Marathon Diaries – 4


Before I took the decision to run the Brighton marathon my weekly mileage was sitting pretty, somewhere below 15 miles a week. I’d go to some gym classes and run a few 3-6 milers.

Signing up for Brighton made me go a little bit mad… I’ve got the best part of 7 months to train and for whatever reason I went in to panic mode; Increasing my mileage quickly not intelligently.

It was no real surprise that I ended up at PT (physical therapy) to work out some niggles, and by niggles I mean the early stages of shin splints, some calf pain and a few instances of throwing up after my runs.

My physio guru Matt walked me through what I was doing wrong, which was mainly making life really hard for myself.

So here’s what I learned:

  1. Strength training is far more important than its given credit for. If you’re not strengthening certain areas (including some unusual suspects like your hips and feet!) then you might as well write your body a prescription for injuries.
  2. We all roll our feet to some degree when we run, I do this a lot more than I should (especially on the right side)… The answer here lies in strength training, but in the mean time we are using orthotics (arch supports) to counter balance the pressure I’m putting through my bones! For Me arch supports will be a temporary fix but for some runners they are a must wear all the time.
  3. Protein is really important; it helps replenish the bone you’re shedding! Being a vegetarian I need to consciously be aware of the amount of protein I am getting and ensure it is enough and the right kind!
  4. Slow and steady really does win the race. No matter how exciting/petrifying it is to click the enter button and pay for the pleasure of running 26.2 miles! Stop, take a deep breath and don’t panic. You’ll have time to train, and if you don’t have time to train then you probably should be prepared for the fact that you may not make it.

I’ll be the first to admit I totally panicked. In my head I’d never really pushed further than 6/7 miles, and the thought of running over four times that was really getting to me. I increased to 10 miles over a pretty short time and was running closer to 30 miles accumulatively. It is no wonder I did some damage (all be it very minor).

We’ve cut my mileage way back to 18 miles a week for now; I have a 10 mile race in about a month and will build up towards that race but keep my accumulations low.

I’m working on strength training and analysing my diet a little closer.

I’m really happy that I went, discussed and learned a lot. PT may be an additional cost but with so much conflicting information out there on the web it is really useful speaking to an expert and getting your technique looked at.


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