Just writing this sentence makes me sad, dear reader, but write it I must. The three words no runner, cyclist, swimmer, golfer, tiddlywinker or any other type of sportsman wants to say.
I AM INJURED
Sadly not just a little niggling injury. It appears to be an actual proper injury. Its my knee. My right knee to be more precise. As somebody messaged me the other day, “When you are in your 20’s you have a right knee and a left knee. When you are in your 40’s you have a good knee and a bad knee.”
Well in my case this is very true, and my bad knee is my right one.
I can run about 8km (5 miles), and then at that point my knee really starts to hurt. I was once told that on a scale of 1-10, pain above a 4 means you should stop. I am easily at a 7 by the time I have done 8km.
Being as incredibly stubborn as I am, I could probably keep going (all be it a bit slower) and run further on this bad knee. But I can’t escape the thought that I am probably doing it more damage than good by doing this.
This is all fairly disastrous news when it comes to the London Marathon in about 12 weeks time, but fear not dear reader, all is not lost. Cause when the chips are down, you need a crazy plan. And I am the KING of crazy plans.
Step up somebody who has featured on my blog before. Mr Trevor Payne. Trevor is an ex-professional Ironman, who is now one of the leading biometric coaches in the country. I am also proud to call Trevor a friend. I have attended countless training sessions with him, seen him for physio assessments in the past and there is nobodies judgement I trust more closely than his when it comes to all things endurance and physiological.
Limping back from a failed run recently, I gave Trevor a call. Realising I was not helping my knee one bit by carrying on running, I had already hatched a plan, but wanted his approval. The plan goes like this.
- No more running for a while. Worst case scenario, one run a week of up to 8km (stopping before my knee really hurts)
- Perform the majority of my marathon fitness work on my bike. Utilising the turbo trainer as much as possible with perhaps a long bike ride outside at the weekend.
- Plenty of strength work (prescribed by Trevor) to work on stabilising this dodgy knee.
- Keep up the yoga and flexibility work, cause this always helps.
- No panicking.
- Re-introduce some extra running closer to the marathon date and see how it feels.
- Turn up on the day, man up more than you have ever manned up before, and get that marathon done.
Trevor has endorsed my plan with flying colours. So, the wheels have come off for “traditional” marathon training, which involves a lot of running, but the wheels are very much back on for this alternative marathon training plan.
So my friends, here we have it. I will still be at the start line of London Marathon. But I am very likely to be there having run less that I have ever done in preparation for a marathon before.
Many people, especially seasoned runners, would consider me insane for attempting to run a marathon with only a relatively small amount of running miles under my belt. Conventional wisdom has you running up to 20 miles on your longest run, with some running plans having literally 100’s of weekly miles required. But who cares about conventional wisdom? Not me!
I am very likely to turn up on the day having not even recently run a half marathon. But I will be in good shape by then. I am determined to get as much cardiovascular fitness as possible. And Trevor will make sure my knee is as well recovered as it can be.
Bloody mindedness and sheer determination will take care of the rest.
As a great endurance athlete once said “how hard can it be”.