Post Injury Marathon Training Plan

I was training to do my first marathon at the end of last year and had built up to 24mile long runs when I tripped and twisted my ankle two weeks before the marathon. So no marathon for me. Anyway, its now 17weeks later and I'm just managing to start running again without too much pain. I want to register for another marathon in 10 weeks time, does anybody have a suitable plan? My longest distance so far has only been 7.5km but I only stopped because I felt that I shouldn't push it too far. My plan was just to keep building distance for next few weeks, but am a bit worried about getting injured again if I go too hard. I don't think that I have time to stick to the usual rule of only building distance by around 10% per week. Are there any plans that start from a 10km base 10weeks beforehand?


  • stutyrstutyr ✭✭✭

    TBH, 10 weeks is too short a period for a marathon training plan, so you wont find many available (marathon plans are normally around 16 weeks long).  Given your injury hstory, you would really be better taking longer than average to get up to marathon distance, rather than trying to do it quicker.  

    10 weeks is enough to prepare for 10k or half-marathon - would you be able to find one of these as an interim target and then pick an autumn marathon?

  • Thanks stutyr. Of course what you said makes perfect sense and is exactly the opposite of what I want to hear! (But I do genuinely appreciate your advice).

    I'm really hoping that I can build quickly as I was very well prepared for the marathon and hadn't been injured in a long time. Although I haven't ran in 17 weeks, my fitness hasn't suffered too much as I've still been going to the gym 4 -6 times a week and doing a lot of aerobic work on the bike, stepper and cross trainer. I've also been doing a lot of ankle strengthening exercises, on a step and a wobble board.

    I did 11km on the tready tonight, my only real barrier being boredom as I feel I could have easily kept going. I also feel that I shouldn't be pushing it too hard for a while until I gain a bit more confidence. My ankle is still sore, but actually frees up as I run. It's also usually better the following day.

    I am a bit concerned as I had some Achilles issues a couple of years ago but at least my ankle issue wasn't related to overuse.

    I'll probably spend the next 2 or 3 weeks building a base running around 10km two or three times per week and then start pushing out the distance with a weekly long run. If I can find a HM in a couple of months I'll book into it and if I'm sensible will do it instead of the full distance.
  • stutyrstutyr ✭✭✭

    Hi Redjeep, keeping fit during the injury is encouraging.

    I've only run one marathon so far (in the midst of training for my second) so my inexperience may colour my opinion, but you really ahve to respect the marathon distance.  I'd run quite a few Halfs prior to my first marathon (and spent a few years running shorter distance) so wasn't too worried about the change in distance. I'd enjoyed the leap from 10k to HM, so how hard could it be? Long story short - I really suffered in the full event despite having a very successful training campaign (HM PB etc) as I really underestimated how hard those last few miles would be. 

    You sound like a self-motivated person as you've kept your fitness,so I understand the desire to jump to full distance.  However, I also suspect you'd be your own harshest critic if you didn't give your best in the full distance?  

    PS part of the "respect the marathon" bit is also that there's no shortcut to the endurance required.  You need 5x long runs of around 20 miles plus a couple of weeks taper prior to the event (as the long miles mean you will be tired).  If you try and cram that all into eight weeks (as you said, you'll need a couple of weeks before pushing the distance) you're almost cetain to injure yourself.

  • Thanks again stutyr. I think that the only reason that I'd even consider it is because I'd done all of that when I had to abort my first marathon attempt last November. I'd done all the training, including the 5 or so at 20miles (longest was 24 solo miles) and so I'm really hoping that I haven't fallen that far behind. I was 2 days into my taper when I sprained my ankle. I have never felt so well prepared for any race ever before.

    Although I hadn't ran in 16 weeks until last week, I only took a week or so (probably less) off from training. Seriously, I was doing an hour on the cross trainer and stepper a few days after twisting my ankle.

    I think that I'll probably put the early marathon on hold, but see how my training progresses without being too stupid. I'm encouraged that I ran for an hour last night, which is by far the longest I've done and today was the first day since my accident that I'm not constantly aware of my ankle when I walk on it.

    I'll take it steady and probably do the HM instead of the full distance and then pick another marathon instead later in the year.

    Thanks again.
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