VLM Training - terrible long run

Hi there, I'm running this year's VLM (first time) and, having had a really good 3 months training at the beginning of the year, it's all gone a bit pear shaped since the end of March.  I was up to 16 miles but got shin splints and was out for 3 weeks (albeit doing some spinning, cross training and swimming).

I finally got the all clear to run on Thursday and was aiming to do a 20 miler today (which in retrospect was probably a bit ambitious).  I managed a VERY slow 17 miles (3 hrs 20 - when I would normally run a sub-2hr half) but it was ag3ony (just in terms of how much everything hurt) and I ended up getting on a bus at 17 miles rather than doing the final 3 miles.  I'm now absolutely terrified about the marathon and considering deferring - if I can't do 17 miles at a slow pace then how am I going to do 26.2????


Do you think I should defer or stick with it and just run/walk/crawl on the day?

Thank you.


  • First thing, congratulate yourself on getting this far. 17 miles is no joke and is far more than lots of people will run in their adult life if you added all their running together!

    It is really easy to get dispondent at this point. I am running Hamburg the same weekend (also my first) A few weeks back I had shin splints too. My physio fixed me with the simple addition of insoles to my trainers, but I felt tired and drained and really couldn't get myself going.

    I ploughed on through and I got there with my last long run on Sunday and I now feel ready.

    You have a couple of weeks and while you don't want to do any more long runs now, I think you should just plan in some shorter ones to get you loosened up and running freely again. Nothing too strenuous just enough to stretch your legs. I personally am running 10k runs just to keep me ticking over.

    I'd also add that it is very likely that on race day you will feel mentally much stronger. I think most people find they run better in an actual event.

    The marathon itself is going to hurt, but you can do it. You've done all the prep, but you've had a little set back. Don't let difficult (not bad) run knock you back a whole year!

    Plenty of stretches as well. You can do it!!

  • What kind of hurt ?
  • Your fitness will still be significantly better than the start of the year so congratulations on that and achieving what is likely to have been one of your goals when entering the marathon. The thing that will hold you back on race day is to the extent your hurt is injury. A sports injury specialist will be able to give you a diagnosis on whether you should run (not a GP with little sports knowledge who will almost certainly err on the side of caution)


  • Hi Alice, I am a first timer for vlm. I too was shocked when getting to the 15-17 mile mark and finding that on sone runs I was in agony, but I have been told this is normal. I too tried for 20 and gave up at 17, you are not alone. The next week I carb loaded, hydrated, got podcasts to listen too, everything but looked at my watch and I did it, very slowly but I did. Good luck
  • booktrunkbooktrunk ✭✭✭
    To be honest, as long as you are ok a few days later and have no real injuries it is great newsimage get your bad run out of the way now so that it goes well in the mara.

    Now you've had that nightmare the mara will be a breeze compared to thatimage
  • Hi everyone, thanks so much for your reassuring advice.  It didn't feel like a sports injury in that it wasn't site specific in any way, it was just that both legs felt like they were on fire and about to fall off...


    I was SO down yesterday, really seriously considering deferring my place but I'm going to stick with it, keep stretching, eating pasta and employ a more positive mental attitude which I think may have been at least partly what let me down yesterday. Thanks again.

  • Alice- you will be fine........rest now, just a few short runs, ignore the taper wibbles that tell you you need to do more runnning, and on race day you'll be so full of adrenaline, you will be dashing off from the start thinking "this pace is too slow, I can go quicker". When your legs feel bad at mile 20 in the race, you'll know that it is just tiredness- and believe me- it gets better again after a couple of miles- just grit your teeth. Good luck!

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