Injury during last part of the Marathon Plan

by Magnus

Hi Marius,

I am now in Week 13 of the 3:30 plan. However, I have the past couple of weeks been struggling with a muscular injury in my left foot. Thus, I have missed quite a few sessions – including a 4 hr walk/run and the half marathon test run. I have trained alternatively during this period (bike sessions+swimming).

My first ever marathon first ever is 17 days from today.

Yesterday I went to a physiotherapist (for the first time), who was quite optimistic with regard to my marathon ambitions. I will see him regularly the last two weeks before the race. I did – according to the plan - a 50min easy run (Effort 1) yesterday, which went fine.

The questions is, of course, what should I do now (conditional upon that I do not suffer further from the injury, of course):

1) I reckon I should just jump into the plan in week 13 and not add any extra sessions (not even short, easy ones)? Today is Thursday, and as stated above, I did the 50 min easy run yesterday. Should I complete the other two sessions this week (4x12 min (4 sub-hard + 4 medium + 4 hard) and 120-160 min easy running) or should I leave one out? I should mention that I earlier this week completed a relatively hard 75 min spinning session where quite a lot of time was spent in effort 3 and 4.

2) What time should I be aiming at – especially considering that I missed the half-marathon? I ran my 5K test run in week 6 on 21:55, which according to the calculator in the marathon plan indicates a finishing time of about 3hrs44min, and the 10K test run in week 8 at 47:09, which indicates a finishing time of 3hrs50min. The latter was, however, a tougher course than the 5K. So I believe the 5K time is a more accurate indication of my form before my injury occurred (and I am running Berlin which is a very flat course). I reckon I should lower my expectations anyhow (which is not a problem – right now I will be happy just to be able to complete). But of course, I need something to aim at. Should I perhaps do a 10K test run for myself just to see how my current form is (maybe as a substitution for the 4x12 min session as referred to above)?

I very much look forward your answer – if possible, sooner rather than later, as my marathon is approaching quickly…

Thank you for a fun schedule and for great service.

Best regards, Magnus"

Answer: Hi Magnus and thanks for your questions.

I'm glad your are back into training again.

1. Yes, you are correct, go into week 13 and DO NOT try and catch up with the lost sessions. This is never a good idea ! And do it a little bit gradual, like you suggested (also due to your spinning session)

2. You want to lower the predicted time somewhat, and you can instead run faster in the last part of the marathon instead, if you feel great. If you aim for 3:50-55 and then adjust it after passing the 25-30km you should be fine. Do not run a 10k test race, the re-injury risk is huge at this point.

I wish you all the best,

kind regards,

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