Marathon Thoughts and Knee Pain Reduction

For someone who is training for their marathon, having an injury 6 weeks out is not an optimal situation.  Having an injury period is not optimal but since essentially since breaking my arm a month ago my training has left a lot to be desired.  I was talking with a friend the other day and made this bold statement.

If you had asked me to run the New York City Marathon August 1st, I think I would have been in better shape and capable of running faster than if I ran right now.

My training in the last month has been anything but consistent-40 miles, 40 miles, 90 miles, 40 miles.  Since I haven’t been racing as frequently  my speed work has been reduced as well.  To point out the obvious I still have another 5 weeks before the marathon to get back on track. If my knee is continues to be pain free I can start to really prepare and get myself back to the shape I was.

I didn’t go into much detail about my actual knee pain but it was in the top inner corner of my knee.  It almost felt like a giant bruise on the top of my knee cap and hurt more when doing a quad stretch then running.  When I bent it at a 90 degree angle is when I felt the most pain.

I actually had a few questions of what I did last week to try and reduce my knee pain as much as possible.

  1. First I rested my knee.  Most importantly if I had run through that pain in the beginning of the week it would have gotten worse and I would be limping this week too.
  2. Baths: I took an ice bath and an epsom salt bath.  I find it a lot easier to take Epsom baths so I will continue that this week.
  3. Deep tissue massage.  I found this helped the most and reduced a lot of soreness after my 20 miler last week.  (This was probably the most helpful to me beside resting).  It took me a while to locate a place in town and I was half ready to drive the 180 miles to San Antonio if it wasn’t an option here.
  4. Foam rolled, stretch, iced and self massaged.  This is something I should do more frequently but don’t.  I am making more of an effort to do all of these.
  5. Changed my shoes. After the advice of multiple people I decided to retire a pair of Newtons that I only got about 200 miles in (as opposed to 600 miles).  Considering I’m on a budget and was not foreseeing buying a new pair before the marathon this was the hardest part for me.
  6. Running on flat, soft terrain.  My second 20 miler I tried to find as much flat and stable terrain as possible.  I think this helped me knee a lot and combined with different shoes is why I felt almost no pain.
  7. I also had a few solid cries but that is just me being real with you.

So that is my “injury reduction” methods for my knee.

Edit to add: My knee pain is 100% gone since last week. 

Questions for you:

Have you ever felt less prepared as a training cycle progresses?

What is your best advice for niggles?