Training for a marathon? Reduce the risk of injury

Courtesy of Tom Astley (TA Physio) and seasoned runner Max Dillon we have the following advice on how you can reduce the risk of injury and stay ahead of the competition. Thinking about doing a marathon can be daunting but once you start the training, it becomes addictive. The issue being that many runners DON’T:
  1. build the training gradually
  2. allow enough COMPLETE rest days
  3. or train hard enough when needed
An-exhausted-runner--001 The advice and experience given by Max could be invaluable to make your training and performance more finely tuned, and help you get ahead of the competition:
  • Training should built from the ground up, gradually increasing the running miles.
  • Speed work needs to be hard and fast, this is advised by elite Ethiopian runners.
  • Long runs should be gentle and more enjoyable, these are about building endurance not speed.
  • Rest days are key for injury prevention. Complete rest is required. Consider that daily activities are NOT rest, and try to completely rest to avoid fatigue or overtraining.
  • Ice baths can help recovery after long runs. Evidence for this post-training is inconclusive BUT some runners believe it helps recovery. 10 minutes in an ice bath is good enough for Jessica Ennis, its good enough for you.
  • Compression Leggings can assist with venous blood flow post training to aid recovery. I.e Wear them to bed, that’s Max’s advice not mine. Keep the lower extremity blood flow and warm to the legs can assist with recovery. Again evidence is limited with these leggings, but give it a whirl!
  • To avoid common running injuries, SPORTTAPE is great for reducing overactive and control muscle fatigue especially something like Shin Splints.
SPORTTAPE_Shin_Splints_1
  • When hill running, this requires vast amounts of eccentric quadriceps control, especially running down hill. Do some eccentric quads loading exercises in the gym and build it gradually.
  • Day before the race, do a 20 min very light jog or strides to shake everything out. this is make sure your ready for race day and have no lethargy.
  • Active recovery post race is key, NO RUNNING, light swimming or gentle spin bike session will aid with muscular movement and quicker recovery.
A lot of this advice is individual to each runner but if you don’t try them, they you’ll never know if they can help. A few common running injuries occur when first training, so these can be prevented by early assessment, early intervention, early return to sport. The commonest are Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome, Hip and Proximal Weakness, and Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. TA Physio can assist with all these problems to enable you to continue running.

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