THE BEST WAY TO AVOID INJURY WHEN TRAINING FOR A MARATHON
When the added mileage and more intense training that comes with marathon training it's common to be worried about running injuries and how to avoid them. We asked Pure Sports Strength and Conditioning Coach James Phillips how to reduce our risk of running injuries without compromising on running performance.
The 3 top tips for injury prevention:
Increase your mileage by no more than 10% each week
Stacking up the miles too quickly from one week to the next can cause an overload on muscles and tissue. Your body needs time to prepare for the big miles.
Start strength training.
Strength training improves tissue and muscle tolerance while improving endurance and performance, by reducing the energy required for each running stride.
Try exercises such as:
- One legged lower body exercises; split squats, Bulgarian squats, and step-ups help improve strength in the legs and control in the hips
- Core work; planks, dead bugs, and rollouts all improve core strength and pelvic control
- Bridging exercises; glute bridges, hip thrusts, bench bridges and hamstring pull-ins help enhance the strength of overlooked but important posterior chain muscles, like glutes and hamstrings
Listen to your body
Stress accumulates, so be aware of how your body is feeling as a whole. If you’re feeling good, push yourself; if not, take a lighter training session or rest.
What are the early signs of common injuries and what can we do to help prevent them?
Running through these is one of the most common training mistakes I see for causing injuries. While most niggles are nothing to worry about, ignoring them have lead to something worse. Instead, get niggles checked out and implement stretching, foam rolling and strength exercises to help keep these at bay.
Illness and fatigue
Regular illness or feeling fatigued is a good indication of how your body is coping with the demands of a marathon training. Over-training leading to fatigue and illness can then cause loss of form, which may exacerbate any overloaded tissue. A great way to control your training is to keep a training diary and monitor your mileage.
Foam rolling and stretching big muscles like quads, glutes, hamstrings and calves relax and relieve tension. Cold baths or showers can improve post-run recovery too. Also ensure that you replace fuel, water and electrolytes that you have burnt off.
The best exercises for an active recovery
Staying active on your rest and recovery days is important but doing too much can be harmful to your training. Look for cross-training activities that use different muscle groups and take the load off your joints such as swimming, cycling, yoga, and pilates.
Swimming is ideal for keeping fit and active while yoga and pilates boost core strength and flexibility, help your pelvic control, and restore tissue balance.