Training for a marathon
It’s that time of year when we see a lot of amateur runners with injuries and niggles that could perhaps have been preventable with the right training and planning. The classic complaint is “shin splints” or “Achilles tendonitis”. There is a variety of reasons as to why one might get these problems.
The right footwear is essential. Those crumby old shoes that you have had for years and fit you like an old pair of slippers need to be thrown out! New running shoes are a must, but only at least two months before the big day. A running shoe is designed to support the shape of your foot so that it stays in a neutral position as you heel strike, load and push off. There is also a lot of shock absorbance in shoes that really helps to cushion the impact of running.
The other big issue is how you train and where you do it. The best thing is to follow a training schedule from a good running magazine or website. All of these programmes will encourage different sessions including hills, flats, different speeds and terrains. What is absolutely out of the question is training full time on a treadmill. Treadmills are all right for a quick run in the gym as a warm up, but they are NOT for training for a marathon. A treadmill will keep you at the same pace with the same stride length and the same impact the whole time. Road or park running will give you far more versatility and, surprisingly, therefore be less stressful than a treadmill.
Finally, don’t just run, mix it up. A programme of swimming, cycling, leg exercises such as lunging and squatting and days of rest in between are essential.
This combination should get you an injury free PB!