The no marathon year of the marathon

Speed training treadmill Manchester marathon

You might have noticed from my Instagram that there hasn’t been a running update for a while.

It has been a hard decision, but I have decided that I will not be running the Manchester marathon this year after all. I am so disappointed guys. I have this niggle in my knee (patellofemoral syndrome aka “runner’s knee”) and I just cannot shift it while marathon training. It does not make training fun. The problem with PFS is that it starts with a niggle, until the beast wakes up and you have full-blown inflammation, that will even make walking problematic. This happened to me last year.

After the Bristol to Bath marathon in fall 2015, I focused on strength training (not running specific, I did the Kayla Itsines BBG programme) and I hardly did any running. Mainly because I was on placement in Weston-Super-Mare, it was dark and I did not know the area well. Coming back to Bristol, I started running again. I ran faster and even broke my 5K PB. However, soon after that I was confronted to the fatal trio, i.e. increasing my distance to train for the North London Half marathon, spending hours sat at my desk between lectures and my ow studies, hill training at every run as you cannot avoid the hills in Bristol. I still managed to run the North London half between icing my knee, anti-inflammatories and lots of sports massages. The exact same scenario is happening now. Back from running on the flat in Swindon to the Bristolian hills, spending hours sitting as I have started my GP placement while I was always on my feet during paediatrics, and increasing the distance for marathon training.

The body can be amazing at forgetting pain. I actually even forgot that this PFS scenario happened to me in 2016. Until I was seeking advice from my physio buddy and she said “ah yeah, didn’t the exact same thing happened to you last year?”…Did I keep up with this regimen or even start it as a prevention before marathon training? Of course not. And now it came back to bite me in the gluteus maximus. Then I remembered that I could barely walk for a week last year and that in fact, this was also a problem during the Bristol to Bath marathon as I had to walk downhill each time as my knee pain was so bad. 

Unlike for the London Marathon where you can defer 24h before race day, you have to choose to defer your spot for the Manchester marathon 12 weeks before race day. The problem is that I was still feeling good then, my PFS only started to amplify 3 weeks later… and with race day approaching, it was time to start booking my accommodation and transportation. It seemed like a lot of money to spend for a race I was not sure to be able to compete, and for a training I was stopping to enjoy as I couldn’t stop thinking of the damage I was inflicting to my knee. 

It sucks, and I have been sulking for the past 10 days as I see everyone training for their spring marathon. This race meant more than running. It was a positive distraction from medicine, kept me organised and was a good outlet for my anxiety. 

Where to go from now? I am not back to running and instead I am enjoying lots of yoga, pilates and other classes thanks to MoveGB who kindly offered me a 1 month trial. It could not have come at a better time to take my mind off the no-running malarkey, and do lots of yoga, both good for the body and the mind. 

Lots of running yogi love

Have you had to cancel  race due to injury?

How did it make you feel? 


  • Jackie says:

    Ah sorry to hear that! Congrats on the amazing 5k time though. I’ve been doing some cross fit to strengthen up my hips and legs – they’re really fun classes and a nice way to keep strength up whilst injured

  • Laura says:

    Sorry to hear about your knee but sounds like you made the right decision.

    I have had to miss a few races due to injury and whilst I was really gutted when I first withdraw there was also a sense of relief that I did not have to run in pain anymore and that I now had time to fix the injury.

    And despite having quite a few injuries my strength work always stops when I am running well and I only pick it up when injured, I really should learn and do it all the time!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge