last minute injury before VLM 2017 - should i resume long runs

Hi all,

I have been training for my second marathon and have been determined to reduce my time from 4:41 in NYC to a target of 3:45.

I have been training hard and slowly increasing my mileage up to 20 miles now and covering 55+ per week.

I suddenly developed a pain in my shin and hip.

I have rested for a week which meant I have missed my first 22 mile run.

This Wednesday I started up again with a 5 miler and did so again today Thursday, if feel a bit painful but I can run through it.

I wanted to know if my body thinks it is going into "Taper" mode and so suddenly going back to long miles again might be counter productive.

Is missing 1 long run and only just starting going to have a bad affect on my body?

I would like to understand the science a bit behind what your body does in taper, should I go back out for my last 2 long runs before starting proper taper for 2 weeks or will that be counter productive.

Thanks all


  • rodeofliprodeoflip ✭✭✭
    In short, no.

    You have just over 3 weeks to go, which means that your last long run should probably have been this weekend - A marathon taper should be 2 or 3 weeks, certainly 3 weeks if you've been injured at all. The good news is that one run on its own doesn't make much difference, it's the cumulative effect of months of training which gets you to the start line. At this late stage, you're basically fit and ready or you're not - any training done now is just to maintain fitness. The best thing you can do now is to rest up and perhaps see a physio who might be able to help you shift this problem. You have three weeks so don't panic, this should be plenty of time to recover (unless it's serious), but the worst thing you could do is to just keep running, you're denying your body the chance to sort itself out and you're probably not going to make it to Greenwich on the 23rd.

    Over 55 mpw is a high mileage, and you didn't say anything about your age, background, etc., but it may just be that you've overdone it a tad and your body is starting to struggle with these miles - something has to be the first part of the body to feel it, in this case maybe it's the shin / hip.

    It may be that completing the marathon may need you to run through some pain (and I would take doctor's advice on this), but not in training. The science behind the tape is straightforward - over the past few months you've progressively overloaded your body and it's adapted to the strains you've put it under. This adaptation takes a little time to work, so there's no advantage now in pushing yourself as hard as you have in training, you won't get the benefit of it. But your body will be beat up and stressed, and it now needs a couple of weeks to recover, for niggles and injuries to heal and for energy levels to build up again. The point of the taper is to stop training at the right time so that you get the physiological benefit which provides the fitness and stamina you need to run a marathon, and to let your body recover so that your muscles can repair themselves (it's during the recovery period that the adaptation happens). Done correctly, you should feel injury-free, full of energy and raring to go on the start line. Skimp on tapering and you'll still feel tired and struggle for energy at best, or at worst you'll pick up an injury which scuppers your race.

    You've still got 3 weeks, make the most of them. RICE / phsyio / doctor. Just don't run!
  • Pete HoltPete Holt ✭✭✭
    you can maintain fitness cross training: swimming, cycling etc. as with the above post get to a physio in the meantime as rest may not rectify the issue and may make it flare up worse during the marathon.  I write this as you have already rested but the problem is still there all be it not as bad as it was. better to be sure than sorry. imo.
  • Guys, thanks for the reply. really useful stuff i really appreciate it. I will do some swimming in the meantime and will seek a physio. thanks Rodeoflip for such a well written and lengthy reply. really appreciate it and will take all the advice.
  • rodeofliprodeoflip ✭✭✭
    You're very welcome. But I would strongly suggest getting the advice of a good physio who knows something about sports injuries and taking their advice, all I can offer is the benefit of learning from my mistakes! You still have over 3 weeks, during which you should be tapering anyway - I think and hope you'll be ok.
  • hi guys. been to the physio and have been diagnosed with a bone stress response in my right shin. You can pin point the exact area of pain and there is a slight lump. It has got a lot easier in the last week and i can walk without a limp.

    i can go up and down stairs without pain.

    It still hurts to touch the area though so until that disappears i am just trying to get round.

    gone from a 3:45 target time to 5:30.

    absolutely gutted but raising a lot of money for disadvantaged kids at a local school.

    hoping in another 2 weeks time it is strong enough to plod round and enjoy the sights and sounds.
  • rodeofliprodeoflip ✭✭✭
    Kenny, must be very frustrating, but it's always better to know. No race is worth a long-term injury, and great that you can still run to help support the kids. Best of luck, really hope you make it there and get round.
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