Injury // Downgrading Plan | 80/20 Endurance

Injury // Downgrading Plan

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    Hey Guys,

    I was 8 weeks into my 50m level 1 plan when an injury struck. Things were going great outside of a slight cold in week 7. I am now dealing with mild Posterior Tibial Tendonitis. Luckily it is feeling better quickly but I have decided to halt my training and give it a few weeks to heal so i don’t have long term consequences. Hard to swallow but headed to the pool!

    I am a fairly new runner and most recently completed the Marathon 1 plan although it was not a perfect training period. It seems like I should have started with 50m Level 0.

    With that said, I am considering focusing on the marathon or 50k for the rest of the year as I build up a better base. I am only 30 and have plenty of time to run long races.

    Are there any plans you might recommend as a next step once I heal?

    Thank you for your time,


    Matt Fitzgerald

    Hi Scotty,

    Sorry to hear about your injury. It’s tough to recommend a plan based on that little information. Getting injured doesn’t necessarily mean you tried to do too much. Could you provide a little more information about your running and injury histories? Thanks!

    Coach Matt


    Hey Matt,

    I got into trail running in November 2019 after completing my first 1/2 ironman. Since then I have raced a Mt Marathon, 50k, 2 30ks and a 25k. I followed the Marathon 1 training plan last year and then extended it for the 50k. I toned down my training by 50% this winter from dec-feb.

    My peak weeks last year were around 30-35 miles. All of this was injury free with the exception of some small aches and pains, that were solved through stretching.

    This plan was going very well until my 30k B race in Moab(Week 7). I ran it a little harder than planned but the race itself went great. I took that Sunday off and then resumed training Monday. Everything was going great until that next weds when I noticed sharp pain on both my PPTs inside the ankle. I rested Thursday, ran Friday and had the same pain. Rested all weekend, Monday the same.

    From my research it seems like this is an injury you don’t want to try and run through, although I did read your great article on your on and off injuries.

    When I got hurt I had ran 41 miles over the past 7 days which was a big jump from 35 before that point. My feeling is that I pushed it harder than I should and I am experiencing overuse. I don’t feel this is a major problem but am wondering if you think Marathon 1 -> 50m 1 was to big of a leap.

    Please let me know if you need any more info.

    Matt Fitzgerald

    Thanks for the additional information. My hunch is that it was the one-two punch of the 30K race and the quick resumption of training that took you over the edge. That’s a pretty common scenario, and one of the reasons I advise athletes to race sparingly.

    Given your background, I think you can handle 40-plus-mile weeks as a matter of routine; they just need to be the right kinds of miles (e.g., not include races you might not be ready for). And it’s really not that big a jump to go from the Level 1 marathon plan to the Level 1 50-mile plan. It’s not something I would talk a runner who tolerated the former plan well out of doing.

    But as you describe it, you didn’t really go from that plan to the 50-mile plan. You went from extended low-volume maintenance training to the 50-mile plan. If that maintenance training involved little or no running at higher intensities, it probably wasn’t the best prep.

    Anyway, I think you should give the same plan another try when you’re ready. In the meantime, let me know what further guidance I can offer.


    Okay great! Thank you for the response. I agree the B races dont seem to be worth it as prior to that the training was great.

    Would you restart at week 1?

    Matt Fitzgerald

    Probably. Depends how much time you miss and where the rehab process leaves you. As a general rule, you can pick up any plan at a point where the training load closely matches what you’ve been doing recently.


    Okay, thank you for all your feedback!

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