Not a great start to marathon training…

So marathon training hasn’t gotten off to a great start. I’d love to say last week was filled with great runs and feeling strong and fast. Not quite.

Ages ago I mention I had a bit of a groin pain. I still felt it when I ran in Mexico and I also started to feel a discomfort in my hip on the other leg to the one I had previous ITB issues. God I sound like I’m falling apart. But I kept things very easy in Mexico and as soon as I got back I booked in a couple of sessions with my physio. I love her. She’s a blessing. Definitely sending her a Christmas card.

She worked her magic, used ultra sound, gave me a great stretch and, boom, groin pain gone.

FYI, groin issues are SO awkward to be ultra sounded. Bikini line central.

But I’m fed up. The groin thing was just a tweak. The ITB thing and my hips aching after runs are not. I’ve been hip strengthening diligently every other day and cannot believe my left leg is starting to feel like my other one did a few months ago. Seriously??!

I’ve tried to improve my form. I’ve also taken up spinning and pump.


I’m practically attached to my foam roller every idle second I get. But it seems nothing is working.

I was despairing. My body was rebelling against me. Does it really not like running? It just crumbles after a few races.

But I took a breath and decided to do something about it properly. I.e. not read haphazard advice on the Running World injury forums (the depths of hell by the way – depressing stuff).

So (and this makes me so happy and excited!) I signed up to six sessions of running technique coaching. I needed someone to look at how I run and basically fix me.

What I look like when I run

My physio can massage and stretch the pain away but she can’t help me in terms of why it’s happening. My running coach (I love that I can say that) videoed me running and watched me do different exercises to analyse how I was moving. And the observations weren’t great.

I drop my hip. My glutes aren’t firing. I over stride. My knee drops inward. My arms fly around the place. My legs don’t kick back far enough.

Then he got me working on strength exercises designed and worked with me on my running form. Honestly, I cannot begin to tell you how much I’m learning and how much I love these sessions. I finally feel like I’m getting somewhere!!

What does this mean for me and running at the moment? Well, after the half marathon last week I’ve been taking it easy on the running and letting my hip calm down. Instead, I did lots of spinning and body pump. I didn’t even do Parkrun. And my coach has me doing strength moves and stretches every day.

I just hope I’m ready or the Great South Run (10 mile race) this weekend. I’m definitely considering readjusting my goals if necessary. As much as I’d love to hit a certain time, if my hip discomfort hasn’t gone by then then it’s not worth pushing it. The GSR is one stepping stone towards the bigger goal: the marathon.

Have you ever had a running coach? It might only be for six sessions, but I’m fully loving it!

Have you had a long-standing ‘niggle’ or injury that you feel has held you back?

What’s your favourite strength move? Though they are tough, I do like planks. You just switch off and hold on.


9 Replies to “Not a great start to marathon training…”

  1. My favorite strength move is calf raises… Feel the burn 🙂

    I think that shows such a commitment to find an (at least temporary) running coach to help you with your form. And also a lot of dedication and bravery to stick with it. Feedback is so helpful, but not something I want to here most of the time, especially if it’s not positive.

    I hope your training continues to go well and you’re ready for the race this week!

  2. This sounds like a great idea, I know my form is pretty awful, so would be cool to do something like that. I’m pretty lucky in that I’ve never had any major problems, just a few tweaks here and there. My knees have been bothering me lately though, just generally aching at times during longer runs, I need to start running off pavements more as that’s usually what causes the problem. I love strength training, it helped my running massively, I like squats!

    1. I think aches are generally fine – and like you said probably due to the surface you’re running on. I just find that my hips and tightness really hold me back when I run, like if I tried to run faster when it was at its worse it would be so much more uncomfortable and almost painful.
      Yeah squats are brilliant. Such a good move to target a lot of areas!

  3. Oh poor you, although at least you will hopefully get sorted.
    I must say I totally agree with that picture- that is how I imagine myself in my head. Race photos disagree!
    I love the idea of a running coach but on the whole it would fill me with dread- at the moment I like running as a sort of escape from pressures at work, so I would not want to add stress to that if that makes sense.

    1. I hate looking at race photos a lot of the time. When I’m running and I see a photographer I think “right, smile, look graceful” then I see the actual photo and I’m flayling around grimacing. Not pretty.
      No I completely understand. For me it was just a way to answer a lot of questions and work out why I was having so many issues. The guy is really nice and knows what he’s doing so I’m happy to put my trust into him.

  4. What a great opportunity to learn more…running technique coaching. Please keep us updated on what they suggest to improve your form. There’s so much to always be thinking about as a runner, and yet still always so much more to learn!
    I hope your pain and discomfort disappear soon.

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