How To Prepare for a Marathon

How To Prepare for a Marathon – Getting Started

Portrait of a fitness man with foot pain over gray background

It’s ballot season, you’ve just received your London Marathon entry! Instagram post done, twitter updated and Facebook status uploaded – now what?

Before you start looking for some new shoes to buy and get fitted at a running shop, read this!

Marathon running is different to your average jog around the park or the local neighbourhood. It is also very different from pounding the treadmill after work or on the weekends.

First, get yourself looked at for any niggling aches and pains especially around the knee, ankle, hip or lower back. Ignoring these will certainly put you at a higher risk of injury as you start to train for your marathon.

Imagine having a small cut on your hand; you then go ahead and keep aggravating the cut by over-using the hand. Doesn’t make any sense doing that right?

Tips given by a physiotherapist may ultimately help you finish the marathon relatively pain free!

Start early  – Easier said than done. Most of us get our ballots, or our charity places nearly 7-12 months before the marathon. This means you put yourself in a false sense of time and assume you’ll only take 3-4 months to train to get yourself to marathon fitness.

We see some unrealistic training plans when someone consults us for a marathon injury. For example, a 9-mile run (personal best) followed by a 15-mile run the following weekend! That’s a 66% increase in distance! He picked up a patella (kneecap) injury.

The earlier you start, the better the chances you have of building slow, steady runs into your daily schedules and avoiding injuries. Weekly mileage should only increase by 10% and if you’re just beginning then programmes like Couch to 5k by the NHS are a fantastic way to get yourself to a 5K running plan.

Try a 5k parkrun, followed by a 10k and so on. Try get your mental fitness, running stamina and your head into the game of running. Here you will learn how you fare on downhills, up-hills, flats and all sorts.

We personally think half marathons are brilliant after a build-up of 20-30 miles (weekly in multiple sessions).

Allow for rest & recovery and general strength/ conditioning whilst running. This will promote healing, faster runs with more efficiency or what we like calling your ‘running economy’.

This blog is just covering the basics on getting started. More marathon blogs with lots of details to follow. Topics covered will be –

  1. Base mileage
  2. Long runs
  3. Speed work
  4. Recovery
  5. Footwear
  6. Mental Preparation

Feel free to call us regarding a training programme or any injuries you may want to discuss about.

Any injury we see is always due to overloading! We fix most clients with a reduction in load be it with hands on therapy, functional rehabilitation, strength training and getting you to realistically match your expectations and ability.

This blog was originally published here.

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