MARATHON TRAINING WEEK 17: Keeping fitness levels up with injury

ninja turtle smoothie

Week 16 was a relatively quiet training week, mainly because Im still suffering from Runner’s Knee which means I can’t really follow my training plan. I’ve been trying to be as healthy as possible though as Im aware of the fact that Im not moving and running as much as I should be – and this have included drinking my green smoothies!

Mid week swimming

Keeping fit has meant swimming once a week and trying to get in as many runs possible without hurting myself. I have to say that I really liked the mid-week, early morning swim!

Training week 16 - 2

On Friday I attempted to run 5 miles, which went ok but I did it on a treadmill at the gym since its much softer to run on treadmills and I am trying to save my knees for the big day. No pain but I did run at a ridiculously slow pace – and the whole experience was mind-numbingly boring!

Training week 16 - 3

Went back three days later and attempted my 12 miler – but I couldn’t quite make it that far as I started feeling my knees close to 7 miles, so I decided to stop as I just don’t want to push it too much this close to the marathon. Was sweating buckets – I can’t get my head around why people choose to run in the gym instead of outside!

Overall though, if it wasn’t  for my bad knees I would be inclined to say that I feel like I’ve finally gained back the fitness I lost in the second half of 2013. Running 7 miles on a treadmill was incredibly boring, but I felt strong mentally and fitness wise – just need to try to keep my fitness level up now the last 12 days before the race!

The plan is to continue to swim and run on treadmills all the way up to the Friday before the race – however – with my BIG final deadline for my MA being the same day, I am slightly worried about how I will have time to run and finish my project…

Anyway! This weekend I have a race scheduled in, and the rest of my training week will be something like this:


MON: 7 miles – Done
TUE: REST – Done
WED: 5 miles – Done
THU: REST – Done
FRI: REST – Done
SAT: We Own The Night – 10K Race – Done



Smoothie ingredients

Week 15 went a bit better than expected and with only a few weeks left until the marathon, me and Cata made a concious decision to try to cut out the remaining crap foods and habits in our everyday life. For my sake, that meant getting into the habit of having something healthy and energetic for breakfast (I usually only have something protein based like boiled eggs).

Pond Smoothie

I did some research online to see what health stuff I could eat that Im not allergic to and it resulted in what I call the Pond Smoothie! This first one felt like I had blitzed up a toad in the blender, but over the course of the week, I managed to get the right consistency. We’ve also made a promise to stay away from alcohol until after the race, cut out some of the fats & oils that we were over consuming, and introducing a bit more complex carbs into our diets to speed up recovery.

Training week 15 - 1

Wednesday was the first time I was back running in 10 days and I was very nervous. Cata decided to pace me as I suck at keeping a consistent slow pace and we did 5 very slow miles. I could feel my knees after about 4 miles but no real pain like I had felt last time I attempted to run a longer distance. Very lucky to have such a great training partner like Cata, not sure what I would do without her!

Training week 15 - 2

It’s crazy how your perception of distances change when youre training for a full marathon! I used to consider 5 miles as half-decent distance but now thats like a short and easy run! We had to swap the days around and since the 20 miles ended up on the Saturday and not Sunday, I decided to skip the 10 miler on the Friday and just go for it Saturday morning.

Training week 15 - 4

We took it slower than usual throughout the entire run, making sure we stopped so I could stretch every 2 miles and refuel every 4 miles. I was determined to complete the 20 miles as it’s the furthest distance I’ve attempted to run, and I wanted to know what I would feel like so I wouldn’t get a shock on race day. I brought along some ibuprofen in both gel & tablet format, and I promised myself that if I made it to 13 miles without great pain, I would run the full distance no matter what.

Compared to how my knees reacted 2 weeks ago when I had to stop running after 8.5 miles, this run was much better. I could feel my knee but it wasn’t painful and I felt so happy when we passed 9 miles and I still felt strong. It started getting uncomfortable around 13-14 miles in, so I did as I planned and put on the gel, and then a few miles later, took some of the tablets.

It was a strange feeling as my knees went a bit numb but the muscles around it felt tired – I wouldn’t do this on a regular basis and I wouldn’t recommend people to do this if they were injured. However, since this was a one time thing, I made the choice of pushing myself to my limit and see what happened. AND WE MADE IT WITH A “SPRINT” FINISH!

Training week 15 - ice batch

Not going to lie, my legs ACHED after we finished that run and I had to wobble home where an ice cold bath was waiting for me. It took us 3:49 hours to do it, so slower than Cata’s goal time for us, but considering the circumstances I think we did great. I even thought about potentially doing an Ultra Marathon, so I can’t say that the 20 miles put me off ;)

Now it’s tapering time, and considering it has taken me 3 days to recover a little bit (I still walk a bit funny and my knees are still a bit sore), it’s safe to say that I wont be sticking to my original plan as my knees just can’t handle the pressure sadly.

So the aim from now on is to do 1-2 shorter runs and attempt to do 1 longer one – BUT – to stop no matter what if I start feeling pain in my knees.


MON: REST – Done!
TUE: REST – Done!
WED: Swim – Done!
THU: REST – Done!
FRI: 5 miles – Done!
SUN: 12 miles max – Managed 7 miles


training week 14 - recovery

My week has consisted of no running what so ever and a decent amount of stretch and strengthening exercises. And of course, foam rolling, which I very much have a love and hate relationship with.

Oxford trip

On Thursday I went on a mini adventure to Oxford (my first time there!) because I was taking part of a debate panel at the SAE institute discussing Record Store Day.

SAE institute

Might not look like a lot of people turned up, but they ended up being around 30-40 people in total which is pretty decent if you ask me! Had loads of fun doing the panel, hopefully I’ll be able to do more of these things in the future!


Then after about 4 hours sleep it was time to head up to Derby to celebrate Easter. My mum had sent a package from Sweden with goodies and for the first time in many years I was able to make a Påskris which ended up looking pretty nice!

Easter present!

She also sent me two Easter presents that I love! One that Im wearing here and another t-shirt that I’m sure I’ll show off at a later date.

Strawberries and cherry beer

I have to admit that we’ve been pretty spoiled up here with lots of lovely food and drink. But since I’m not running I have tried to take it easy and not indulge too much!

mini buns with duck pate

I took Friday off but for the past two days Ive been spending most of my time working on my MA project – so in a way, it has been quite good for my conscious not having to run as I don’t feel bad about doing work instead of running when Im injured.

Walking around Dunstall Estate

However, after 3 straight days inside I decided it was time to get some fresh air as it usually helps me think and get some ideas/see things from a different perspective.

Cute cows

We went for a walk at Dunstall Estate and had a guided tour by Sam’s uncle who works there. We also visited the farm there to see all the baby cows and sheep.

Adorable little sheep!

Why is it that baby animals, not matter what kind, are always so damn cute?! These two were pretty brave compared to the ones we met out in the fields on our walk.

cheeky cows

Got to meet some very cheeky cows as well, didn’t realise she was poking her tongue out at me until afterwards when we were heading back home!

Sam in a tractor

Sam checked out his uncles tractor – it was huge and had loads of fancy functions that I didn’t understand a single word about!

Sam & Orsi

And that’s pretty much what has been going on this past week!

I have so much to do these coming 3 weeks before the marathon so I won’t be doing much apart from working on my MA that is due the same day we fly out to Copenhagen, and hopefully ease myself back into running without causing more knee issues.

Hopefully doing my longest ever run this week, and then it’s tapering time. So fingers crossed I can ease myself into it again with this plan:



WED: 5 miles very slowly – DONE but it hurt a bit after 4 miles
FRI: 10 miles very slowly but only if 5 miler goes ok – DECIDED TO REST
SAT: 20 miles very slowly but only if 10 miler goes ok – DONE but with the help of pain killers after 13-14 miles
SUN: Swim – Not done