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Marathon Training: 8 Tips to Keep You Injury-Free

June 18 | 2024
Posted by Sharon Tierney

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So you’ve decided to be part of the 1% that completes a marathon, an incredible achievement! Training for a marathon is demanding on both your physical endurance and mental resilience. One of the most common dangers comes from experiencing a sports injury during your training. This could be overuse injuries, strains, sprains, and more. Ultimately, these can hinder your progress and even affect you on race day itself. To help you keep your body as healthy as possible, here are some essential tips to avoid sports injuries while training for a marathon:

1. Start Slow and Build Gradually

  • Tip: Avoid the temptation to ramp up your mileage too quickly. Gradually increase your weekly mileage, and it is best to follow a structured program to avoid overtraining.
  • Why: Rapid increases in mileage or intensity are the most common cause of overuse injuries such as stress fractures, tendinitis, shin splints and more. Your body needs time to recover and adapt to the new loads you are placing on it.

2. Listen to Your Body

  • Tip: Pay attention to any signs of pain, discomfort, or fatigue. Don’t ignore persistent pain or push through it, it’s a sign that something may be wrong and need attention
  • Why: Ignoring pain or pushing through discomfort can make injuries and lead to longer recovery times. Additionally, addressing it early can save you weeks of pain and frustration.

3. Warm Up and Cool Down Properly

  • Tip: Always start your runs with a dynamic warm-up to increase blood flow and flexibility in your muscles. After your run, perform some stretches and easy mobility movements to cool down and improve flexibility.
  • Why: Proper warm-up and cool-down routines reduce the risk of muscle strains and improve overall flexibility and range of motion.

4. Implement Cross-Training

  • Tip: Incorporate strength, mobility, agility and other exercises into your routine. Cross-training activities like swimming, rowing, or cycling can your running muscles a break.
  • Why: Strengthening supporting muscles and varying your workouts helps prevent overuse injuries while still improving overall cardiovascular fitness

5. Good Footwear

  • Tip: Wear proper running shoes that fit well, are comfortable, and support your foot.  Replace your shoes regularly as they wear out.
  • Why: Ill-fitting shoes or worn-out gear can lead to foot injuries, shin splints, and other issues that may impact your training.

6. Stay Hydrated and Eat Well

  • Tip: Hydrate properly before, during, and after your runs. Maintain a balanced diet that supports your training regimen, including adequate protein and carbohydrates.
  • Why: Your body is burning a lot more energy now and needs the proper fuel to function at its peak performance

7. Rest and Recovery

  • Tip: Schedule rest days into your training plan to allow your body to recover and repair. Incorporate some deloading or lighter weeks to prevent burnout and overtraining.
  • Why: Rest is essential for muscle repair and growth. Overtraining increases the risk of injuries and can compromise your overall performance.

8. Seek Professional Guidance

Physiotherapists and can assist with sports injuries

  • Tip: If you’re new to running or have specific concerns about your training, consider consulting a professional like a physiotherapist.
  • Why: Professional guidance can help you develop a personalized training plan, correct your form, and address any underlying or current issues.

By following these strategies, you can reduce the risk of sports injuries and increase your chances of crossing the marathon finish line! If you are experiencing some pain while running, look for PhysioNow. We have many expert physiotherapists that would be happy to help you with your sports injury. Book with PhysioNow today for your first assessment and treatment. Happy running!

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