB problem. Kept the fitness up by cross training and only started running again with a week to go, running a local 10k slowly for confidence purposes. It all came out in the wash so to speak. Didn't get the time i was after however still got round, had fun and finished injury free with a smile on my face. Dont be scared to rest it, missing a few runs is better than missing the big day. 

    Should have said this close to the marathon your mind will play games with you, trust in the miles already in bank image

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