SDW50 training update – foot issue & missed mileage

Four weeks in and the first niggle has arrived

Today marks the end of my fourth week of training for the South Downs Way 50. Gammy foot aside, it’s been an OK month and I’m happy to still be running.

Here’s an overview of how training has been going and the challenges I’ve faced so far.

A reasonable start

Starting training on Christmas week wouldn’t normally be ideal, but with Covid-19 doing the rounds and my meagre social gatherings being cancelled, I was able to get the early mileage in.

I axed Friday’s session and brought forward both weekend runs by a day, meaning I wouldn’t be selfishly spending a few hours out running on Christmas Day. It also meant Sunday and Monday were dedicated to resting and/or gorging on sweets.

Overview of weeks 1 and 2 mileage in training for SDW50 2022

Week two was pretty uneventful. Although I did do my first tempo session since August. Not an all-out run as I think my legs would’ve fallen off, but 2 × 2.5km intervals at around tempo pace.

The first interval was a rather tardy 4:37/km – I think my body was adapting to the change in pace after months of shuffling – but I reached 4:10/km second time around. Not bad.

Extensor tendonitis?

In the middle of week three – during the second of Wednesday’s double runs – my left foot started aching. The top of it felt like someone had yanked my shoelaces tight. As the pain began to lessen, I chose to complete the run.

With no issues afterwards, I put it down as being one of those things. Unfortunately, the ache reappeared at the start of Thursday’s run, but again, the pain subsided so I continued with a view to monitor it during the day.

Sure enough, the ache returned and I also had a ‘creaking’ sensation between the metatarsals. I consulted Dr Google and all the signs pointed to the problem being extensor tendonitis.

I then took a couple of days off, which included missing Saturday’s long run. Normally, I would’ve tried to convince myself to get out, fearing the missing miles. Thankfully, it poured it down for several hours, making the decision to stay on the sofa a lot easier.

I managed a 21km run on Sunday without issue, but inevitably, it ached again a few hours later.

Eager to nip this in the bud, I booked an appointment with a physio for the following day. That turned out to be a waste of time and money as this specialist of “running related disorders” hadn’t a clue and merely fiddled with my calves.

Thankfully, there’s lots of info online about extensor tendonitis, and I think I’ve found a taping and lacing combination that’s fixed the issue.

Back on track

As previously mentioned, I missed a couple of runs during the third week, but still managed to reach nearly 60km. Week four consisted entirely of easy runs as I dealt with the foot issue and totalled 85km.

A total of 145km while dealing with a niggle. I’ll gladly take that, thank you very much.

Overview of weeks 3 and 4 mileage in training for SDW50 2022

Now that everything seems OK in the foot department, I will add some much-needed intervals and hill sessions every week. The main goal over the next month is consistency and if I can bank couple of 100km weeks, I’ll be happy.

Oh, and remain injury-free, of course!

Follow me on Strava to see how I get on. Otherwise, expect another update on here in a month or so.

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