Paula Radcliffe
Radcliffe set for one more marathon in London next year.

Paula Radcliffe will return to running in time for next year's London Marathon having vowed to end her success-laden career on her own terms.

The current women's world record holder has been unable to compete since 2012 after undergoing extensive surgery on her left foot; a direct result of the years of relentless competition she has put her body through over the course of her lengthy career.

The problem forced Radcliffe to withdraw from the 2012 London Olympics but having tentatively worked herself back into a position where the risk of reoccurrence is gone the prospect of one last marathon is now firmly within her grasp.

And the 39-year-old envisages no better location to carry out her final burning ambition than the capital, where she ran to success in 2002, 2003 and 2005.

"It's a definite possibility that I'll be able to run the marathon [in London] so at the minute I am working out how fast I will be able to run and how efficiently I will be able to do it," Radcliffe told IBTimes UK, speaking at the launch of this year's Standard Chartered Great City Race, which takes place in London on July 10 in aid of the charity Seeing is Believing.

"Obviously I won't be able to run it in the 2 hours 15 mins again but I want to try and be competitive in it and run well.

"I guess in a way it's me being greedy as I just want to finish my career on my own terms. I guess it is quite rare; a lot of people like to envisage that possibility (of ending on your own terms) but then you might suffer injury and your mind might reach a level well you just can't do it as well as you used to. It would be nice to complete that full circle back where I completed my first ever competitive run and to finish on a high."

Surgery two years ago ensured that the prospect of running even at a recreational level remained a distant dream for the ex-world champion. It is only in recent times that the former New York and Chicago marathon victor has been able to fully dedicate herself to training regimes that previously dictated her life.

"For a long time there was a period where I didn't even know if I was ever going to run again which was really hard. So to get back to the stage where I was able to just get up in the morning and go out for a run freely, that was something really special and I was just grateful to have that opportunity.

"It's been different because earlier in my career if I suffered an injury I would have been straight back into it but for this I really wasn't able to do that and for a long time I wouldn't even say I was training; it was more dictating on each day what my foot would enable me to do.

"It's only just now where it has got to the point where I can stick to a training regime so from there the idea of running one last race got to the point where I could think, 'yes I can do that and my foot will be able to handle that'."

Ahead of the Commonwealth Games this summer much talk has centred on Mo Farah, who made his first foray into marathon running at London last month where his debut yielded an eighth placed finish.

The Olympic champions at 5,000m and 10,000m recently ended months of speculation regarding his participation in Glasgow, but left the country guessing as what events he will take on.

Farah has been urged – most notably by esteemed coach Alberto Salazar - to focus solely on the events that saw his rise to global prominence until after Rio 2016 but Radcliffe envisages the 31-year-old taking a more measured approach in deciding which route to take.

"I think really it's a decision he has to make with his coach as they are the people who know how he approaches each challenge," Radcliffe explained. "There is also a decision to be made as to where his motivation and where his heart lies.

"Without a doubt he is the best in the world right now at 5,000m and 10,000m and he will soon be right up there with marathon runners, although he is not the best yet."

While some may suggest Farah may take too much on at his own peril, Radcliffe sees that as the sort of challenge the double Olympic gold winner embraces. "He knows he can go faster and his preparation [in training] wasn't ideal going into London this year but your first one is rarely your fastest one. It is expected that you build on from there. I think he knows that he will continue to impress in the marathon but also it will also be exciting to see what kind of extra strength is has gained from that training and whether can he translate that over 5,000m and 10,000m."

Paula Radcliffe is an ambassador for the Standard Chartered Great City Race, which takes place on 10 July 2014. The race aims to raise vital funds for its official beneficiary, Seeing is Believing – a global initiative which helps tackle avoidable blindness www.cityrace.co.uk @GreatCityRace