Can I run 50 miles ??

Well, I’ve entered the South Downs Way 50 for next April. This is a 50 mile point to point race along the South Downs Way. I’ve started training but unfortunately not from as strong a point as I’d hoped.

At the end of July I tore a calf muscle. I knew I’d done something but didn’t realise quite what so I gave it a week and then tried to run on it. When this obviously wasn’t going to happen I booked myself in with the brilliant Physio that I’ve used in the past to patch me up and keep me running.

There has been no point in the past when he has said to me “Don’t run”… he has always managed to keep me running even if it was at a much reduced volume. This time however he said that I couldn’t run for 6 weeks. I can’t explain quite how devastated I felt. Training had been going really well up to this point and I had a half marathon booked in a couple of weeks that I’d been hoping to get a PB at. In the 8 years I’ve been running I’ve never had to take 6 weeks off for injury….. He then explained that even after that I’d need another 6 weeks to build back up to the level I’d been at before the injury… so in total the best part of 3 months off running……..

As much as I wanted to argue against it and in my head a voice was saying he can’t be right deep down I knew he WAS right and the best chance I had was to do exactly as I was told. I religiously did all my exercises and didn’t do anything I shouldn’t. The evenings I would have been running I went out for walks instead….. Luckily he did give me the go ahead after a few weeks to head off for a back packing weekend walking round the Isle of Wight so I still had something to aim for and plan !

I also knew that if I didn’t follow his advice and took another step back in a couple of months I’d start to seriously jeopardise my chances of training properly for the 50 miles…..

So where am I now ? I’m just entering the main phase of my training plan… just about back on track and following my training plan that covers every run between now and next April. I’ve learnt to be a bit flexible and listen to my body….. and I have a lot still to learn, try and test over the next few months but I’ll cover a bit more of that in future posts.

Can I run 50 miles ? I believe I can, with the right training and planning but it is a long time between now and April.

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