When it comes to marathon season we begin to see the number of clients with running injuries increase in clinic. With covid delays and increasing levels of exercise post lockdown, these numbers are now slowly beginning to increase. But now it’s my turn.
Having built up my fitness levels through lockdown, I was encouraged to join a friend for a marathon in October. Being the competitive person that I am, I couldn’t turn down the challenge to beat my previous time and set about the challenge of achieving a sub 4 hour marathon.
Having learnt from my previous mistakes several years ago, I revamped my training plan and added an extra 4 weeks of training into the schedule. By increasing the time and slowing the progression of my runs I hoped to increase the time my body had to adapt to the load and reduce the risk of a stress response in my foot that previously occurred.
For the first few weeks the distances were well within my normal running ranges. I used this time to test out different running paces and find my comfort zone. I found this to be between 5:00 and 5:40 / km depending on what I was looking to get out of the session. As the weeks progressed I began to find my rhythm but also became aware of my body showing signs of warning. With some of my quicker runs I could feel my glutes and hip flexors tightening and with some of my slower runs I can feel my calves tightening. Practicing what I preach I set about working to loosen these areas off and strengthen my glutes and calves to reduce the tightness as my running durations increase.
As I write this I’m now 11 weeks into my training plan and ran 15 miles at the weekend. Whilst I’m continuing to run and hit my targets I’m having to become more aware of my body and manage it more each week. For the past two weeks I’ve noticed the tightness in my calf return bringing with it the onset of plantarfascitis. Using the same techniques I advise our clients to use, I’ve been able to ease the discomfort within 24-48 hours and continue my training plan plus other sports and hobbies without being limited.
With my long runs now over a half marathon distance, I know the hard work is just beginning both mentally and physically, but it’s a challenge I look forward to. Keep an eye out for progress updates and advice on how to keep running ready over the next few months as I continue to plod along and if you see me out and about running, feel free to say hi.