Perseverance.  Focus.  Endurance.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, (2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.)
        Hebrews 12:1-2

So let me set the stage:

You are halfway through your 16 week Marathon training schedule and you have just completed a 14 miler on the weekend.  Things seem great... you are right on track.  Slower than you want… but moving in the right direction.  The next week, you are on a short 5 miler and you notice that the top of your foot is starting to hurt… You think to yourself, “Probably nothing.”  The week goes by and you are still feeling a “little twinge” and then Saturday rolls around and you put in a 15 miler and there is no doubt:


"Something is wrong."

Now what? You have paid your entry fee, put in your time… scheduled your trip and now everything is in question. You begin to panic.

So desperately, you google “pain on the top of your foot” and you get results from anything to:

  •  “You are tying your shoes too tight”
  •  “fallen arches”
  •   “Stress Fracture…”  
  •   to... "Cancer…” (no matter what health condition you have… WebMd will probably tell you it’s cancer and you are going to die.)  So, my first bit of advice is to ignore WebMd and focus on the other possibilities.



Stress fracture??  Been there before. You go to the Doctor, they place an immediate moratorium on your running plans and they order a CT scan of your foot… Make you drink some sort of “plutonium concoction” (that might possibly give you cancer) so your joints and cracks in your bones will glow and they will be able to diagnose with pin-point accuracy that:

“Why yes, yes you do have a stress fracture.”



“Nope. It’s not a stress fracture.” 


The last time I dealt with this, it was the latter… but by the time I received the positive diagnosis, 6 weeks had passed and my marathon training had gone by the wayside along with my hopes of completing my 2nd marathon.


The point is this… when you make your plans for training for a half marathon or marathon, included in those plans should be a contingency plan to cope with injuries. Unless you are among the few that have never dealt with an injury, we have all experienced them and the approach we take to training through an injury can be the determining factor on whether we reach our goals.  If you have never had an injury, count your blessings… I would argue that, for most of us, it is not if you have an injury, but when.


I would suggest that the first step in your contingency plan should be to pray over your injury and have others pray for your injury as well.  Not as a last resort, but as a first resort. I am a strong believer in the power of prayer. The Lord cares about our lives… and he cares about the details… no matter how trivial they may be or how trivial other’s perceive them to be.  He is the creator and has control over our health.  He designed our bodies and I truly believe that he can heal them in the “twinkle of an eye” should he so choose.

Second step: think through the possibility of an injury and how you will deal with the injury as you train…


After my first experience with a similar injury, this time, rather than seeing a Doctor right away, I am taking a different approach… I am backing down on the mileage a bit this week so I can see if the slight reduction in mileage will help my foot heal on its own.  Also, the only Dr. I am going to visit right now is:

Dr. Scholls  - I have heard from other runners that his inserts can work miracles… so I am going to try that first. (Walmart electronic shoe insert dispenser here I come.)


If that doesn’t work, the next step will be a new pair of shoes… and then if the new shoes don’t help, I guess a “real” Doctor will have to suffice.


In conclusion:  Keep in mind that injuries can be a fact of training. Don’t get discouraged and keep things in perspective… should your training injury keep you from reaching your goals, it really could be worse. I have been reminded of this fact recently as my brother deals with more severe health issues than an injured foot. In reality, for me… if worst comes to worst, I guess, my 3rd marathon will be delayed to the end of the season. 


Regardless of the outcome of your training and whether an injury you are dealing with heals quickly, it is important that we keep our eyes focused on the Lord… While an injury may not been part of your plan, he is not surprised by it.


Keep Running as you "Run The Race!" Hebrews 12:1

Add a Comment

(Enter the numbers shown in the above image)

Bookmark and Share
Follow Us On: