Long run with hamstring injury?

I'd appreciate some advice please.

I've been traing for 16 weeks for the NYCM on 4th November and it was all going so well until I strained my hamstring last week. I was feeling good on a routine treadmill run which I decided to turn into a 5K time trial. I did this in 19:20, which is very quick for me, then decided to turn it into a 44 minute 10K but 8K in I got a shooting pain at the back of my left thigh and had to stop. I did two 6 mile runs on the next two days but had to pull up aftet four miles on the second of these. That was last Sunday 7th October and I've not run since but have done two 20 mile bike rides.

I was going to do my final long run of 22 miles today and although I only occasionally feel a slight tweek in my hamstring I decided not to risk it. I'm now undecided as to whether to do the 22 mile run at all and let the hamstring recover in the three and a half weeks I have left until 4th November. I've averaged 35 miles a week for 16 weeks with my longer runs being 6 x 12 miles, 3 x 14 miles one of 18 miles and one of 20 miles which was on 26th September.

My question is, whether this is enough? How critical would it be to not do the final long run of 22 miles and go into NYCM with my final long run of 20 miles some 6 and a half weeks previously. Clearly it would be much more critical to do the run, make the injury worse and miss the event. As I say, I feel virtually nothing in my hamstring walking around and cycling but I just don't know if it would blow up on a long run. I suppose a nother option is to do the 22 miler next week.

What do people think would be the best approach.

Thank you.


  • Personally, I'd probably run the 22 within the next week, but at a slower pace than you would normally - when I've had twinging hamstring tendons I've been able to continue running distance, so long as I dropped speed. But everyone varies.

    And my usual advice: next time, if you're following a 16-week plan, start it 18 weeks before the race, giving yourself a two-week "cushion" in the case of illness or injury (and if you don't get ill or injured, well, you just repeat a couple of the later weeks of training and get to your marathon better prepared).

  • Thanks Debra. My thought was also to try the 22 miler next week but slow.

    My plan is for 16 weeks but I did start 4 weeks early so I'm 12 +4 at the moment with 4 weeks to go.

  • stutyrstutyr ✭✭✭

    The normal advice is that your last long run shouldn't be within three weeks of the marathon, otherwise you may not be fully rested & recovered by the time of the event.

    That gives you until Sunday to fit the run in - so depending on your other commitments, its probably worth delaying it until the week-end

  • Thanks stutyr. I can barely feel the injury now but other than cycling I'm going to rest for another six days and do the 22 miler next Wednesday. That sneaks 3 days inside the 3 week window but I think that'll be alright considering the ten days of no running I'll have had by next Wednesday.

  • Brook, sounds okay to me. And congratulations on starting your training plan sensibly early.

  • I'm a relative new runner but going back to the quimageery regarding hamstring injury I did the usual trick of tripping over nothing and pulled my hamstring. I was torn between resting or running through it but in the end I had couple of sessions with a physio who gave me ultrasound. She said I seemed to be doing all the right things with warming up and stretching exercises and said I wouldn't harm myself by running through it if I continued like that. I found the pain seemed to ease after about ten mins of running. Not sure if that info helps at all. I'm not in the same running league as yourself - yet! - so not sure if it's relevant or not. Would be interesting to know if anyone else has hamstring injury advice - pulling my hamstring seems to be a speciality of mine 

  • Well the good news is after doing the right thing for once and resting my injury for 10 days it has completely recovered and I did my 22 mile final long run yesterday without any problems.

    Ready now for New York on 4th November!
  • Great to hear the hamstring is better and that your long run went okay.

    Good luck for New York.

  • That's great news. Wishing you well for new york!


  • Thank you Debra and nikkynoo. I did have some general stiffness after the 22 miler and particularly in my left hamstring, so I went for a sports massage on Friday and now, 5 days later all soreness has completely gone and I'm totally enjoying the taper!

  • Well that's quite interesting actually.  I am not in your league for mileage yet (10 miles is my weekend long run) but I have been querying about whether the soreness from running ever goes with seasoned runners.  I love my running but always seem to suffer with soreness even though I am soooo good at warming up and cooling down.  I go by the book!  I will pinch your idea of having a sports massage I think to see if that helps.  Just maybe I went from 6-7 miles to 10 miles too quickly. 

  • It does get better nikkynoo. Persevere and you'll see!

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