Marathon training – January update

Marathon training - January update

After being plagued by injuries during 2019 I was hoping that 2020 would bring a new injury-free running year. But my body has other ideas. I’ve not even officially started my marathon training yet and I’m already injured!
On the up side, it doesn’t look too serious. After talking to my PT, we think it is just shin splints, which although means I can’t run at the moment, it hopefully won’t take too long to heal. I’m not going to lie – I’m really frustrated that I can’t run, but I’m also optimistic that it won’t set my training back too much.
Luckily the marathon isn’t until the end of May, so there is still plenty of time for me to get back to full health and fitness.
For runners who have never had shin splints, this is an injury in the shin that makes it painful to run. For some runners, the pain is mild and they are able to run through it. In fact, up until this weekend I had been able to run with the pain, it caused discomfort but was manageable and normally felt better after the first few miles. But when I tried to run yesterday the pain was too much and I could feel my gait change to try and cope with how painful running was. Knowing that this could have caused further injury, I stopped running immediately and, after messaging my PT, I have decided to take a week off running.
Taking a week off running was my last resort. I’d already tried replacing my running shoes, cutting down my miles and only keeping to an easy pace. But as my run on Saturday showed, my body needs a break to give it time to heal.
Before getting injured my running had been going well. I was gradually building up my miles in preparation for the start of my training plan. As well as this, in my interval sessions I was hitting speeds that I had not achieved in over a year. I was feeling strong and ready for the start of my training plan, confident that, with hard work, I would be able to achieve my goal of a sub-4 hour marathon.
Although being injured has set me back, I’m still confident that I will be able to get back to full fitness over the next few weeks. While I’m not able to run, I am able to keep up my cardio using the cross trainer. As well as this, I am able to carry on my strength training. So my main focus over the next week will be to build my strength – especially focusing on glutes and core, while doing low impact cardio.
Originally, my plan was to officially start my marathon training plan this coming week, but I know from past marathons that training never goes to plan and the way to achieving success is by being adaptable and working on what you can do rather than focusing on the negatives.

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