On 11th April 2013 by Rachael
sun head

I’m burning up!

Maranoia – Definition: mental anxiety found in marathon runners who become convinced they are injured or ill. Sometimes associated with an unwillingness to leave the house for fear of tripping up, having a car land on their head in the days before a marathon. Some reports of runners wearing vacuum suits on trains to avoid germs.

Welcome to my world in the few months and last week before the Paris Marathon on April 7th.

First, there was my ITB issue. To be fair, this was genuine and was the result of attempting a ridiculous half marathon on steps in my training for Mumbai last January.

But then, there was my calf muscle. And then just the week before Paris, I felt a twinge in my heel and underneath the arch of my foot.

Plantar Fasciitis AND Achilles Tendinitis? And WHAT was that sniffle I could feel coming on?

I’m a pretty laid back person, to the point that I often wait until I get to the start line of a race before I think about what pace I’m going to run or how I’m going to approach it. But even I get affected by the ridiculous, paranoid feelings that hit you days before a marathon.

What is so difficult about it maranoia is that you really don’t know whether it is genuine or not until the race itself.

Me? After downing 20 tablets of Echinachea on the night before the Paris Marathon, and spending an hour doing yoga, wondering whether I should pull out in case I risked being injured for a year, I woke up without a sniffle. And I didn’t feel a twinge from any of my suspected injuries, before, during or after the race.

So, if you are about to race Brighton or London in the next week or so and suddenly feel the onset of a niggle out of nowhere, despite not having done anything different, take a chill pill. You will most likely fine be just suffering from maranoia.

Look out for my review of the Paris Marathon here and at

Thanks to SportsToursInternational who organise entry and accommodation for international races worldwide.

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