Hi there,

I'm starting to panic. I'm running the London Marathon in April (target time 4 hours) and am having real problems in both calfs which tendonitis of the tibialis anterior. I'm really looking for some advice about how much to push it or if indeed it's just too much to attempt. Everything was going OK until the end of January (though I had suffered these issue previously) but since then I've only managed to do 4 runs of very low milage. Today I only managed two miles until I had a sharp shooting pain in my right calf and had to stop. 

I've two questions.

1) Has anyone run a London marathon by replacing long runs with other stamina work, to protect an injury (Rowing/cycling/Swimming/X-training perhaps) and/or does anyone have any advice on this matter

2) If I do keep running and aggravating this injury, am I at risk of causing long term damage?

Any help, advice, support would be so appreciated. I'm starting to feel like I'm losing the battle and am desperate for some tips.




  • Mr PuffyMr Puffy ✭✭✭

    Difficult to say for sure without knowing where you were up to before the injury, but from experience I would say you would be better deferring.  You are about to enter the hardest 4 weeks of the training after doing 4 runs in a month, be honest with yourself it's not going to happen is it? If you only want to finish, fine, rest up, see a physio and do what you can until race day, but if you are looking at pushing yourself at all in the race then you will be disappointed.

    I could bore you to death with my 2008 history but to cut a long story short I was in a similar position to you and I did the race and it was crap.

  • Panic indeed....or maybe not.

    I'd be first inline to see somebody about it tomorrow morning. There is lots that can be done.

    1.) You can do alternative training, but it isn't anywhere near the same functional level of stamina, fitness or endurance. Anything over 60 minutes and specificity is lost.

    2.) Doubt it - hurt yes, ultimate harm - doubt it as the hurt will get you  first!

  • I had some anterior tib problems around xmas. Yes, I substituted a lot of running for rowing for a week, but longer term, if you are not doing regular long runs then a marathon is a daft event to enter (even those that aren't London)!

    What did I do?  Regular icing - 4x per day, anti-inflamatories. When things settled, calf stretching, and then some strengthening. If I wasn't back up and running within the week I was going straight to my physio.

    Luckily, condition improved while I knocked out half marathons on my rower - but this wasn't going to improve my running. Returning to running, I built it back up on soft surfaces (trails and treadmills), and very very gradually increased road mileage.

    I still do a lot of cross training instead of running, but I don't drop the key running sessions (Long Run, Tempo Run, Mid week medium Long run, Interval VO2 session). All my recovery runs and easy runs are dropped for the rower which has taken out about 20miles pw from running. Hopefully this will reduce risk of injury reoccuring.

    If the target is 4 hrs, and it is your 1st marathon, then deferral could be a good option allowing you to get fixed and start establishing a base mileage before going into a marathon programme.  Then again, I ran my last marathon with a knackered leg, so there is no accounting for peoples stupidityimage

  • Mr PuffyMr Puffy ✭✭✭
    Very sensible, very brave decision too, good luck in 2014!
  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    Sensible to defer London.

    If it clears up and you havent lost too much fitness then you could go for an autumn marathon.
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