Due to run my first half on Sunday - But I get pain...what would you do?

Hi all, I'd appreciate some sound advice if you would?

I've never been a runner and last April got it into my head that I wanted to complete a marathon this year. I'm due to run the Brighton one in April. I also thought it would be great to run the Brighton half as a taster which is this coming Sunday.

I started running last April doing the C25K and by the end of October was running 10 / 12 miles comfortably. The longest run I did was 14 miles when I suddenly developed pain in the outside of my left knee. This initially knocked me for six and my mileage plummeted. Then Christmas and New Year arrived and running took a back seat.  I'm pretty sure it's my ITB. I've tried stretches, a roller, a bit of massage and rediscovered running again about 4 weeks ago and thought my knee was improving.

I was trying to ease myself up to completing the half this weekend. I went out last Tuesday and ran 8 miles with minimal discomfort and the litmus test for me was going out the night before last to run 10. I ran 7 before my knee was giving me so much grief I probably walked half of the last 3 miles home.

I am absolutely gutted and really don't know what to do now. I really want to take part in the half this weekend...dunno whether to just not run between now and then and take it REALLY easy. I just feel that I am giving in too easily.....I also now feel that the full marathon is looking very unlikely.

Any words of comfort? or advice gratefully received!


  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭

    Does sound like a tight ITB.  Does it feel as if the affected leg is shorter than the good one?  It's quite a disturbing sensation but it does get better, although it can take about a month (from my experience anyway). If there's any inflammation or you can't even walk properly without pain I'd give this half a miss.

    If you don't feel too bad a get-you-round strategy would be to run in the road keeping your good leg in the gutter nearest the pavement, benefiting from the camber in the road.


    The longer term strategy is exercises, the best of which are side leg raises.  Lay down on your side (good leg lowermost) along a wall to keep good alignment and raise the bad leg up to no more than 30 degrees, hold, and then lower, and repeat 10 times SLOWLY.  If you've ever done Pilates you will know that there are a whole lot of exercises building on that theme, but that should do for now. Repeated 2 or 3 times a day you should quickly find an improvement.


    You'll be fine for the marathon, I'm sure.

  • Hey there!

    Im due to run half next month but recurrent injuries are affecting my training and confidence and Im scared incase I chicken out. Your training seems to be on point its just a shame that you are experiencing these types of pains now and it would be crap to let your knee trouble spoil your half marathon. If you feel running the half would make things worse then do not do it but maybe having complete rest between now and then might help. Your fittness will not be affected before the weekend so rest up and be good to yourself and give the knees some tlc.

    Good luck hope all goes well!

  • For me, its a condition that I have to put some work in to keep it at bay. The sort of exercise TRex mentioned is ideal. Often the ITBS is due to weak glutes/TFL. Another good exercise to do at home is to put a resistance band around your feet and side step 20 paces in one direction and back, and repeat.

    If you have exercise to a gym some strengthening work would help. Whilst strengthening, some stretching,rollering, cross training and short runs will be possible
  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭

    Forgot to say with the side leg raises - on the bad leg you're raising keep the big toe pointing downwards.  This accentuates the exercise.

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