Phils 5 top tips for marathon training and avoiding injury
Prehab. The gold standard way to avoid injury is often overlooked. Ideally all runners should be fully screened for potential problems including footwear and gait analysis prior to starting their marathon training journey. Dealing with injuries when they occur is understandable but often these injuries could be avoided with a more thoughtful approach to training and ‘prehab’ exercises.
Structure your training. Basic training guides can be found on the London Marathon website here.
Many runners are not realistic in setting out their regimes and become disheartened when unable to complete the schedule due to other life commitments. Others don’t plan at all and then start upping their mileage in a panic going too far too soon and picking up injuries.
Goal setting. This really helps keep motivation high even when the main event is months away. If you are a novice then be realistic and aim to gradually increase your running distance. Why not start with a 5km, 10km and then half marathon distance events dispersed through your training plan. Running an actual event is a great eye opener to novice runners and gets you well prepared for the big day.
Cross training. Some runners think that ‘treadmill’ is a dirty word! But don’t let them put you off as running in a warm, bright & controlled environment like a gym has its up sides particularly during the winter months. The treadmill is not as hard impact on your limbs as the pavement, allows you to control your pace and throw in specific hill or speed sessions.
Novice runners often get caught in the mind-set that only running will help them train for a marathon. Exercises like cycling and aquatic running are also a great way of building your fitness without punishing your legs anywhere near as much.
Nutrition & Recovery. Allowing the body sufficient time to recover and adapt will help to avoid overtraining issues and illness. Sleep is an important factor in this and therefore planning your schedule and commitments to allow for good regular night sleep is imperative.
Staying hydrated and giving the body the right balance of foods to perform and recover is also vital. Runners need the right balance of carbohydrate, protein and fat in their diets and should try to vary calorific intake day to day depending on the training load. Our nutritionist at the clinic can aid with the above.