With the TCS NYC Marathon fast approaching, you may be feeling some muscle or joint pain. Rather than letting this put and end to your training or worse… Here are some training tips to consider!
Training for a marathon is a big commitment that includes not only running but also strength training and stretching. If you have busy schedule with work and family, be sure that you will be able to fit in all the training that is necessary to have a great marathon experience and an injury free one at that! Below are few tips that you should keep in mind.
1. Make sure that you enjoy the experience of racing. Run a few 5-K or 10-K races and build the desire for longer distance running.
2. Avoid overtraining. This can lead to muscle and joint injury. Never increase mileage or speed too quickly. Increase mileage by only 10%-15% weekly. So if you are currently running 10 miles per week, the following week you would increase by 1-1.5 miles.
3. Do not increase mileage and speed at the same time. If your plan is to increase your mileage then do not increase speed the same week.
4. Be sure to introduce hills. Gradually working hills into your route is a great way to increase both strength and stamina.
5. Get the right running shoes. Some stores have experienced salesmen to help you get the proper fit for your foot. But be wary… Be sure to get a recommendation to a good running shop. Your physical therapist can also assess your personal needs by evaluating your running gait and/or foot structure.
6. Buy at least 2 pairs of running shoes that were fitted for you. If you run in wet conditions one day, you need at least 24 hours to let your sneakers dry out. Having a second pair allows you to run the following day.
7. Know when to change your running shoes. Depending on your weight and the running surface you are training on, you need to change shoes after every 250-450 miles. Shoes that look good may no longer be providing the cushioning and support that you need. Joint pain may also be an indicator that you need new running shoes.
8. Never buy new sneakers or clothes for the marathon. Your sneakers should be broken in for your 26.2 miles. Clothing should be made for runners, nylon/sweat wicking material, you will feel cooler and it will not irritate your skin. Blisters can quickly end your race on marathon day.
9. Rest. You need to take 1-2 days off every week from training to allow your body recovery time.
10. Do cross train. Including other aerobic exercises will help with your fitness level and prevent muscle imbalances. Strength training and stretching are crucial in keeping you fit and avoiding injury.
11. Eat! Remember you are burning a lot more calories per week and you need to maintain proper nutrition and hydration. Also remember 2-3 days before the race start to carb load, not fat load. Starches like potatoes, pasta, bananas, bagels, fruits and carb energy drinks are all good choices. Avoid fried/fatty foods.
If you are experiencing persistent muscle or joint pain, immediately consult with your physician or physical therapist. Paspa Physical Therapy is one of the most highly recognized orthopedic and sports practices in New York City. Our experienced therapists use state of the art video analysis software in order to screen for and pinpoint any problems. We invite you set up an appointment in order to provide you with the tools to quickly make the needed corrections to help stop muscle or joint pain.