This time last year I was becoming very nervous about the London marathon and I am sure you will all headed to the Excel centre to collect your numbers which is an experience in itself. Allow yourself time to spend there as they have lots going on and I even think they have free massages!!
My training personally wasn’t as straight forward as we may all think and plan at the beginning. I started the week before Christmas as I regularly run twice a week anyway and up to about 10km. 10 km was my first run on the 27th December and then it all started full on after the Christmas celebrations. I planned my long runs at the weekend and during the week did one shorted run about 8km and then hill sprints or speed work on the treadmill. I also made sure I fitted in my very important strength training twice weekly. I was happily building up until I got to 24 km (15 miles). I did this run feeling good after, body tired and your normal DOMS feeling. However, it came to light on my next long run a week after I was starting to feel the outside of my left knee. I continued until about 8 miles and then I literally wasn’t able to physically continue. Feeling very frustrated I had to stop, partly because I knew exactly what it was but also I have a young daughter and my training time was precious.
I profusely iced my left knee, started on the ibuprofen and asked my lovely colleagues Faye and Victoria to acupuncture my knee. The foam roller soon became my best friend and worst enemy all in one. In the meantime, I continued to do my strength sessions in the gym and short bursts of running which wasn’t aggravating my knee to maintain my fitness. This included exercises such as squats, split squats, walking lunges, monster walks and lots of core work. I was very aware that my left glute was weaker than my right and knew this wouldn’t be helping my knee so did a lot of single leg work. I also swam to keep up the slower cardiovascular side of the exercise as well.
I managed to get back to running 4 weeks later which actually took me to 6 weeks before the marathon and not having run for this time was very apprehensive. I managed a good 8 mile run back, lots of ice and foam rolling after. I did also take ibuprofen to prevent it from flaring back up.
Not the best idea, but I had to get my mileage under my belt I then did an 18 mile run the following week and then a 20 mile run as my last. 2 weeks before the marathon I did 12 miles which seems like an absolute dream after the many other miles of slogging away.
On the actual day of the event I was up at 6am and had a big bowl of porridge with honey and a banana to set me up well for the day. I also took a banana with me and my Lucozade tablets, which is what I used on my longer runs: from 15 miles up. I had half a banana before the race started and as I went round refuelled on the Lucozade they provided and my tablets. The day that I did it was actually quite cold, but at this time of year it really varies, so making sure you stay hydrated if it’s really hot is vital!!
Hope you all done well!
- Jade Blake, Physio4Life’s Senior Physiotherapist