Well here it is. The one you’ve all been waiting for! I was hoping that I wouldn’t have to write one of these until well into my training, if at all. I expected that there may have been a small hiccup or two - a trip on a run and a scraped knee, a bit of a cold or a pulled muscle, but nothing too serious. Certainly not doctors and physiotherapy serious. But there you go. 6 weeks before I even started properly training I woke up one morning and could hardly walk on my left knee.
I rested it for a couple of weeks and bought fancy new trainers which helped for a while, but within a few days the pain when I ran came back. With the training start date looming, I decided that ignoring the pain and running anyway probably wasn’t a great idea and so I went to get it looked at.
After a little while of sitting on my feet and yanking at my knee, my doctor knew exactly what was wrong.
“I had the exact same problem as you,” he told me. “I started training for a marathon and within weeks my knees started playing up.”
He told me that I have Iliotibial Band Syndrome, also known as Runners Knee. Creative. Apparently it is really common amongst runners and although it can’t be fixed, it isn’t very serious. The good news is that with a bit of physio I can keep training. I had a session over Christmas and after telling me that my legs are different lengths and slightly bowed (who knew?!), I was given some exercises which so far have helped a lot. Thank goodness for foam rollers!
Naturally I asked my doctor what the outcome of his marathon was, given his similar knee problem. He told me that he managed to complete it, which I was encouraged by. However he then went on to tell me how he had to run through extreme pain from the 3rdkm until he felt something go snap. Apparently this relieved the pain for the rest of the marathon until the next day when his knee doubled in size…it was my fault for asking.
Regardless of the knee problems, my training is going well. I started the 17-week training plan two weeks ago and so far have managed to stick to it. I’m quite excited for the distances to start racking up and getting out to explore some of the big parks London has to offer.
Lauren will be documenting her journey to the London Marathon through regular blog posts. She is raising funds for The London Community Foundation, helping to build and stronger and more vibrant London for everyone. Check out Lauren’s fundraising efforts or donate today.