Here We Go Again... by Andy Mahony

As some of you will know this is my second attempt at training for the London Marathon.  After winning a club ballot place last year my efforts were scuppered by a veritable plethora of strange and interesting injuries.  Obviously I did my best to avoid injuries, but my injuries did their best to avoid being avoided – if you know what I mean.

I have since discovered that one particular injury was the route of all evil.  That is, all other problems were caused indirectly as result of overcompensating for it.  The injury in question goes by wonderful name of Femoro Acetabular Impingement (FAI).  It means the ball and socket joint of the hip doesn’t move as freely as it should and so running causes friction and inflammation.  It sounds painful, and trust me, it is.

Strictly speaking it’s not an injury as it’s something I’ve probably always had.  It’s just that a walk to the shops is unlikely to aggravate it whereas, say, running the Cambridge Half Marathon might just get the bugger going.  In fact last year’s Cambridge Half did get the bugger going and it was at this point I decided to defer my London place.

However, later in the year I ran the Ealing Half Marathon without so much as niggle.  Perhaps this could be incorporated into EHM’s marketing strategy – great crowd support and FAI friendly. 

The lack of a pain on the Ealing Half may also be put down to the advice of a good physiotherapist.  I’ll call my physio Dave because I’ve forgotten his real name.  However I won’t call him Dave Powlson because that would be too confusing.  Anyway Dave turned out to be a top guy (tallish, angular good looks) who had done a fair bit of running, including a marathon, and so he seemed to take particular interest in my Ferrero Rocher Aero Assortment hip problem thing. The downside was I had to wait 11 weeks to see him, but all good things come to those who wait. There was one other notable plus point with Dave – he was free!

Anyway, this has all resulted in months of stretching and strengthening exercises, whilst trying to keep running and gradually (and I mean gradually) upping the mileage.  So in some ways I feel like I’ve been marathon training since last summer.  This may be a club record.

Over Christmas I was in the Philippines (yes, lucky me) and I managed to get a few runs in despite the heat and sandy terrain, but to be honest it wasn’t really conducive for marathon training (you pass too many cool beach bars).

So in reality I’m now a few weeks in to ‘proper’ marathon training and my highest weekly mileage to-date is only 27.2 miles (that’s 43.9K in new money).  The hip has been fine on all runs but often sore the next day.  I guess all I can do is keep following the physio’s advice and see what the coming weeks bring.  My hip may cope with the mileage demands of marathon training, or it might not. If it copes I’ll be on that start line; if not I’ll once again be stood on haystack at mile 23 having a much easier time.

For now let’s just see if I can make it past the Cambridge Half in four weeks’ time.  Although now that I think if it, I’m panning to do the Hillingdon Half before then.   

So on second thoughts let’s just see if I can make it to February…

Andy in Philippines.jpg