by Richard Hollis
London Marathon training is now in full swing and so we have prepared some top tips on avoiding injury whilst training that will make sure you are able to complete the course successfully.
Don’t let a Niggle Become a Pain
Other than normal post-training muscle soreness, don’t ignore niggles at this stage of training – you can’t afford for them to become an injury. Get them checked out by someone, either your trusted physio or chiropractor.
The long run is the most important component of your marathon training and it is what will get you to the finish line as painlessly as possible! It should, by now, make up about 80% of your entire training program.
Use the Right Equipment
Which type of shoes work best for you? What is the mileage on the pair you are wearing? Will they make it through both the training and the marathon? Running shoes lose up to 50% of their shock absorbing ability after about 250 miles of use. It is therefore essential to select the correct footwear and get accustomed to it before race day. Be aware that you have 2-3 times your body weight going through your foot at every foot strike. That’s about 100 tonnes per mile. If you have foot pain let us check it out.
Consider your clothes. Chafing is a major concern especially during long runs and the marathon, so make sure the clothes you choose are tried and tested. Vaseline is a necessity for many runners to help reduce chafing. Also consider how much and what type of clothing you need, depending on the different temperatures and conditions that could occur on a spring day in Brighton.
Socks are another area to consider. Which type work best for you (i.e. thin, thick, two layers, etc.)? Try out some and find out which suit you before marathon day. Race day is not a time to be trying new equipment! Merino wool based socks are great for temperature regulation and moisture wicking.
Don’t Forget to Hydrate.
The current advice about running and hydration is very simple — try to drink to thirst. And during long runs and your marathon, you’re going to get thirsty. Also, make sure you’re rehydrating after your runs — you’ll know you’re hydrated if your urine is a light yellow colour.
Recover and Rejuvenate
As soon as the race is over:
- Get something to drink.
- Eat! Carbohydrates replenish depleted energy stores. Fruits, vegetables and salty foods replace essential minerals and are essential for good health and fitness. Protein enhances muscle repair.
- Determine if you need any medical attention (aches, back pain, shoulder pain, blisters, etc.).
- Gently stretch within 20 minutes of completing the race and twice daily for the week after the race.
- Keep walking. Sudden stopping or lying down will cause a drop in blood pressure and perhaps fainting, leg cramps, and/or nausea.
- Get a post-race massage. Also, get a sports massage or two in the week after the race to help you recover.
- Get a few laser sessions here at Sundial. It has been shown to improve muscle recovery and tissue healing.
Avoid long soaks in hot water, which may cause swelling and exacerbate muscle soreness. In the early stages of recovery you are better off to cool your legs by soaking them in cold water which will reduce inflammation.
During the first week of recovery, it is best to avoid running altogether. Instead try walking or swimming each day to loosen your body and promote healing.
Finally, good luck from us with the rest of your training and for race day!