HELP - Newbie Half Marathon goer!!

Hello good people, i need some help and fast!!! I signed up for the Bath Half before Xmas, and training thus far has gone really well.

I completed a 5 mile run last night, nothing new to what i have been doing the last 7 weeks. Now with only 17 days to go, my calf and shin muscles feel like they want to rip and were in some pain every mile of the run last night. 

Do i keep on training and try and run through the pain, meaning that i can attempt the half mara, knowing that i have achieved the training schedule? Do i rest?? meant to be attempting 9 miles on sunday, does this seem likely?? Any help would be greatly appreciated!!


  • For me, I would be taking 2 or 3 days break from the running and focus on getting your lower legs loosened up with stretching, foam rollering, or perhaps a sports massage if you think they are so tight that there is a risk of something tearing.

    A few days break now will have little effect on the outcome

  • I suffer from a similar (Yet seemingly not as severe) affliction - My shin muscles seem to be the only achy area after a run.

    Today I found this link which I am going to make sure I do before and after every run. Can't make it any worse

  • Hey Steve, I'm a newbie and will also be at the bath half - if it's any consolation I've not run for the last 2 weeks as I've been variously injured, on holiday and ill! 

    For what it's worth, not that I'm an expert (clearly) but all the advice I've read and asked for seems to agree that it's always better to do too little than to do too much. If you don't do enough training, you might just take longer doing the 1/2 than you hoped and (worst case) might even have to walk a bit of it. If you do too much training (ie: running on what sounds like quite a painful injury) you could do yourself some serious damage and not be able to run at all - which is clearly much worse!

    I hate to sound like an advert for Runners Need but when I bought my trainers there they said thay have a weekly physio in store  who gives free consultations on stuff like running injuries - I don't know where you're based but you might want to check with your nearest store to see if they have something similar? He/she will basically be able to tell you if you can still run on it with a bit of stretching or if you ought to see a physio for proper treatment. Alternatively you might be able to find another physio elsewhere who will give you a free initial consultation or something? 

    Another tip which everyone seems to give in cases like this is if you want to take a bit of a break from running to let your leg recover, replace your runs with swims - as long as you reach a similar level of exertion it wll stop you falling behind on your fitness and actually will probably really help your overall running as it works all your muscles, not just those you run with (and because it's non-impact, shouldn't affect your injury). As it increases your flexibilty and overall strength/fitness you never know, you might even find you run better afterwards!! 

  • Hey guys, thanks so much for your advice thus far, really appreciate it!

    Well I decided to go out and do 5 miles tonight, not as painful as Tuesdays run, but at the end was still saw round the ankle and calfs, but nothing on the shins which I thought was a bit weird! I've decide to try some deep heat on the areas, I know it won't cure the situation but I'm hoping it at least cools it slightly!

    Got 2 days till I'm meant to be doing 9 miles, think I'm going to talk to a specialist on Saturday about what I've encountered and hopefully get to the bottom of it! I feel that it may be that I cool off the distance and just make sure I'm as good as possible for the half!

    Good luck too with the rest of your training! I've been told the bath half is a good run, which I was suprised about as I thought bath was pretty damn hilly!! image
  • Hey Steve, glad to hear it seems to be improving, funnily enough I'm now in a proper dilemma with my injury - it's in my hip and definitely doesnt seem to be getting any better - at my trip to the physio he suggested taking it easy and focusing on some stretches he gave me - but as the half is in 2 weeks and I already haven't run for a fortnight, I don't really know what to do!! He said I should consider walking some of the route, to which I replied "as if!" I don't want to have done all this training just to end up walking on the day!! Am feeling a bit gutted about it to be honest... 

    However am going to take some of my own advice and do the stretches, go for a swim today and maybe try a gentle run tomorrow. As the friend I'm running with pointed out, even if I do end up walking some of the way, we can always sign up for another one in a few months time so I can have another go.

    And I guess there are lots of half marathons in life but I only have one set of hips, so would be a shame to do them proper damage! Better to be safe than sorry. God its frustrating though, hey! 

    I think the bath is supposed to be flat - they chose a route which somehow avoids all the hills, which is good because I have done NO hill training! 

    Good luck with the half, whatever happens! See you on the finish line, running, walking or limping....

  • Limping bad. Walking for nine miles will make it a long painful day.

    And Bath is flat.

    But most people on here including me have had to blow out a race due to injury. Five miles without pain and 17 days to go and you are pushing your luck. My last one I missed wash the Bristol Half when I had jumpers knee. The physio said I could complete the race as long as I jogged it, then walked it, was happy with a four hour finish which meant being picked up by th stragg;ers minibus, and then had an ice bath and Ibuprofen straight after. Oh and could expect to have to put up with 3 days of pain.

    There will be other races. If you miss this one it doesn't matter. It's far better you run without the gritted teeth and run through the pain cobblers. 

    Rule of thumb. I am doing Bath this year for the first time. Ran 14 miles today. Legs ached like hell at the end of it. But if they still ache like this come Tuesday I will either get it medically checked, or I am just not doing the race despote all the traning as it means I am injured and will concentrate on the Bristol 10k instead.

  • Sorry to hear about your dilemma Mols, it doesnt sound pleasant at all. A part of me says dose up on painkillers and just get through the run, but i know deep down that it isnt the rite thing to do! Will definitely feel pretty gutted after putting alot of work into the training, for the first half mara, to just break down just before the event. I hope your issues get better thats for sure, hey ho worst comes to worst we can hobble along together!!!

    I've gone a little full circle with my issues now, last Tuesday / Wednesday i had massive pains on the shins and calfs after my training runs. I did 9 miles yesterday with no pain at all to these areas! This morning however I: have awoken to the feeling that somebody has caved in my left knee with a bat, and my right ankle doesnt feel right at all!! Its never ending! Just gunna try and keep running until it gets too much and will have to be sensible about it!

    Only 13 days left!!!   image

  • Be sensible now. Call it off.

    Realistically you have about six days to go. Race week is always known as taper week when everyone eased up before the sunday. There is always another race. Just sort out whatever problem it is, then start the build up to the next one.

    If it was most of us. Sorry, wouldn't happen.
  • Hmm does that apply to Steve or me, or both? 

    I went for a 60 length (1 hour) swim yesterday, have been religiously doing my physio exercises and then went for a very gentle 3 mile run today, in which I focused on moving my hips and arms in the right way. So far, no pain, so am keeping my fingers crossed. Mind you have also noticed my left ankle is has a very slight swelling. 

    My plan is to swim again tomorrow then run 5 miles the following day, and see if the pain comes back - so far in my training (prior to injury and past 2 weeks of no running) the furthest I've run was 10 miles which I did comfortably in 2 hours without feeling like I was going to die and my legs feeling like they could have gone further - so part of me thinks that if I can get back up to 5 or 7 miles without injury before race day then I'll just take it at a steady pace and see how I go?  However it was not long after doing my 'comfortable' 10 miles that I got this hip pain so I guess there's a risk by doing that I'll cause another flare up. But hopefully by then I'll have done the race and can have all the recovery time I need! 

    To you more experienced runners, does this sound like a sensible or dangerous plan? Any advice welcome...  

  • Almost a week since my last post, managed 20 miles this week, 10 miles today. I feel ready, knees a bit sore but a nice cool week will do the trick im sure! Well looking forward to Sunday, going for anything under 2hrs!

    I think i worry too much when a new injury or what i think is an injury comes along, the best thing ive found is to run through the stiffness but know the limits,

    What should be my diet this week, especially Saturday?? I cant bloody wait to have a massive chinese takeaway blow out this time next week!!! image

  • Diet - normal, make sure you stay hydrated. Don't eat anything heavy on Sat. Fri is important for sleep, make sure that you sleep well Friday night, you'll most likely have a rubbish nights sleep Sat.

  • Hello again all,

    Yesterday was awesome, real buzz all day!

    Got round the bath half in 1hr 52 mins, chuffed for my first half but slightly gutted I couldn't sneak under 1hr 50! Knees feel completely duff today mind, nice week off now!! Hope everyone else had a good time yesterday, I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who hasn't done the bath half! image
  • Amazing! Well done Steve! I did it in 2h 09 which I was well chuffed about considering I was aiming for 2h 30 and hadn't done nearly enough training! Go newbies image  Don't know about you but I've been STARVING ever since! Can't seem to go more than an hour without needing to eat again! Am making sure I eat lots of protein and am hoping it's all that muscle building thats going on image 

    Well done again! What an awesome day - and how BRILLIANT was the support from everyone from Bath!! Those Brazilian Bands to get you up the hills... everyone with their doors and windows open playing us music to run to... all the little kids high-fiving and giving out sweets - THANKS BATH YOU'RE THE BEST!!! 


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