How to avoid injury when training for a marathon

08 March 2017

Written by David Bromley
Highly Specialist Physiotherapist, Perform Cardiff, Spire Cardiff Hospital

Planning your training

It's best to plan your training timetable months in advance and stick to it. You can find lots of good examples of graded intensity running programmes in running magazines or on the internet.

You could also try a cross training approach where you keep changing the activity you do to avoid repetitive strain injury. This could include:

  • aerobic fitness on a bike, step machine, cross-trainer or in swimming pool
  • power walking on an incline treadmill to build up strength and endurance in your calves and hamstring

Rest and exercise intensity

Your body needs time to recover after a hard training session to replenish your cell energy stores so don't neglect your rest days. If you'd prefer not to take rest days, you can keep on training if you do mostly low intensity sessions and one or two high intensity sessions per week. In low intensity sessions, you should be able to talk in full sentences and feel refreshed after.

Fuelling your training

Don’t neglect your fuel as what you eat is as important as the training you do. You'll need to carb load before your race and before any high intensity training sessions. You may find you're eating more as your training regime increases. The food you eat will ideally have a high percentage of complex carbohydrates.

Dealing with injuries

If you get injured, get it treated early. Over training injuries are much harder to treat if you let them drag on and just manage them with pain killers. Your injury could be related to the way you run or due to your body’s ability to cope with your training regime.

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