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advice please - half marathon

(7 Posts)
winefortea Fri 31-Mar-17 10:32:47

I'm after a bit of advice please.

I started running in January, training for a half marathon which is now 9 days away. Everything was going well and I was happily following my training plan until about 3 weeks ago after I did my scheduled 10 mile run. I felt a bit stiff after the run, but nothing out of the ordinary. That evening we went out with friends to a gig and did a fair bit more walking. I felt stiff down my left thigh and across my hips but could still walk etc. The stiffness remained over the weekend. On the Tuesday after I went out to do a short run (5K) but by Wednesday morning I was very stiff and limping. On the Thursday I popped into the running shop where I bought my shoes to ask their advice. They thought it might be IT band related, suggested some stretches and said I should try and get out for a short run every day, even if i could only do 10 mins, on soft surface, at a very slow pace and to avoid hills. I booked an appointment with their physiotherapist for the following week. I tried a run that evening and it was very very slow and felt all wrong. Not painful as such, but very uncomfortable and my gait felt all wrong. I tried a couple more times over the next days but it still did not feel right and I was worried about doing more harm than good.

I saw the physiotherapist the following week as planned and said I had muscle strain brought on by muscle fatigue, weak glutes and hypermobile joints. He gave me some exercises to do and said I should still be able to do the half marathon. He wasn't able to give me any training advice though.

Since seeing him I have tried to go out a few more times. I still feel a bit stiff, and my gait does not feel quite right, and I'm feeling it in other places. My pace has dropped from about 12 mins 30 avg pace per mile to about 15 mins 30 avg pace per mile and I can't seem to go any faster in fact I ended up walking quite a bit of last nights run ( I'm on a run/walk plan but had got up to running 8 mins walking 1 before).

I don't know what to do for the best. I am desperate to get round this half marathon and don't know whether I should just lay off the running completely between now and then to give my muscles a chance to fully heal, or whether I should push on through with the slow running, achy muscles and strange gait and hope things pick up a bit between now and then. I'm supposed to do 6 miles tomorrow according to the plan, but not sure it is a good idea - would I be better off doing some cycling instead? Or nothing? I'm fairly new to this so not sure what is normal in terms of recovering from muscle strain - I wasn't expecting it to take this long, or to be so slow on coming back! sad

Sorry, that turned into a bit of a mammoth outpouring! But any advice would be gratefully received! Thanks!

welshweasel Fri 31-Mar-17 10:38:13

It kind of depends what your long term plans for running are. If your final goal is this half marathon and you've not bothered about being injured after wards then I'd say rest til race day and you'll get round. If you want to carry on running regularly and build on what you've already achieved then I'd continue with some short runs (3-4 miles) and see how it feels. If your gait is still affected or you're in pain when running then pull out of the race.

welshweasel Fri 31-Mar-17 10:40:53

To be honest going from nothing to half marathon in 3 months is a bit bonkers anyway! If you end up not doing the race I'd scale back a bit and focus on increasing your speed over shorter distances. Once your comfortable running ten minute miles then ramp up the distance again.

namechangedtoday15 Fri 31-Mar-17 10:41:29

I'd be tempted not to run although what is the longest distance you've done and how many runs have you done? Other than muscle tenderness, do you feel fit? Absolutely pat on the back for signing up for a half, but its quite ambitious if you only took up running in January.

Could you do stretching at home and maybe swimming?

I would still do the half but listen to your body (I know that sounds twee but its true). You will feel a massive sense if accomplishment whether you get round in 1 hour or 3! Good luck!

MorrisZapp Fri 31-Mar-17 10:42:58

The correct advice is of course to rest your injury.

If it was me I'd bloody push through for the medal.

feetheart Fri 31-Mar-17 10:58:50

Go and see another sports physio who can treat and advise - ask around for a recommendation or have a look at who the local running club use - a link will probably be on their website.
As others have said going from nothing to half marathon in such a short time is a bit bonkers and will have almost certainly caused your injury - you probably needed a better base of running fitness and then to have gradually up the mileage (10% a week is recommended) As it is your body has just caught up with what you are trying to make it do and has called a halt!
If you want to continue to run I would listen to your body, don't do this half marathon (even if the bling is superb smile), get and follow a sports physio's advice and maybe look at a few 10ks before signing up to an autumn half.
Disappointing I know but there are so many races out there and so many opportunities for amazing running experiences.

winefortea Fri 31-Mar-17 13:21:16

Thanks for your replies.

My aim is really just to get through the half marathon. I will probably keep up with the running but only for shorter distances - I stop enjoying it after about 7-8 miles. I don't mind if I have to take a break for a while after.

Longest runs prior to the 10 mile one (which I finished) were 9.6 miles and 8.5.

Other than the muscle stiffness and the new pains in different muscles (backside and calf) I feel pretty fit but foe the cold u picked up but that should pass in the next day or so.

I know it was an ambitious goal but I have followed the plan pretty religiously up to the point I got injured - it was a couch to half marathon in 20 weeks plan that I found on runners world website, of women's running and involved a mix of running and cross training and built up the distance over the weeks. I started at it in week 6 which I could do quite comfortably and did not feel overly pushed.

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