Can I train in this short a time!? PLEASE HELP!

Hi there,


I signed up to the Edinburgh Marathon in September. Being a complete novice I steadily worked on training. I had a bit of a dip around Xmas but then got back on things again. At the end of Feb I ran my first 14 miles (in 2hr 14m) which appeared to strain my achilles quite bad. I attempted a short run every week for two weeks and then decided to leave it for a while, so in total I rested it for just over 4 weeks.


I kind of realised that with the time I had left I wouldn't be able to train for the marathon properly, but assumed I would be able to switch to the half. Obviously having never done anything like this before, I found out the other day that it is a little too late for this! So I have the option of pulling out until next year, or attempting it!? 


I'm a tall slim 26 years old, I would say I have an average level of fitness, and cycle to work most days. However, I've been training for 2 weeks and I only have 5 weeks left till the day. Would it be possible for me to complete it? I'm not looking for any record breaking time, I just want to know if I will be able to make it around in one piece!? And if it's possible, any suggestions on how I should set about training for the next 5 weeks? 


Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated image


Many thanks,






  • What other longer runs have you done? If the 14 miles was a lot longer than your previous longer runs, that would explain the injury. If this is the case, then I would say you are probably leaving it too late: the key to getting round a first marathon is getting used to running for 3+ hours, which means regular long runs, up to (by popular consensus) 20 miles, though others will say further. By the sounds of it, you aren't close to this.

    5 weeks is too short a time to do anything significant about it, so your options are defer to next year, and commit to training properly for it then, or possibly a run/walk strategy. If you choose the latter, I would start practising this now: run 3K, then walk one, for example. Even then, I suspect it will be (very) hard work.

  • if  you want to enjoy doing it, then defer until next year.

  • Stephen, I fully understand the reasons behind wanting to run/walk but the achilles injury presents a real long term risk to your further participation in events from 5k upwards. As with AG I would definitely recommend you defer til next year and seek some physio on the achilles as unfortunately it will not really respond to rest alone. (I myself pulled out last year due to lack of training due to virus as I have too much respect for the distance!) BOL whatever you decide.   

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