Thursday, February 3, 2011

Marathon Training

I am in week 5 of my 14 week marathon training, and I wanted to share an update. Until this week, things were going smoothly. The increase in total weekly miles and the length of the long run has been gradual and doable, but this week I hit a small (and hopefully the only) bump in the road.

My knee began to hurt.
I think it began when I ran the Frostbite Half Marathon too hard almost two weeks ago and then afterwards only had one day to rest before another week of marathon training. It is my own fault! That race was supposed to be a fun long run, not an opportunity for me to race, and I used poor judgment. I thought that I could run hard during a training run and not have any after affects. Wrong. Ever since that day my knee has been nagging me a little bit, and this week the discomfort turned into pain while running.

I panicked! I am only in week 5. I want to complete this marathon training! Another factor in my training this week is that I normally run 4 days a week, and beginning with this week, in order to get in the total weekly miles (and not run 6-8 miles a day in addition to the medium and long runs) I have to now run 5 days a week. This has been a mental as well as a physical adjustment. I am thinking of my focus word for this year often--persevere.

I visited my physical therapist yesterday and also contacted my running Koach. Both agreed that I am addressing my knee pain early and hopefully by skipping my 4 mile run today, which will give me 2 days of rest before my long run of 17 on Saturday, my knee will have time to rest, and I should be ok. I have noticed that the slower I run, the less discomfort I have, so I am committed to slowing down.

There is conflicting advice about what to do when you have runner's knee. Some say to correct and/or improve your running form, while others say to do strengthening exercises. Everyone agrees that ice and rest will help the healing. So I am doing a little bit of it all. Ice. Rest. Exercises. And I plan to think about my form the next time I run.

I ordered a new pair of outdoor running shoes, and hopefully they will arrive before Saturday. I also am replacing my treadmill shoes which have over 700 miles on them. Wearing new shoes always makes me feel better, even if it is just all in my head!

Happy running to you, and if you have a training update (for any distance, or maybe an update on your beginning to run), please share!


  1. Oh, I hope your knee improves quickly! How frustrating!

    Caylie is training for a half marathon next month, and on Monday, she started having some shin pain. It is the first time that she has really had any discomfort when running, so hopefully it will not last!

    Have a good day! :)

  2. I hope it improves quickly! You are doing the right thing by resting. Have you ever been to a running shoe store where they have you run, look at your form, look at your old running shoes, then pick out a pair for you? I did that and when the first pair they tried didn't work after a week, they let me return them and get a new pair, no extra cost.
    My half-marathon training technically starts next week. I have been logging ~20 miles per week already though... on the treadmill. Where I live, it has not been safe to run outside since the first of December. I am ready for Spring!

  3. Hope your knee heals quickly!

  4. I have 12 more weeks to my very first half-marathon. I've been doing pretty good sticking to the schedule through Jan - around 12 miles a week. this month it will increase so we'll see how it goes. My bump in the road came in the form of the flu - my daughter and now my husband. hopefully it won't get me.
    hope your knee gets better soon!!

  5. Hi Roan! I talked to you about a year and a half ago at RYC for heirs. Since then, I only ran in order to play on my adult soccer league. In January, I decided to start training for a half marathon and was increasing my running each week. Until this week. Both of my knees are killing me while I run and swelling when I finish. I've been so frustrated to have to only rest them. (I did walk today for 30 minutes, still a little sore-first time to get back out there in 3 days.) I'm trying to be patient & I will definitely get some new running shoes for the day that I feel good enough to start again. Thanks for sharing your own struggles & hope you feel better soon!

  6. I've always had trouble with over 30 miles a week. Up to that point, no problems. After that, it all starts falling apart- knees, hips, plantar fasciitis, shin splints. My simple solution has been to keep my mileage under 30 miles a week. I know, that's next to impossible while training for a marathon. Maybe that's why I've never run one : ). I hope you get it figured out. I'm super impressed by your 17 mile run. Your marathon will be no problem.


  7. Hi! I found your blog from a google search. I have enjoyed the posts I read. I also am a homeschool mom. My four children are between the ages of 2 and 8. I am considering training for a marathon this year, but I have serious problems finding the time to run (don't we all?) and homeschool as well as cook, clean, and all that other domestic "stuff". I would love to know when you train and how many times a week. Am I crazy to even attempt this feat during this time of my life?

    erinseifferlein at