Whether you are a veteran marathon runner or starting to train for your first race, it is important to take precautions to avoid an injury. Running a marathon (26.2 miles!) is a big physical and mental challenge. The best thing you can do for your body is listen to your body. If you start to feel pain, don’t ignore it. If you’re muscles are fatigued, give them a rest.
Make sure to invest in a pair of properly fitted running shoes. Many specialty running stores will watch you run on a treadmill to determine if you overpronate or underpronante. According to Runner’s World, runners with flat feet normally overpronate and high-arched runners typically underpronate. You’ll want shoes to help compensate and allow pronation control.
Do your long training runs on the weekends, and shorter runs during the week. If you have already signed up for a race, you may be able to find a training schedule on the organizer’s site. For example, check out this link for the ING New York City Marathon taking place in November 2012.
Switch it up. When training for a marathon, you don’t have to run everyday. Instead, try lower impact activities, such as the elliptical and spinning bike. Also don’t forget to incorporate strength training in your weekly routine to make muscles more resilient.
Stretch your muscles and loosen your joints. Many cities offer free yoga classes in the park or on the beach. Before a run, don’t forget to spend time stretching to improve flexibility and increase range of motion.
Finally, reward yourself for all your hard work with some “me time.” Soothe your muscles with a sports massage or spend the day at home relaxing with your family. It is important to allow your body to recharge for optimal performance. In fact, a study conducted by Margaret Jones, Ph.D. of the American College of Sports Medicine, demonstrated a notable trend toward decreased muscle soreness in the athletes who received massage either before or after exercise.
Have a tip that helped you during your marathon training? Leave a comment to share with our readers!