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Training with MS for Half Marathon in June

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  • Training with MS for Half Marathon in June

    I am currently training (trying to!) for a half marathon in june. I am trying to work out the best combination of run/walking. I can jog 7 miles, then I suffer foot drop on the right side, failing hip flexors, then foot drop on the gets too severe to walk (global failure). I have backed off the distance, trying to work out running:walking ratios. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated. My doctors have informed me that the only running I should do is in a pool, which I tried yesterday (pretty cool actually!).

  • #2
    I trained for a half a few years ago. Pool running is very good training. I had a hip injury during training, so I did a lot of pool running.
    Some other suggestions- try the walk/run method of running- Jeff Galloway program. You may need to decrease the intensity of your exercise in order to increase the duration. It sounds like you are working on this plan.

    I have read some recent studies that precooling may improve exercise duration. If you can stand it, try soaking in a cool tub before your run. A cooling vest and drinking very cold water while running may also be helpful.
    I have hip flexor issues as well and single leg presses at the gym have helped.

    Everyone is different. Keep working on it and you will improve your distance and stamina. It may be slow, but you will improve.



    • #3
      Agree with pawpaw. You won't lose any fitness if you hit the aqua jogging consistently if you're injured.

      I don't know your situation, but usually if someone can run 7 miles (which you can do), they can complete a half marathon with the right race plan. You just need to be really conservative with your pacing (don't try to run a 5:00 mile) and do the Galloway walk/run method. Try running 5 minutes/walking 2 minutes and see how you do. The key is to experiment with the intervals until you get to a combo that will let you finish the race, and enjoy it too. Here's a link with a bunch of details on ratios for run/walk:

      I get the foot drop occasionally vision tingling during my workouts. I am currently training for Ironman Cozumel in November. Did a half Ironman a few weeks ago. I've found a couple things that might help you with your running. (Getting pretty close to your race day, so it may not help you much now, but it might help you for your next race)

      First, cross train on the bike, aqua jog, yoga, swim, whatever you enjoy. All these will strengthen your core and legs, which help you with stability. For me, building up the strength in my compensatory muscles delays or eliminates the onset of my foot drop when I run.

      Second, my symptoms pop up more when I don't get enough sleep. So do your best to get 8 hours sleep while you're training.

      Third thing - avoid pavement as much as you can on your training runs. I found that if my stride gets a little funny, being on grass is a good way to overcome the extra pounding you might take with some foot drop. You do have to be more careful not to trip on the uneven surface, but if you fall - hey you're on grass, so it's not too bad.

      And the last thing - getting to a healthy weight made a really big difference for my leg issues. Being lighter makes running a lot easier - even if my legs aren't firing perfectly, I've got enough slack in the system that it doesn't cause "global failure" anymore.

      Hope this helps, and have fun at your race.


      • #4
        I am fortunate enough to be able to run with only the slightest of MS symptoms. I do not get drop leg, but once every 3 or 4 months I experience a small flare up while running, and I begin to lose feeling in my right leg below my knee (I reckon someday this will lead to drop leg). So far it has not been enough to stop my workout, but enough to make me slow my pace when it occurs. It usually clears up within two or three days. The pool is perfect. I often run in the pool when I want to compliment my workout routine. It is a fantastic, low impact workout that strengthens key leg muscles while burning lots of calories. I highly recommend it for running friends of mine –regardless if they have MS or not—as a good cross training activity. Here, I agree with all the training advice from banshee, especially the importance of achieving a healthy weight. I just ran a 1:36 half marathon (a PB for me) two days ago and I know I will not reach my goal of a sub 1:30 unless I drop an additional 10 pounds. It doesn’t seem like much, but when you think about carrying a 10 pound weight with you for 13 miles, you quickly realize that it does make a difference. Best of luck in your training and half marathon in June, John