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Ten tips to start your marathon training

04 September 2017

Are you planning on running a marathon, or would you like to run a marathon but don’t know where to start? Read our physiotherapist, Anna Laws’ ten tips to start your marathon training.

  1. Follow a marathon training programme to allow for gradual increase in training volume. Avoid doing too much too soon. Gradually increase your training in small doses. Your weekly mileage should go up by no more than 10 per cent each week.
  2. It is vital to run at a steady and even pace during the marathon. Therefore, your training should reflect that and the majority of your training runs should be at an easy and comfortable pace.
  3. The long run is the most important run of the week as it teaches your body to get used to time on your feet and builds up your endurance. But be gradual; only increase your long run distance by one or two miles every week.
  4. Vary your running terrain and include cross-training in your training plan. Hill sprints, downhill running and specific strength and conditioning exercises for your hip, knee and core are an important part of injury prevention.
  5. There is a lot of debate about what is the best running shoe to wear, but for the recreational runner the key really is comfort, so go to a running shop and try a few different brands and pick the shoes that feel most comfortable for you.
  6. Running niggles are common and can hinder your running progress, therefore don't be afraid to back off and rest for a couple of days in your training. If you feel persistent discomfort or pain, seek help from our physiotherapy team and get treatment as soon as possible.
  7. Try to avoid overtraining. If you feel exhausted or rundown take a couple of days rest to recover.
  8. Stretching and foam rolling is good to maintain “normal” muscle length as long as it is practiced at a distance from your workouts.
  9. The last 2-3 weeks of your training programme should be a tapering period. Train less to allow your body to rest and recover from all the hard months of training.
  10. Finally, enjoy the experience. Running a marathon is a huge achievement, try to enjoy every minute of the day!

Written by Anna Laws, Spire Manchester Hospital Physiotherapist.

The content of this article is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the professional medical advice of your doctor or other health care professional.

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