You’re deep into marathon training, you’re six weeks out from the race, you feel like you’re on track, you’ve got a big training run ahead of you and you pick up an injury. How do you react? Panic? Stay strong and focus on recovering in the knowledge that there’s still plenty of time to go?

I had managed a good few runs this week but then when I cycled to work on Friday morning, my bike slid on some black ice and I fell off suffering cuts to my elbow and knee, a few grazes and some bruising to my ribs which I wasn’t aware of until I was filling in the accident report book at the business centre where my studio is, and started laughing! I was actually quite lucky to escape anything more serious as I had been traveling at speed at the time and landed on my side. I went home and Allison kindly patched me up before I went back to work. I ended up having to cancel most of my workload as I couldn’t move much, partly because of my cuts and bruises but also my ribs became sore as soon as I tried to lean over or move at a quicker pace than walking. My biggest concern was (probably only other runners will get this) not only would I be most likely to miss out on the 18 mile run I had planned for today but also that I would have to play a joker in Jantastic as I wouldn’t reach my target distance this week!

Falling off your bike on black ice is NOT recommended for good marathon training!
Falling off your bike on black ice is NOT recommended for good marathon training!

I was fine yesterday in the knowledge that I’m getting better and so would recover pretty quickly but I didn’t realise how much running is part of my life until I woke up this morning and wouldn’t be getting dressed up for the miles ahead. I don’t think anyone appreciates how much running plays an important part in their lives until they have to miss a run. I have started to look forward to listening to the latest Marathon Talk podcast to keep me company on my long run and couldn’t bring myself to listen to it without running. All of a sudden, a big black hole was appearing in the space normally reserved for a run and so I decided to go for a walk instead. I regionally had thoughts of going for a few miles but ended up just walking to my studio to pick up my car and driving home again.

I can see how easy it is to become despondent when picking up an injury that stops you from training, particularly when you’re moving into the business end of marathon training. As long as it’s a niggle/short-term problem that isn’t going to prevent you from running in your chosen race, it’s important to stay focused, relax and understand that you’ve achieved quite a lot so far and that there’s still time to get some quality runs in before the big day. The key is to be sensible and let your body recover properly before restarting training again to prevent a recurrence of the injury and you really want to be able to continue at the level you were before you suffered the injury. Listen to your body, do what it is telling you and you’ll be back up there quicker than trying to be stubborn and ignoring the pain to train anyway. The chances are, by taking the time to rest, your body will also get rid of any other issues it was experiencing at the same time.

In missing out on today’s run, I am no longer as frustrated as I was this morning and in getting out for a walk, I’m much more relaxed and staying focused on the bigger picture and that is I’ve still got some bigger runs coming up which are far more important than what today’s would have been, I won’t have lost much in terms of fitness and that I will still perform well in the coming weeks and peak just in time for running along the Champs Élysée on 12th April.

Happy Running!

I am aiming to run 2015km in 2015 to help Macmillan provide the support and care for those affected by cancer from the person going through their journey to their friends and families.

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7 thoughts on “Becoming Stronger

  1. Sorry to hear of your crash. A friend and neighbor of mine crashed her bike on Thursday and is having surgery this weekend. She broke her clavical. You were lucky you didn’t get hurt worse. Hope you feel better soon.

    It is hard to not do what you love to do but I see you are taking your meds. 😉 Maybe your body will be happy for the extra rest.


  2. Thanks Kyla! I was rather lucky I think and the medicine certainly helped ;-). I made the point of resting over the weekend and I’m feeling a lot stronger and able to move about a lot more today so hopefully another day or two and I’ll be able to go for a run again 🙂


  3. I tried a little jog earlier and it was my knee that I felt the most. I had a pretty deep cut on it and the skin is still forming and trying to become stronger and so it was a little stiff to try and lift my knee. All good progress and I will rest it for another few days but go walking everyday


  4. Yes, I’ve been happy walking these last few days but I’m looking forward to being able to get back running again. My knee is only really sore as I had a reasonably deep cut on it and the skin is still healing. Another couple of days of resting and walking and I should hopefully be ready to run 🙂


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