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I'm training for my first ever marathon (Cardiff, Oct 15th) and have been following the programme outlined in The Non-runners' Marathon Trainer. Yesterday was the second of the programme's two longest runs, 18 miles. After the first my right knee was so sore I saw a physio who recommended stretching 5 miles or so into the run. Last night I did so (my knee had begun to hurt 3.5 miles in). By six miles the pain had gone, and the next six were fine, very comfortable.

At 12, remembering how painful the last four miles had been on last week's 18-miler, I thought it would be a good idea to stretch again, as insurance. Spent 30 secs to a minute doing this. Immediately after, I found I could barely walk, let alone run. Hobbled for half a mile, then abandoned it, very disappointed.

So first, is stretching after such a distance a general no-no? Second, and more important, what's the best thing to do about the 'missing' 6 miles from yesterday's run? Should I add a mile or two to some of the forthcoming shorter runs or stick the lot onto next week's 'long' run (which is only 9 miles)? Thing is, according to the book, these final weeks should be about allowing oneself to recover from the longer runs.
 
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