Changing your marathon race schedule

What should you do when you get severely behind in you marathon preparation?

I’ve had a frustrating few weeks, largely due to falling into my old habit of not giving injuries enough time to heal.   The consequence of this is that I am now seriously looking at amending my race schedule.

A few weeks ago, as reported in my post, I developed a pain in my groin during a cross country race.  For some reason, I felt that this wasn’t serious enough to warrant the full two weeks rest I would give for, say, a hamstring strain.  I was able to get back to training, but it clearly never fully recovered, and flared up again whenever I tried running at a faster pace or, most acutely, when I recently played tennis.

So now, with just eight weeks to go until my planned marathon race, I am still resting up, having done just two training sessions in the last fortnight and only 12 sessions in the last five weeks.  I am (almost certainly) losing fitness just at the time when I should be training hardest.

Here are some options for the way forward:

  1. Do the April marathon race anyway.  I should be able to build/rebuild  enough fitness to get round.
  2. Look for an alternative  marathon race in May,  about four weeks further down the line.
  3. Abandon the idea of doing a spring marathon and re-set my sights on an autumn marathon.

I don’t especially like option 1, as it’s not worth all the time and expense (including travel and accommodation) to not be able to give my best.  But I have paid my entry fee already and if I can get round then I will have achieved my primary goal?

I like option 2, but I am worried  that it might get rather hot in May, and I really don’t like racing in the heat, even finding 10K races quite a trial in these circumstances.  I’ve identified  a couple of interesting possibilities, ie. the Liverpool Marathon and Edinburgh Marathon, which might not be so hot as they are further up north (especially Edinburgh).

The Edinburgh Marathon also particularly appeals as we have family near there and l Iove the city (not saying I wouldn’t love Liverpool if I was as familiar with it), though I could only get in with a Good for Age time.  I would qualify with my half marathon run from two years ago, but it needs to be achieved after January 2019.  However, if I can achieve it again in the next few weeks (and there are a few races available), then this could be a goer. 

The Edinburgh Marathon

Option 3 might be the most sensible, but I would feel that I have dragged it out a bit.

Perhaps I should make an autumn marathon my main target to hopefully do a good time, but try to do one this spring with the aim of simply getting round and using it for experience?  I’ll see how things go in the next 2-3 weeks and decide then.  I don’t want to waste any more money on entry fees (ie. by entering and not running) if at all possible. 

The Yorkshire Marathon (October)


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