Training for the Paris Marathon: groin strain?

Hi, this is way too long to put in a text, so thought I would ask advice over the blog.

Last week as you may have read, I managed an 18 miler. No problems, actually quite enjoyed myself. My groin muscles (never known of them before!) did feel a little tender afterwards, not during, and I assumed this was because of the elevation and small hills, and of course the sheer distance, as I had only done 15 miles before.

This week I continued my training as usual, and though I did not feel groin pain whilst running, I definitely felt it afterwards. I assumed it was because I didn’t know how to stretch them after my 18 miles, and carried on. Today however, again not feeling it during running, after my easy 50 minute run I felt like I had cramp down there.

It has got to the stage where I can’t even put socks on while standing up – I cannot lift my left leg from standing.

What can I do? Paris is only five weeks away now and I CANNOT MISS IT. Seriously. Not an option.

Please comment with advice/suggestions/similar stories?

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9 thoughts on “Training for the Paris Marathon: groin strain?

  1. Hi C.
    First, don’t panic. You have time, you’re doing well, you can manage it. You are at the serious end of a mara prog, and these are the things which crop up, and mess with your head.
    Second, take care and be flexible. Your prog is a guide, and a guide only because you are unique. If it says 20 miles this weekend you must test and evaluate that before you go, and not just do it slavishly, regardless, just because the plan says so. One problem is that at this stage the prog has precious little gaps for you to rest and recover so any problem seems magnified.
    Take a step back. Look how far you’ve come. Didn’t you say a year ago you couldn’t run a mile, and last w/end you could have gone a bit further? You are in fantastic shape (so long as you dont try to wear socks). Hypothetically you could take a week or even two off, top up over 10 days, and still be at the startling and finish Paris. You’d go insane, and you’d be terrified of those last miles, but you WOULD do it. Right? Just look how far you’ve come, C!

    Top tip: at this stage there is a limit to what the final training can achieve (a lot of it is psych and confidence rather than physical)… but you sure as hell can f*** it all up and blow everything if you don’t listen to your body, and lose everything.

    So. Listen to your body. You are in great shape. This is a dip, not a showstopper. You WILL do Paris. And you will remember this and it will mean even more.

    Now for my expert advice. Buggered if I know what to do! I’ve had it before and its from overtraining I’m sure. Problem is, the actual source could be hips, gluteus/bum, quads, even calves or something else in your shape causing an imbalance somewhere, which gets multiplied x 18. All I can suggest it to stretch them all as much as you can, before and after runs, and make sure you are fully warmed up before you go out. Try some gentle jogs with an easier stride to warm/clear out/loosen the sore tissue. Stretch and flex when you’re sat around reading, cooking, etc.

    If you can afford to, a couple of sessions of physio/sports massage between now and Paris will help, and might ease the cause.

    Most of all, listen to your body, it’s saying it needs a breather. Do this weeks prog next week, and use the gap week for whatever feels right to nurse yourself, protect your Paris. Then tweek weeks -4 to -1 to get to the startline.

    And dont wear socks. You are in great shape C. You WILL do Paris.

    Good luck x

    • John,

      Thank you so much for such a detailed comment, and for giving me some confidence.

      I agree, the main thing holding anyone back at this stage, provided they’ve been training well, is confidence, and those voices in their head telling them they can’t do it.

      It’s so frustrating because I’m still not sure if it’s a ‘real’ injury. It only hurt this morning for about an hour after exercise, and now it’s just a dull ache.

      I will have to skip the Silverstone half marathon (annoying because it would be my first one) tomorrow and perhaps go for a gentle run mid week. Swimming is an idea too, so I may do that on Monday.

      Thank you so much for your words of advice and encouragement, they really do mean a lot.

      C.

      PS: sock ban has been implemented.

  2. Bee, You need to take a long, warm bath. This usually works, if I get aches and pains (hence only two baths since buying my house!), so you would need to visit Mum presumably! xdxdxdxdxdad

  3. John has provided an awesome response which I will only echo and add a few thoughts to…

    1. It’s about the confidence – your training plan can seem like a blueprint which if you diverge from you’re done for… It’s not and you won’t – you are already capable of marathon running, it’s about your head now not your physical self

    2. If the worst happens – before I ran Berlin I trained for London in 2011 – I broke my knee cap 5 days before the day – I cried, I stopped crying, I booked the Berlin marathon and now I’m holding London back for marathon number ten – unfinished business that makes my heart flutter when I think about the hard miles that were done not to run first time around and how I’m going to monster it in a few years

    3. See a physio immediately – a proper sports one – if they want to light candles your in the wrong place!!! A physio will help you understand the damage and what you can do to speed the recovery. BOOK IT NOW.

    I will see you on the start line soldier and no whimpering

  4. Oh and @

    4. lastnameleft2 – ran Berlin with me after 4 weeks prep and managed it – not as fast as he wanted but he did it – you have done loads more

    5. Watch what you eat – after I did my knee cap I didn’t and I put weight on quickly which had to be shed when I got back to running – take particular care of your diet in your quiet time

  5. Pingback: Training for the Paris Marathon: the Finchley 20 (in Ruislip…) | Boats, Bikes, Baking and Books

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