Taking No Chances

Yesterday was supposed to be my final long run before starting my taper for the Brighton Marathon. However, ever since my 36K run two weeks ago, my left leg has been giving me a bit of grief.

I don’t think it’s anything too serious, but there’s a dull ache that goes from the top of the leg all the way down to the ankle achilles. It’s probably just a case of having to stretch out the muscles as my calves are really tight.

In fact, the left one is so tight that when I felt a spasm last week and rolled up my trousers to have a look, I could actually see a long indentation along the calf where the muscle was tightening. It would have been pretty cool had it not been so painful. But it only lasted a few seconds. So, like I said, I don’t think it’s anything to worry about.

Not wanting to take any chances with another long run yesterday though, I decided to spend the day doing some stretching to see if it would be any better this morning. If it was, I’d get the run in; if not, I’d just do a shorter one instead.

As it turned out, my leg still didn’t feel great so I opted for an easy 5K to Portslade and back again. I’ve been using this route as part of my longer runs and quite like it. Although it does involve crossing a few roads, the roads are pretty quiet in the morning and it makes a nice change from the seafront. It also means I don’t have to walk as far before I start running!

In terms of missing out on the long run, I am a bit worried if I’m honest about it. Even though I’ve run more than the recommended 20 miles in recent weeks, there will be a five week gap between my last long run and the marathon, which is too long for a taper; and if I do the long run next weekend, then there won’t be enough time to taper and recover before the big day.

I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do, but I’m thinking that I might run 13.1 miles / 21.1 km next weekend as a compromise, and try to get a couple of 10K runs in midweek if I can get my leg to behave itself. But we’ll see what happens.

Either way, I know that I will complete the marathon even if it is slower than I would like – after all, I did manage to do a 100K last year on much less training! Ok, so I walked most of that, but still, when the chips are down you just have to get on with it, right?

How’s your training going? How do you deal with niggles and injuries when you’re getting close to race day? Do you stick to the training plan or take a compromise? Please share your thoughts, tips and ideas in the comments.

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13 thoughts on “Taking No Chances”

  1. Hey. I read your post there and I have had a couple of injuries that have cast a shadow of doubt. I remember last year I had a calf strain aswell and bad back spasms a week before the Dublin marathon. One piece of advice. Get in touch with a sports therapist for a massage. They’re miracle workers. One session each time was enough for me. Completely sorted me out and loosened everything up. As for the tapering I think it’s probably a good idea to do 21km next weekend and not push it. I wouldn’t be at all worried about the timeframe. These things happen. You have the miles. Just keep fresh.

    1. Yeah, I feel bad about missing that long run. I’m guessing mine is an ITB issue too, but I don’t know for sure, which is probably the reason I’m nervous about running with it. I suppose the only thing to do is get it checked out – you’ve just made me realise that. Thanks. πŸ™‚

  2. I hope your leg feels better, but either way, you’ll have a great accomplishment under belt. Whether it’s running all the way, or walk/run, your gonna ROCK that race! sending you healing thoughts!

    1. Thank you. I’ll definitely be run/walking as I’m nowhere near ready to run the whole thing. Either way though, it will be great to be able to complete the distance.
      And thank you for the healing thoughts – I think they might be working! πŸ˜‰

  3. I have the Paris marathon in 3 weeks and my ankle tendons are giving me a hard time. I have changed my training to cycling and swimming and I am secretly hoping that it will all be fine for the marathon although my last long run was 4 weeks ago. Don’t stress your tendons, once the inflammation is deep it is a pain in the ass to get rid of. Cross train until the race πŸ˜‰

    1. Hey, thank you for the great advice! I had a bit of a run this evening and it felt a lot better, but I’ll definitely go easy and swap some running for cross training over the next couple of weeks. I hope your ankle is on the mend too. πŸ™‚

  4. I hope your leg feels better. For me, I feel that I need to stretch when I have a cramp or even walk a little or use the elliptical at the gym and it helps me with the muscle crap or pain.

  5. Hey I’m running Brighton this year too and had the same thing where I had to miss my last long run as my hip was niggling. Despite the worries I decided not to compensate and just stuck to the tapering plan. Try not to push so hard during your taper that you risk your performance on race day. If you’ve hit 20 miles + during training you’re in a good position for the race and I’m sure you’ll do great πŸ™‚ good luck!

    1. Hi, and thank you. I’m definitely not going to push it between now and the marathon, but just need to keep things ticking over. Just one more semi-long run should do it.
      Best of luck for Brighton. It should be a great day. πŸ™‚

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