Marathon Training – a Setback

For the last three months I’ve been consistently running five days a week. Now, with less than four weeks until the Cambridge Half Marathon, training has come to a halt. The last time I ran was Saturday, and it’s now Wednesday. I should have done my long run on Monday, but was unsure about that since I had a cold – no big problem for shorter runs, but probably a bit silly to flog through 17 miles just for the hell of it. But that little debate between my rational pragmatic self, and the obsessive part of me that said “Rules are rules – if you deviate from your training schedule you are doomed” became superseded by a more serious problem. Somehow, fiddling around trying to connect a car battery I strained something in my back, and could scarcely walk. Even the obsessive part of me couldn’t run – and I haven’t run since.

I’m not too worried about the Cambridge Half Marathon. I know I’ve got enough residual fitness to run that distance without much training and anyway, if the worst came to the worst, I’ve already run it a good few times, and I’ve been running more than a half marathon every Monday for the last month or two, so nothing to prove really. But what about the London Marathon at the end of April? My first full marathon, and I was lucky enough to get in through the ballot. My training had been going so well I was beginning to believe it was all possible. But a full marathon is a long way. How much training can I afford to miss? On the other hand, if I try to get back into training too early could I break down entirely?

This is my first training crisis – in fact my first training problem of any kind. It had been going superbly. I should be pleased that it didn’t happen a day before the marathon. As a life-long project manager I should have expected some sort of crisis in the delivery of this project. If I look at my previous experiences, I should be pragmatic. Chances are I’ll recover soon enough to get training again without too much effect on my endurance – maybe.

I’m not keen on what comes out of America, but there’s one quote that’s always worth considering at these times.

“Ain’t no sense worryin’ about the things you got control over, ’cause if you got control over ’em, ain’t no sense worryin’. And ain’t no sense worryin’ about the things you don’t got control over, ’cause if you don’t got control over ’em, ain’t no sense worryin’.”

Mickey Rivers – former player in Major League Baseball from 1970 to 1984 for the California Angels, New York Yankees and Texas Rangers.

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