How to Run a Marathon Injury Free
— New York City Marathon
Few things in life can bring you more satisfaction than running a marathon.
Whether you have been running for many years or this is your first time, you may be wondering how you can remain uninjured while training.
The Goal for Running a Safe Marathon
Before you even commence racing, your goal for running a safe marathon should start with just getting to the starting line without any injuries. A lot of preparation needs to be done before marathon day. So, as a runner, you want to get there in the most pain-free way.
How to Stay Injury-Free While Marathon Training
Be in Tune with Your Body — If you are starting to feel that you have reached your limit, this may not be the right time to go for a long run. It is ok to alter your routine once in a while.
Know How to Identify Various Types of Pain — Cramps can be expected. However, if your pain starts to cause a shift in your body mechanics and you are no longer able to run properly, you should consult a skilled physical therapist to help identify and treat your sports injury.
Be Aware of the Condition of Your Running Shoes — If your running shoes do not fit properly, are too old, or are poorly made, this can increase your chance of injury. Additionally, having a gait analysis (which analyzes how your foot lands when you run) can identify whether you need neutral, stability, or motion-controlled shoes.
Have a Proper Stretching Routine — Stretching your muscles increases blood flow and can protect you from injuring yourself. For example, healthy hip flexors are essential for running. However, if they become tight, this can lead to various lower body injuries.
Strength Training — This gradually prepares your body by strengthening your muscles, joints, and bones, as well as increasing your endurance.
Gradually Increase Your Mileage — Doing too much too soon can increase your chances of developing an overuse injury. One 35-time marathoner and 14-time Ironman triathlon competitor mentioned in the New York Times calls it the “Rules of Too — too much, too quickly.”
Avoid Overtraining — Sometimes you may miss a couple of long runs. Avoid trying to jam additional workouts into the week, as this can expose you to overuse injuries. Focus on what you can currently do.
What Attitude Should Runners Avoid When Training?
One attitude you should avoid while training for a marathon is believing that you are losing time by taking rest days. Your body needs time to rest and recuperate. Alternatively, you can still benefit from participating in other low-impact activities, such as yoga or walking.
What If I Have a Previous Injury?
If you have any unresolved injuries, it is best to address them before you start training so that you do not put yourself at greater risk of developing more severe injuries. A skilled specialist can help provide the treatment you need to make a full recovery.
The good news is that injury-free running is possible! If you have some concerns, do not hesitate to schedule an appointment with our experts at Paspa Physical Therapy, located in Manhattan, NY. Our highly-trained physical therapists look forward to helping you cross the finish line successfully on race day!