Recovering from injury in time to run the Comrades Marathon

Welcome to the next edition of Ask Coach Parry, and the question today comes from Catherine. Catherine says her question relates to injuries and cross training in preparation for the Comrades Marathon. She’s been hampered by injuries. It started as a hamstring glute niggle and she went to a physio and it’s progressed to painful hamstring, glute and shins. She’s now had about three months of physio, she’s rested the legs for 3 weeks and then missed Comrades Marathon training runs as it would bother and then be fine and then bother. She’s had a chiro work on her, which seems to be the most effective, she’s had ultrasound and found an inflamed tibial posterior muscle and Piriformis.

They ultrasounded the entire leg and found no sign of injury or scarring. She’s had her feet checked and is in orthotics for pronating and medial arch issue. This has also helped the leg slightly, though it is still niggling. She’s doing strengthening exercises as well. She’s also dusted off her bike and wants to start cycling to see if this will help, however, any advice regarding injury and how much cycling would she need to do to maintain a suitable level of fitness to run the Comrades Marathon, she’s aiming for a sub 12. She’s not keen on medication but would it be advisable to take anti-inflammatories to try and get the issue under control or should - in general - these be avoided. She’s worried that if she takes anti-inflammatories she won’t be able to judge if her exercise is too intense and thereby causing further injury. Physio has also said they don’t think they can help, as everything they do either makes the leg worse or has no effect, so she’s at a bit of a loss.