Dealing with Injury – The Mental and Physical

It has been a tough couple of weeks. We’ve all been there, we have a target to complete and we are firmly fixed on the goal. We are running well and enjoying the training plan we are following. But then, injury strikes and we have to make decisions about to what we do next.

Keep on going – We’ve all done it. We ignore the niggle that gradually gets worse until it becomes painful. Then we are forced to either run through even more pain or we have to stop. This can, and usually does, make the initial injury worse.

Rest – One of the most common things that runners do. We think that resting for a few days will cure whatever issue we have. Whilst it may feel better when you start to run again, you do not know the reason for the initial injury, have not tried to deal with the cause and so it usually resurfaces. This could be within a few days or weeks, but it usually comes back.

Get Advice – This can be done the right way and the wrong way. The wrong way is to ask a search engine. This can diagnose a hundred different injuries, but how do you know which one you have and how to sort it. The correct way is to seek professional advice, whether that is a physiotherapist or injury specialist. They will try to diagnose injury and then will be able to give you information on how to get over the injury and then work on stopping it happening again. I’ve also found over the years that GP’s aren’t usually the best port of call as they are usually likely to tell you to rest until it is better. Being honest, they do have more important priorities with the amount of ‘ill’ people they have to see.


Personally, I would always recommend the physio/injury specialist route. I like to know what is causing any niggles I have and I want to know how to sort them and how to stop them coming back in the future. I want to make myself as ‘bullet-proof’ as possible to protect myself in future as I really enjoy running.

Next, how do you deal with the psychological side of injuries?

Get depressed – Sometimes when you can’t run you feel as though you are losing fitness by the day. This may be very slightly true (it takes more than a few days to lose a chunk of fitness) but instead of missing what you can’t do, look at what you can do. Can you cycle, swim or strength train? Do what you can to keep your heart rate up and your head will thank you for it as you know you are doing something productive. You will get back running again.

Give up – This is more common with people newer to running and is often caused by doing too much too soon before their bodies are ready for the strain they are put under. At the first sign of injury people decide that running is no good for them or they are ‘not built to run’. Persevere! Get over your injury and come back slower and more sensibly. Look for a plan to help you build up your mileage, whether you have a target or not. Think of running as a long-term activity and you have plenty of time to get fitter and faster.

Fight back – Get professional advice and do what they say.  This will reduce the amount of time you have to stop training for, if at all as some injuries will not stop you training.  We all know the stretching, strength training and other exercises we are given are not the same as running.  However, by doing these extra things you can minimise your time on the sidelines and help to prevent further injuries.

Re-evaluate your goals – This may sound obvious, but some people have a period of time out with injury and then think they can either go back to where they were or play catch-up. Don’t! While you are not running look at your original goals, whether they are short or long term. Are they still realistic given your current injury? Once you work out a new goal you can then look at how many steps back you have to take in your training. Be honest with yourself as taking an extra month to hit a distance target, or running a race without getting a PB is better than trying to hit an unachievable goal and ending up out injured for a long period of time.


I write this from personal experience as I am currently struggling with an issue in my left leg that the injury specialists I am seeing, Function Jigsaw in Wigston, think is a nerve impingement. I have been told I can run through it if I can deal with the discomfort it is causing and this is what I have been doing for two-three weeks now. However, as it is affecting my biomechanics and the way my left foot lands I cannot run to my full capabilities. Therefore, I have had to take a few days off to help recovery. I have also had to re-evaluate my London Marathon target. I know I am no longer capable of a sub-2:45 finish and I am going to use the Ashby 20 at the weekend to see how my leg feels over the course of 20 miles. I can then look at what will be a more realistic marathon target. It may be sub-3:00 (which I really hope it is), it may be trying to drag myself around to achieve a Good For Age finish. Or, it may be worse and I have to think about DNSing or ‘just get round’.

When you are injured it is all about keeping an open mind and being honest with yourself. I’d rather scrape a Good For Age time but be able to run healthily for the rest of the year than push for a sub-3:00 time and miss out on a summer of running.

Be sensible, be honest and BE POSITIVE!


Want to know more about running, personal training or nutrition?

Do you want a personalised training plan?

Contact me today to ask any questions or to book your FREE consultation

Call me on 07815 044521 or email me at

Martin Hulbert – Personal Trainer Leicester & Online Personal Trainer

Martin Hulbert Personal Trainer Leicester

London Marathon Training – Week 6

I wanted week 6 to be a big week and that is exactly what it turned out to be.  My biggest week of mileage ever!


Monday started with a 3.1 mile walk with my wife, immediately followed by an 8 mile run with 3 miles at marathon pace. On tired legs, I was pleased to hit an average of 6.15 pace for the marathon pace miles with my heart rate being in exactly the same place as it has been on my previous marathons. I use this as a guide as I know that a heart rate in that region is sustainable.

On Monday evening I had a Running Buddy session, where I was showing a client how to run a progressive training run. It ended up a great run for him as the first 3 miles were net downhill with the wind, whereas the next 2 miles, his fastest, were uphill and into the wind and heavy rain. He managed to finish with a mile that was 1m/m faster than his anticipated race pace. He was happy, I was happy and it threw up some questions as to whether his race pace may be quicker than we first thought. The run ended up being 6.43 miles giving 14.5 miles of running for the day.


Tuesday, as usual, was my long day. It started with a 10 mile easy run, followed mid-morning with a 4.4 mile Running Buddy session which was mainly running up every hill in Wigston! I finished the day with a 3 mile run to the club and then a comfortable-paced run with them and an easy mile home for an evening total of 12 miles and a daily total of 26.42 miles.


Wednesday, as always, was a very easy day, with just a 4 mile recovery run at a very easy effort.


Thursday was overall a physically tough day. I started with a 3.1 mile walk with my wife, followed by an easy 6.6 mile run. In the evening I ran down into Wigston to join the club speed/hills session. As I wanted to make the session as hard as possible for me I wanted to run off the front of everyone else immediately, in the hope of doing at least one extra lap of each hill than everyone else. After an initial warm-up rep we headed to the bottom of Newton Lane and then I pushed hard up the loop of Newton Lane hill, turning right at the top and running hard back down the hill to Welford Road, with the recovery being a flat stretch of Welford Road, about 100 metres long. To make it harder I jogged this recovery at a cruising pace so that I wasn’t as recovered as normal for the next rep. After 5 of these I felt as though I was struggling but surprisingly, each rep actually got faster and rep 5 was 4 seconds faster than rep 1.

The next set of reps was a loop of 3 roads on the Wigston Harcourt estate. The faster parts of the loop was 400 metres in length and once again I ran as hard as I could with the recovery being as fast as I could sustain. Once again, the reps got faster as I got through them, with rep 5 being 5 seconds faster than the first. We then did one final sprint uphill on Meadow Way where although it felt as though I was running through treacle I actually averaged 4.4m/m pace. The session finished with me running back home to complete a total of 7.9 miles for the evening and 14.5 miles for the day.


Friday was another easy day with just a 4 mile recovery run after the Thursday intervals and I could certainly feel it in my legs!


Saturday was a long 20-mile run that I never look forward to, but always seem to nail when I actually do it. I call it my 6,5,4,3,2 run as I increase the pace the further through the run I go. I was up and out before 6.45am on Saturday, with the weather very cold, dark and sleeting/snowing/raining. Plus there was an annoying cold wind. I felt quite good for the first few miles and the first 6 miles averaged 7.16 pace. I then pushed on a little harder for the next 5 miles, which averaged 6.53 pace but still felt very comfortable. At this point I was heading towards the bottom of Great Central Way. After the first of the next 4 mile block I turned at the bottom of GCW and headed back up to Glen Parva. I always find it harder running this way as it is net uphill. This 4 mile block averaged 6.30 pace and my HR was still way below my normal MP HR. Just as I got to the bottom of the big hill at the top end of GCW I had to increase my speed again, this time to around marathon pace. Heading back towards Wigston I hit a very cold headwind but kept pushing, keeping an eye on my HR, trying to keep it between 150-155bpm. I managed to keep going for the full 3 miles within the HR I was looking for, with my average pace for the 3 miles being 6.10 per mile. I was very pleased with this as it was faster than I had expected but was also my 80-82nd miles of the week. The final 2 miles was a sedentary-feeling 7.11 average pace.


Sunday closed the week with a very easy 4 mile recovery run on very tired legs.


Week 6 Totals: 87.5 miles covered over 11 runs, plus 6.2 miles of walking, one strength session and some basic core exercises on my BOSU ball.

Want to know more about running, personal training or nutrition?

Do you want a personalised training plan?

Contact me today to ask any questions or to book your FREE consultation

Call me on 07815 044521 or email me at

Martin Hulbert Personal Trainer Leicester