Marathon Diaries: Weeks 4-7

I am running the London Marathon 2019 for homeless charity Shelter from the Storm. Please click here to find our more about the charity and to make a donation.

Just 4 weeks in to my marathon training I hit my first hurdle. My shins hurt so bad! I would come back from a run barely able to walk, and although the pain would subside rather quickly, I would be in agony again when it came to my next run.

Fearing the dreaded shin splints, I sought advice on how I could best deal with this issue before it hampered my training any further. The majority of advice said to rest and not run, which was not ideal.

How can I train for a marathon if I can’t run?

Upon further research, I discovered these calf compression sleeves, which claimed to support the shins, prevent swelling and aid in the prevention of shin splints.

And HALLELUJAH these bad boys really work. I noticed a difference straight away, and have continued to use them with my ongoing training. I also spread out the 3 weeks of my training plan over 4 weeks, ensuring that I had longer rests between each run to give my muscles and shins time to heal.

This seemed to work well, and I made some really good progress in the build up to Christmas. A mini personal achievement was running for 10 minutes without stopping. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but as a non-runner this was a huge milestone for me!

My personal best so far is 3.18 miles in 31:35 minutes (thats a 9’56” pace). In theory, if I could maintain that pace over the full 26.2 miles I would complete the course in just under 4.5 hours!

However, I think I’ve hit another wall in my training. I haven’t yet managed to run for a full 30 minutes without stopping. I’ve run 2 x 15 minutes with only a 1 minutes walk in between, and I’ve run for a full 20 minutes, but I can’t seem to reach the full 30.

I think my diet might be holding me back now that the runs are getting longer. I don’t think I’m fuelling or hydrating myself properly, which could be a reason why I’m running out of steam.

Over the next few weeks as I start the first-time finisher training schedule, I’m going to do some research and try to improve my energy/water intake before, during and after runs.

I’ve also registered for the Boundary Run half marathon in Cambridge on Sunday 10th March. Not only will this be a good test of my training, but it’ll also allow to experience a race environment with other people (I tend to get competitive but need to make sure I stay at my own pace).

I’ll keep you updated of my progress over the next few weeks. In the meantime, if you’re feeling generous, please do check out my JustGiving page!

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