Panic - injured calf muscle, marathon 4 weeks away

What to do?

8 messages
20/03/2014 at 09:44

Uh ho, another blimen injury!  I thought my calf muscle was just sore and tight.  I rolled it yesterday with a foam roller and it has obviously aggravated it.  I've been sensible, so running, however it feels worst today.  Very sore, can hardly flex my food and walking is painful.  My plan is to hammer out the bike at lunch time and rest tomorrow.  I have a 21 miler planned on Saturday.  Training has been going great, 17 miles last week, 13 before and 20 before that.  I'm gutted as I already have shin splints on the other leg but that's under control.  So, if I can't do my long run this weekend, where does that leave me?  Do I do it the following weekend?  I planned on tapering 3 weeks before with a 12, 8 and 2?  However if I'm still injured, can I do a 20, 8, 2 instead?   How do people manage to train for a marathon and cruise through their training schedules without any hiccups!!! Ahhhh. Thanks for your help guys!

20/03/2014 at 10:22

Aw Pipski - read about this on your training thread... I'm sure there are lots of people more experienced and knowledgeable than me who will post soon but I would say that the key thing now is getting to the starting line.

Clearly it's not ideal to have a very toght calf right now (and it does sound like it's just tight rather than torn/injured) but you do have a wealth of training already under your belt.

Personally (and I speak as someone who has tight calves and has previously had shin splints!) I would be icing and stretching the calf as much as possible. Foam roller if bearable and ideally see a physio/sports massage specialist. A 4 week taper is not unheard of - if the 21 miler iscompletley out this weekend, I wouldn't try and get that run back - follow the taper you have planned (as far as possible) and give yourself the best chance of reaching the starting line ready to run and enjoy the day.

If you read any of the training thread on here, more or less everyone has a hiccup of some sort!

 

20/03/2014 at 10:53

I doubt anyone cruises through their marathon training schedule without any injury or illness!

You have banked the training, now is the time to get ready for the race. Dropping any individual session will make little difference, but doing a session when you are injured can put you out of the race entirely.

It is also a bad idea to try and make up for sessions you have missed, because that can tip you over the edge. And you definitely don't want to do a 20 mile run only 2 weeks before the race, because it can take 3 weeks to recover from it.

But I am not sure I understand your taper if you are doing London. You have 3 long weekend runs left, so why are there 4 runs there (including this weekend?) And is 2 miles a long run? Or just the run you do on the day before the marathon?

20/03/2014 at 10:53

I would suggest you see a physio as soon as you can and get it nipped in the bud. I had a really tight calf but it was actually tendinitis in the front of my leg which is why it hurt to flex. Often pain in one place is caused by an issue somewhere else, a physio can direct your rolling and icing more accurately. Once you know what you are dealing with rather than guessing you can rethink your plan and see where that leaves you

20/03/2014 at 11:01

If it's already sore and you can hardly walk then 'hammering the bike' and a planned 21 mile on Saturday sounds like a recipe for disaster.  Most marathon plans have the last big run three weeks out, so if you were better then a 20 would be possible.  However the first thing to do is to get the calf sorted.  RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) and find someone who can give you an accurate answer as to what is causing the problem (the weighted calf raises yesterday perhaps)?  

20/03/2014 at 11:53
I don't think that many people cruise through their training. Everyone gets issues but it all depends on how you manage them. Some of the reasons people struggle could be;
Trying to do too much too soon
Running all your sessions too fast
Trying to push through rather than resting an injury.
Trying to make up for lost sessions

I'm also not sure that weighted calf raises 3.5 weeks out from the big day, when you already have calf issues, is a good idea.
I'm sure the risks outweigh any benefits at this late stage.

My advice would be to rest in the first instance.
20/03/2014 at 11:55

Thanks everyone....I'm going to take it easy and hope for the best.

20/03/2014 at 18:52

Be very careful with it Pipski. Had a slight calf strain last year, stopped running immediately like a good boy, then bent to pick up a heavy basketball goal in the playground and on standing upright completely tore it. The pain was quite excruciating  and it felt like I'd been shot in the leg. Couldnt run again for 3 months. Take care.


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