Stage 2: The Half-Marathon Recovery

  • By Gareth Lockwood

Stage 2: The Half-Marathon Recovery

When the smoke clears, the foot rears its ugly head.  How I persevered with my training and stayed focused despite having an injury.

So.  Waking up the following day after my first half marathon I certainly had some muscle soreness (DOMS) and general stiffness, but all in all, nothing too remarkable.

That being said I was aware of a niggle on the side of my right foot.  As the day progressed, so did the discomfort. Skip ahead a day, my foot is commanding my full attention.  It’s now become uncomfortable for me to walk on and after a bit of researching I was concerned there was a small stress fracture around the cuboid area where the pain was emanating from.

Frustrated?  Yes. Totally surprised?  No! I’d run more miles than I ever had before.  Over a half marathon with no sport specific training. I definitely could have prepared better to avoid potential injury.  I let my mental determination override the intense physicality.

Well, training can’t just stop there.  I’m committed. (Or should be committed to somewhere with quilted walls).  So I used the rowing machine and cracked on with weights. I just had to manipulate certain training aspects - changing foot placement, dropping the weight, and I took to using a stationary rolling road bike… a lot!  Wherever the sun was, that’s where myself and the bike would end up. Twice per week, come rain or shine, I sat on that bike. An uncomfortable bike at that. I could’ve used a golf putter as a seat and had less discomfort.

I found the bike pretty tough at times.  The rolling road creates a lot more tension than regular bike riding, so my overall output was higher.  For my workouts I would warm up on lower gears for 5-10 minutes to get my legs and cardio system acclimated.  I’d then ride between 1-3 hours in the highest gear to replicate the slow methodical movement and drag of pulling a car.  Think being waist deep in mud. The bike was a god send, as I could gradually increase my cardio whilst resting my foot. Although my poor tooshie would say otherwise.


After two weeks of ice packs, elevation and taking good care of my foot I was back on track, back to running.  In hindsight I was actually grateful of the injury so early on, it was a big slap in the face from the universe.  A strong mind is useless when you’re sat on the floor icing an injury. Take good care of the physical, so that the mental can do the rest.


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