Advice on injury close to VLM

Hi all, Been lurking here for a while and getting some great advice. I'm doing VLM this year and have never taken part in a marathon before (or any other race for that matter). Training has been going well, started in oct/nov and started a 16 week plan in Jan. the plan has been great. I was scheduled to do a 20 mile race on 24th march but it was cancelled due to bad weather so I ran my own 20 miler finishing in 2hrs 58mins. Felt quite good afterwards and excited that sub 4hrs seemed like a possibility. Here is the problem. I went out for a 50 minute run Friday morning and when I got back my left knee was aching. It was tender on the outside of the knee and quite stiff. It was especially sore when going down stairs. I iced it and have been using a hot water bottle on it in bed. All seemed well this morning so I went out for my last LSR. 22 miles. After 15 miles my knee started playing up again and I seemed to have a complete lack of energy despite taking 3 gels at various points. I stopped for a couple of minutes to take on some water and restarting was difficult due to stiffness in my knee. I struggled through 20 miles (stupid I know). Came home completely disheartened and deflated. Complete opposite to last week. I suppose I am in a bit of a panic now. It feels like I have put an awful lot of hard work in and I can't face not racing to my full potential. I know I need to rest but my question is, given that I am not tapering how damaging will taking a week or so off be? All pearls of wisdom great fully recieved. Many thanks.


  • Also-ranAlso-ran ✭✭✭
    Well done on getting through your last 20 - if you can get through that in those circumstances, then it bodes well for vlm with the race adrenale and crowd support behind you. So cheer up and give yourself a pat on the back.

    Now you have peaked in terms of training load. Your body had been pushed and no doubt you will have tight muscles after the weeks of training. Some of that tightness may have caused you problems recently - potentilly a bit of ITBS is affecting your knee.

    You now have time to unwind and get back some of the flexibility you have lost. Start including some light stretching, maybe a foam roller, or even treat yourself to a sports massage or two.

    Your plan should be reducing the volume. Don't worry about missing the odd session, or substituting cross training for running. You need to balance the training which will maintain your fitness with the recovery. Keep a strong mind and you'll be fine. Don't be tempted to start clocking extra miles now.
  • booktrunkbooktrunk ✭✭✭
    I think I've got ITB as well which hurts like heck at times when bent a certain way or going downstairs. I don't know if it's correct but u read you cannot injure it more per say you just have if and need rest and massage, and to build up muscles to help it out, but I understand and I hope I willbe corrected if wrong that you can ran on it if you can just cope with the pain.

    There seems to ge a band you can get that puts pressure on it, above the knee and can help relieve the symptoms short term. I ordered one yesterday, will see how it goes.
  • i would rsst up for a few days again and carry on as you were ........then just do some short slower runs when you start back.......

    you have done the hard have put your body through a lot building the miles up over a short period of time.......

    hopefully all will be fine on the day.......

    you could always go for a sports massage to try and loosen the tightness or massage the area yourself.......have a look on utube

    good luck

  • Many thanks for your replies. Think I was just shocked this afternoon about how hard I found today's run. I guess everyone has good runs and bad. Need to make sure I'm the best I can on 21st.

    I have calmed down a bit now. Picking up a foam roller tomorrow and looked up some stretching exercises so hopefully be able to manage the situation over the coming weeks.

    I have def been bitten by the running bug and I really want to carry on after VLM. Hopefully be a bit more active on here!
  • Went to a physio today and he confirmed that its IT band irritation. Did a bit of massage and acupuncture. Also showed me how to strap it up to take the pressure off the offending area.

    Got another appointment next week so just have to see how it goes ..................
  • Can offer no help but hope things sort themselves out and you get to run to your full potential on raceday image

  • Andi - many thanks for your support!!

  • More miles and grit your teeth. That's what makes you race hardy.
  • Also-ranAlso-ran ✭✭✭

    Great advice Chappers. Any more pearls to share?

  • Also-ranAlso-ran ✭✭✭

    Rhoddri, just as an aside, the following is interesting:

    "Just back from 3 months out with a knee problem. (Tight Ilitobial band pulling the knee cap out of position - cured by lots of physio & pilates to correct the movemnet of the leg through the stride).

    Running again now & building up the length of the runs slowly but surely with no problems."

    Posted by Mr Chappers himself.

  • Been out a couple of times this week - 20mins and 30 mins. Knee not too bad. No real pain but just a niggling ache at a particular point. I suspect this will get worse with distance. Took it slowly and massage with a foam roller afterwards. Quite lucky this had happened during taper, no speed work and lots of rest available. Doing a longer run on Sunday and physio booked for Monday so fingers crossed!
  • 10 mile run completed yesterday. Both knees achy and stiff afterwards. Felt ok when running although I suspect they would be painful going further. Interestingly the knee I had physio on last week was better this week and recovered well with some ice. Been to physio tonight and had some ultrasound therapy. Only two very short runs planned for this week together with 5 miles on Sunday - fingers crossed!!!
  • Report in yesterday - had physio a couple of days before and didn't train at all in the last week. Took painkillers for a few days before Sunday. Knee started to ache after about a mile but didn't get any worse until about mile 18. 18-21 were really tough but after that the crowds were so great that adrenalin / determination seemed to take over. Got in with a time of 4.15. Pleased in the circumstances. Time now to rest and get some proper treatment. I'll be sometime / somewhere to crack 4 hrs!!
  • well done rhodri.........time to rest and recover now

  • Also-ranAlso-ran ✭✭✭
    Great result after a frustrating last few weeks. Be proud, let your body recover for a bit, then address the underlying issues. Well done, and you know a sub 4 is on the cards with a smoother build up.
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