QUESTION: I am recovering from plantar fasciitis. I started resting the foot in May, but have started to run again. Over the last three weeks, I've run about 20 miles per week. I should be about 23 at the end of this week with my long run at 13. I have a goal marathon that I would like to run on September 3rd, my last chance to qualify for the 2013 Boston Marathon. Am I dreaming? Can I start my training up again and get ready in time to run a September marathon? I feel my conditioning is still pretty good, which should improve once I start adding more miles and upping my long run distance. My thought is to start Intermediate 2 beginning at week 10. I know upping the mileage too soon is a risk and may cause a relapse into my plantar fasciitis woes. Should I take that risk?
HAL’S ANSWER: Maybe. I assume you've run a few marathons before, otherwise you would not be accepting the burden of Intermediate 2, which features as much or more mileage than even my advanced programs (intermediate programs do not include speed-work, advanced programs do). So take a chance - sometimes we need to be willing to fail. Also, plantar fasciitis is an injury that you sometimes can run through. It's uncomfortable. It hurts. It's painful. But as the body warms, often the pain diminishes and you can run free - for a while. That doesn't mean it will be fun getting out of bed the next morning - I would suggest you stretch and/or put on your running shoes before your feet hit the ground. Another suggestion: warm up thoroughly before starting to run. Don't blaze out the door at full race pace. Take time. Jog. Stretch. Walk. Only then begin to trot. You also need to stay in close touch with your podiatrist to make sure you don’t slide backwards. Would choosing a program with less mileage make more sense? I'm thinking Novice 2, but do the fewer miles at a faster pace. Good luck getting your BQ.
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