I’m sitting on a train coming home from London writing this and it is now time to face up to the fact that I need a bit of help. I need help to salvage a 16 day training plan for the Brighton Marathon!
Sundays training run didn’t go to plan and I’ve spent the last 48 hours trying to work out why. I was going well until about 16 miles when the tightness in my quads and calves really took its toll on my stamina. After 19 miles I slowed to about 9 minutes mile pace and finally chucked in the towel after 20ish. Many top sports people deflect the reasons of under performance on to things outside of their control as a way of maintaining confidence in their self ability. Just look at Jose Mourinho at the weekend blaming Chris Foy, the referee for Chelsea’s defeat by Villa.
So my deflections include:
- I was badly nourished because I consumed only 2100 calories on Saturday and burnt 600 during a 20 mile bike ride
- I’d done hard sessions on the bike on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and (to a lesser degree) on Saturday so my legs were probably tired
- It was hot and I’m still getting used to fluid intake in Spring conditions
- I didn’t take any gels and tried flapjacks instead. These work well on the bike but the one I tried after 15 miles made me choke because I was dehydrated and had no saliva to help it slip down!
But my biggest worry is that my legs tightened up a lot and very early on. I’ve not been running much because if the shin splints I’ve suffered from for a few weeks. But now I think I’m caught in a viscous circle. I’m limiting my running to ensure that the pain in my shins doesn’t get debilitating again, but because I’m not running my legs tighten up after a couple of hours due to working my muscles in a way they are not training for. At least that is my theory. Does it stack up? This is where I need some help.
How should I train over the next 16 days? It’s Tuesday evening now, my legs still ache and I’ve got pain in my shin. I might try a run tomorrow evening depending on how my shin feels. But what should I do now? I’ve got a half marathon booked in as part of my tapering on Sunday and am keen to do this as a confidence booster, but don’t want to do any damage.
The way I see it, along with regular stretching, ice and anti-inflammatory tablets I have a few options:
- Wait for the shin to stop hurting and do several shorter runs for the next 2 weeks. Limit these to no more than 8 miles but mostly at 4-6 miles? Supplement this with longer, stamina building bike rides of 3-4 hours over the next 2 weekends?
- Continue cycling during the week and do the half marathon to see if Sunday was a one off and hope that my condition is not deteriorating by doing this for a second week?
- Total rest from running for 10 days followed by a 10 miler the week before the marathon and a recovery run?
Or another option that I haven’t thought of?
All and any opinions or suggestions are most welcome at this stage….. other than not doing the marathon because that’s not an option.