10 week marathon training plan

Hi everyone,

First time forum user here and recent marathon convert. This time last year I resolved to get fit after years of innactivity and approaching my forties and I set myself the goal of the New York Marathon. Between the end of January and mid September I ran almost 900 training miles and lost 27kg in weight. Unfortunately having not done strength, core conditioning or hill work by right ITB flared up, followed by glutes and hip adductors. Despite weekly physio I couldn't run for the seven weeks leading up to the marathon date.

Devastated I resolved to attempt the run, which was for charity, so got a cortisone shot and left for New York. We all know what happened so won't bore you with the details. I ran anyway, four and a half killer laps of Central Park, with thousands of others. My injected knee held out until mile 11 and then the pain led me to compensate with the right leg until that two gave up. I limped and walked as fast as I could the rest of the way and made the distance.The damage was done - severe bursitis and ITBS on both legs. I actually did more harm by walking to the end but the charity weighed on my mind.

Bringing me to the point of this post - for the last 11 weeks I have rested and stretched and haven't run one bit. The pain has been severe and I've now had cortisone shots in both knees in the last week. I've been given two weeks before I can run again so my question is this. If I can get back up to 15-16 miles in the next two month and I'm free of pain do I risk it all for my place in the Paris Marathon or should I withdraw no matter how well training is going and save myself for Berlin in September? On the back of that any good ten week training plans?

Could really use some sage old advice even if I'm not quite ready to hear it just yet.




  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    Doing too much too soon isn't great for the Itb issues. Ten weeks isn't really long enough to train seeing as you have been out so long. I think you have a high chance of you aggravating the injury and not being able to make the race.
  • I'm no old sage but have a history of ITBS

    If you want to do a marathon properly, I would knock Paris on the head, and focus on building up you mileage, and core strength gradually. You could be in a good position to run an Autumn marathon with a proper buildup. 

    As you have found out, ITBS can easily reoccur, and so far I have escaped having to go down the cortisone route - I have heard too many stories about the impacts on tendon damage from cortisone injections. I do appreciate that it can take a long time for the bursa inflamation to go down naturally, and so nudging things along with cortisone is common. Get fixed, and then get yourself to Berlin

  • Thanks both! Your responses are exactly what I expected and what I know makes most sense. I like a challenge so keep tempting myself with the thought of Paris. In reality Berlin is likely to be more fun. Besides I still have the thought of running New York in November in the back of my mind so better to be fully fit and do both within five weeks of each other.

    Damn this running bug!!!
  • I'm a great one for scraping the dregs of the mix from the bowl with a spatula, i.e. jogging round a marathon after a longest run of 18 miles - walk/run - a week or two before. But that is still pretty tough the last few miles, even with a good few gels and decent rest, and starting off healthy. 

    It really sucks being injured (I spent nearly a year after my first marathon doing the physio rounds) so I do feel for you, believe me!

    It just sounds like too big an ask though. If you'd had a month off and been healthy before...

    If you can't get refunds on hotel etc, go anyway, do the breakfast run, spectate, have fun, watch other people screw up and then... Whatever they did, don't do it in Berlin!

    Meanwhile, enjoy the enforced rest by trying out other stuff - if you've ever fancied parachute jumping, now is surely a good time because it's not like a twisted ankle is going to put a spoke in your running(!). Life is too short not to squeeze the most out of it...scuba diving? Water polo?

  • Hey Fido!

    Agree its a big ask and will only lose my entry fee so might just go and watch - I have friends running as we all planned to do it together. Good suggestions to fill my time - already bunged, parachuted and recently got my Advanced Open Water Scuba qualification. Truth is I just want to get back out there (once the ice clears), nothing quite like a healthy addiction.

  • Knees, you can't live with them and you definitely can't live without them!

    I know how you feel Duncan as I'm desperate to be better to run my first marathon in Paris. However, I fractured my tibia in a skiing accident just before Christmas. I had started training before Christmas but haven't run properly since. At the moment I am in lots of pain and feel like I'm going backwards, I had started training on the Alter-G anti-gravity running machine but now the physio has stopped that as the pain from the knee seems to be getting worse. I've tried to keep up the fitness side of things with cross-training and bike work and even tried swimming today.

    Do you think it's possible to run the marathon with a reduced number of weeks to train?

  • I have had similar issues previously, I have had major issues with both ITB's and this time last year had flare up but had 3 key events. I understand how you feel.

    From my experience, not running is the worst advice - i am sure people will shout at me, but it was what sent me backwards. Anyway, this time last year i was forced to take 2 weeks off and did x training and then saw a personal trainer who had a very different approach and he got me to where i needed to be. It was through very specific strength exercises, - not the sort that a physio would give and also not the sort that a lot of pts have given me in the past. I can email you offline with details of the pt or people who do this. Anyway - i went from not running in Feb to running both Brighton and London. So if you have the determination I think it is possible. I can also send you my plan of what runs i did.

  • Wow NCane2 that sounds amazing, congratulations on your recovery. Can I take advantage of your hospitality to Duncan and ask for the details of your training plan too? Duncan, how's your training going? Have you made a decision either way whether to run Paris or not?

  • sure i will pm you

  • Lucy - it says you dont accept private messages so i cant send you it - i was going to email you the excel file. you can pm me and i will reply

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