Wednesday, 7 April 2010

London Marathon: another one bites the dust...

Today I finally gave in to the inevitable and threw in the towel on my London preparations after a couple of weeks of really struggling with a bad back. The trouble started brewing just before the 12 stage relays and the day after I could hardly run. A few days rest and some treatment and it seemed to settle down but then 10 days ago I just seized up on an easy run and had to walk home. And sod's law said that it had to happen the day before I was flying to Albuquerque for some altitude training.

After throwing my toys out of the pram I decided to travel anyway and either get the problem fixed out here or at least have a holiday in a part of the world I've never visited. One of the good things about there being a big sports community here is that there are some top medical professionals and between them Dr Michael Maggio and masseur Liz Farr have got me running again. To the point where this morning I could do a very easy hour along Tramway Bld. But the hard truth is that a stiff and sore hour at 7 min miling is a long way from two and quarter hours at sub 5.20 pace. And having done no training for over two weeks the writing was well and truly on the wall. While it might have been possible to recover enough to get on the start line it would have to have been with a reduced goal and this year's London was all about running under 2.18 not just being solid. So rather than struggling on I decided to pull the plug.

I suppose that one of the good things to come out of this is actually the reason I broke down, bizarre though that may sound. With quite a few Brits raising their game this winter I felt that 2.16 was going to be needed to make one of the teams this year and correspondingly I had to take some risks in my training to try and get to that level. A safety first strategy and just sneaking under 2.18 probably won't be enough. So looking at the training I posted for the first 4 weeks and the deadness of my legs at Bath it easy to see that the hard workouts were densely packed together. In the end this was probably too much and with my pelvis not working properly and lots of tight muscles attaching to it eventually the bit that was taking the biggest load gave out.

So for now its just a question of rehabing the problem areas and taking advantage of the altitude to just get in some easy running and recharge the batteries ready for a summer track season.


Wedding Waistcoats Direct said...

Hi Adrian,

Terribly bad luck with the injury. I'm sure you'll bounce back quickly and take out your frustration by ripping out great track times. It was noted that you had a more gung-ho approach to this marathon. If there's one thing I've learnt from you it's the value of being ultra-cautious in avoiding injury.

Do you subscribe to the theory that a person only has so may flat out marathons in them? Of course you could jog round as many as you like but full-on racing is a different game - the event and training being so brutal.


Dave Rich

C said...

Hi Adrian

Bad luck with the injury. London will certainly miss you!!

Got any ideas what caused the injury and what you would do differently next time to prevent something like that happening again?


Unknown said...

Im sorry to hear that news adrian after all the hard work and dedication you put in.
Sometimes yr body just gives up the strain right at the wrong time, doesnt it

Adrian Marriott said...

Christian, well it was self inflicted in the sense that I tried to do too much. Pinpointing the root cause is hard. The problem in the back was with the muscles Quadratus Lumborum and also the erector spinae. QL has really shortened and was/is in spasm. The 'back' is actually OK. These muscels attach to the pelvis and i'm pretty sure that tightness lower down in the upper legs started it all...

Dave, no idea on flat out marathons. You can find evidence either way. Some athletes run their best 2nd or 3rd time out, others seem to be able pop a great run on their 18th. I would say that running shorter faster stuff between marathons probably prolongs your marathon career though.

Zepherinus Joseph said...

enjoy the time in ABL, hope u get back on track soon

Anonymous said...

Great honest, reflective blogs mate. One suggestion perhaps include more pictures loke the lemoncello site.
Check it out for ideas- its like a runners daily diary!
Good luck and enjoy usa running!

Adrian Marriott said...

hi Anon, Thanks very much for the feedback, its appreciated. I agree more photos would help. Fiddling around with cables and transfers from camera then uploads is a pain in the arse and makes me lazy. Maybe I need to get an iPhone or something that lets me do it painlessly.


Unknown said...


Sorry to hear that you have Pelvis issues. I have some issues myself in that aera so I was wonder what an elite like you will do in terms of REHAB.

Any chance of some pointers?