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Half Marathon Panic (Read 1456 times)

running hawk


    Im very new to running and Im starting to panic. Ive been running for about 12 weeks now, from overweight couch potato status. I made a goal of completing a half marathon and am registered and set to go for Oct 13th. Everything has been going pretty well so far, Ive battled through some foot pain early on and then some IT band issues, but nothing I couldn't overcome.

     

    Two Saturdays ago I peaked my miles per week at 25 miles per week. I finished an 11 mile long run and felt good, though I was really sore. I felt a moderate amount of pain in my knee (not IT band) even on Monday, two days later, so I took it off. This took a day off my training and lowered my MPW, but I was still able to complete a planned 12 mile run last Saturday on a somewhat hilly course. After that long run, though, the knee pain came back. It's not severe, but not trivial either, and it lingered around on Monday as well so I took it off.

     

    Now Im starting to freak out. The extra rest is helping, I was able to do my run yesterday, and the knee pain is only slight today. Tomorrow I should feel fine for another run. But I'm worried that I'm losing fitness and won't be prepared to finish my HM.

     

    I'm fairly certain this is an overuse injury. If I wasn't so close to the HM I would simply cut back my mpw and add in a little more rest til my knee adapts. I don't want to further injure my knee and risk my HM, but I don't want to lose fitness and be unable to finish the HM. So how should I handle the time that's left? Should i start to taper now? Should I be worried about the missed runs?

     

    Sorry for the long post, and thanks in advance for any advice.

      If you can run 12 miles in training now you can finish your half marathon on October 13th. So don't worry about losing fitness in the next 2 weeks, just do what you have to do to let your knee calm down.  Ice it, elevate it and add in a little more rest.

       

      Afterwards if you want to keep running you will need to find a long term solution which may include a very gradual build-up of mileage while you also try to strengthen the quad muscles around your knee.

      Runners run.

      running hawk


        I definitely do want to continue running. I think if i cut back on mpw a little, then slowly build up I should be ok. So Im not worried about a long term solution. After this HM I just want to train a little over the winter, and Im looking at a somewhat hilly HM in the spring.

         

        The pain isn't severe right now, and if I had to, I could run on it. My biggest concern for now has been just getting to the 13th with the health and fitness to finish the 13.1

          You've set yourself a pretty lofty goal and not really enough time to prepare. May well be why you are having problems right now.

           

          I agree with MikeyMike that you can do the distance IF you take care of yourself for the next couple of weeks. Since it is your first half, no matter what your time is you will have a PB, so you can relax! Take it easy and have fun!

          Suffering Benefiting from mature onset exercise addiction and low aerobic endorphin release threshold. Hoping there is no cure.

            Nothing more to add except reiterate that you won't lose much fitness in two weeks. Maybe taking a lot of time off like this may make you take off faster than you should in the race, because of fresh legs. Just watch out for that and you'll finish fine.

              Afterwards if you want to keep running you will need to find a long term solution which may include a very gradual build-up of mileage while you also try to strengthen the quad muscles around your knee.

               

              Yes. This.

              It should be mathematical, but it's not.

                I ran my first half marathon on a base of 20 miles per week, with a peak week of 27 miles.  I ran several 10 mile long runs, the fastest at 10 MPM.  I tried a 13 mile long run, had to walk the last 2 miles. 

                 

                Then I ran the half marathon at 9 MPM. 

                 

                You are ready.  Take it easy and let your knee recover.  You are better off recovering than overtraining. 


                Petco Run/Walk/Wag 5k

                   You are ready.  Take it easy and let your knee recover.  You are better off recovering than overtraining. 

                   +1

                   

                  Slow down the next few weeks, no go slower, even slower and let that knee heal up. You can finish the half with no problem.

                   

                  After the race be sure to ramp up much more slowly in mileage and run slower than you have been on most of those runs - all of which has been said... You are more ambitious than I was - I took 15 months to build to first half, did 5k, 10k, then 15k races first. you are there so don't panic.

                  bob e v
                  2014 goals: keep on running! Is there anything more than that?

                  Complete the last 3 races in the Austin Distance Challenge, Rogue 30k, 3M Half, Austin Full

                  Break the 1000 mi barrier!

                  History: blessed heart attack 3/15/2008; c25k july 2008 first 5k 10/26/2008 on 62nd birthday.


                  A Saucy Wench

                    You arent going to lose signfiicant fitness in 2 weeks.  If you have access to an alternate form of cardio that causes ZERO knee pain (elliptical,walking, etc.) then I would switch to that for the 2 weeks.  You may also want to try treadmill running for the 2 weeks and see how that feels, sometimes the extra cushioning and more importantly lack of camber can be easier on knees, but if it hurts dont.

                     

                    Go for zero pain, maximum recovery for the 2 weeks, you may feel a little sluggish the first mile or so of the race, but you wont have lost your endurance even if you do nothing between now and then.

                    I have become Death, the destroyer of electronic gadgets

                     

                    "When I got too tired to run anymore I just pretended I wasnt tired and kept running anyway" - dd, age 7

                      You are a running HAWK. Hawks don't panic. 

                       

                       


                      just a simple cat

                        Hawk!! 

                         

                        I  guess as you get more bodacious, you begin to lose more brain cells, because there is a limit to how much magnificence your body can house

                        running hawk


                          Haha thanks guys you are all great.

                           

                          I ran 9 miles yesterday (Saturday) and I have one more long-run-Saturday before my HM. I'm thinking bout a 8 mile run next Saturday, a week before the HM. Sound good? My knee is kinda sore right now but I'm just going to rest a couple days, maybe do a small 4 mile run on Tuesday, and another 3-4 mile run on Thursday. With that said, the 9 mile run was still tough, I wouldn't say it was easy by any means. So, how much will adrenaline help me on race day? Is the race day run seemingly easier than training runs in any way?

                           

                          I'm really excited about my HM and I love running. Its great seeing how far I have come in only about 12 weeks. I'm looking forward to a slow build up during the winter after the HM and getting in great shape for the spring races, as you all have advised me to do. This is cool community here and I'm thankful for the advice.

                          JML


                            I would recommend running your planned 8 miler next weekend as a two four mile loops to give yourself an option to bail out if the knee is misbehaving during the run.  You are not going to improve your fitness at this point and really only need some easy runs to maintain what you have.  Better to arrive on race day with cheerful knee.

                             

                            As to adrenaline during the race......I ran my first half with an aggressive goal to go under two hours.  Race day excitement led me to a 1:55.  The key is to be patient in the beginning and not get pulled by faster runners to run beyond your abilities.   I was fortunate to be running with  a good friend of mine who was/is much more experienced and he kept me from blowing up the race in the first mile.  Be mindful of your pace early on and pick it up after 10 if you have gas in the tank.

                             

                            Good luck and have fun!

                             2014 goals: run a bunch....race some.....repeat...

                            M.Burrows


                               

                              I ran 9 miles yesterday (Saturday) and I have one more long-run-Saturday before my HM. I'm thinking bout a 8 mile run next Saturday, a week before the HM. Sound good?

                               

                               

                              No.  It doesn't sound good to run 9miles the week before your first Half, especially if your long runs are giving you knee trouble and if you have only been running for 12 weeks.  I'd take the advice of JML and run 4miles and see how things are going.  Take a break and evaluate.  If you have ANY pain then quit for the day.  Do something else aerobic (bike, swim, elliptical) that does not give you pain. 

                               

                              If you have finished an 11 miler and a 9 miler as a new runner then you will be able to complete the half on race day.  Walk early at the first water station.  Then walk again at the next one.  Then walk again at the third one.  You'll have something left to finish the event.

                               

                              Afterwards, back down that mileage and start over with a reasonable build up of distance.  By next Spring you will be a different runner.

                               

                              Good luck.

                              running hawk


                                Thanks for giving me permission to do something I already felt bad about. I have been walking during my water breaks about every half hour for about a minute. I am not good at drinking on the run yet and either choke, spill water, or get side stitch if I run while drinking. So I have kinda been speed walking for 30-60 secs or so while rehydrating and I feel embarrassed about that, like ive been cheating.
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