After the euphoria of signing up to a marathon in September, now the real work of planning and training begins – but the lingering doubt in my mind is whether my body will be able to take the strain of running a marathon (again)?

I decided to sign up to the Richmond Running Festival because I thought to myself, what is the point of putting off trying to do a marathon next year when I’ve got all summer to train. I can do it, can’t I?

What’s niggling me most of all is my left Achilles. When training for the Edinburgh marathon a couple of years ago, I had a horrific moment where I thought it was going to ‘ping’ I can only describe it as feeling like someone was twanging a piece of taught elastic while I was going up and down the stairs – except the elastic was holding my leg to my foot.

I put it down to stepping up the intensity too early and in particularly doing too many hill running sessions too quickly and in too close succession, but it’s something I’ve been particularly worried about ever since and I’m worried that the increase in miles could put extra pressure on it.

Another issue that seems to be troubling me these days are a niggling right groin which seems to flare up the longer I run and when my form goes out of the window, and sometimes when I set out for a run the muscles in my back feel very tight as if it’s going to go.

Honestly I make myself sound like a physical wreck – you’re probably wondering if I’m physically up to getting out of bed let along take the strain of running a marathon.

Weird science

Btw: Here’s some interesting reading about how marathons can affect your body

How Running A Marathon Impacts Your Body


A long way to go.

When I ran the City of Norwich Half Marathon recently I had a clear thought at around 10 miles that there was ‘no way’ I could run this distance all over again. Which makes it all the more strange that within a week I’d signed up to a 26 miler – weird but there you have it

Talking of weird facts – according to this Mail Online article a runner loses 1cm in height during a marathon – who knew?

So, anyway while stepping up the training one tip I’ve had to help my body take the strain of running a marathon is to get sports massage as it might help knock a few problems on the head before they even start.

Three other things I’m going to do to help my body take the strain of running a marathon

  1. Cross train – yes that means a weekly swim and getting out on the bike
  2. Eat better – I bought Tom Kerridge’s book in January it’s time to dust it down and focus on the nutrition – as well as skipping the chocolate, yeah really!
  3. Do some resistance training – I’ve got some weights sitting in the shed at the end of the garden which is now my ‘gym’ thanks to £50 deal with my cousin who must have seen me coming, but I’ve got no excuses now

I’m also very interested in the run less fun faster approach as I’m thinking that will help my body take the strain of running a marathon, too. But then sometimes in life you’ve got to face facts and realise that marathons are by nature extremely challenging, otherwise what’s the point, so inevitably there is going to be some kind of push back when my body screams ‘no!’ to what I’m putting myself through.

There’s one other thing I’m wondering about – should I take up yoga or pilates – I’ve got weak core muscles and I’m thinking that it might help – as well as being good for me generally. I know it’s not the same, but when I did Tai Chi once it felt really relaxing but I pulled a muscle the next day and felt like I’d been 15 rounds with Mike Tyson, so may be I need to give more thought about whether my body can take that sort of punishment on top of the strain of running a marathon.