Final Stages of Marathon Training - Physio Top-Tips
Physio Francois-Xavier, who is a runner himself gives his top tips for the last 4 weeks before the big day
For those of you who are training for the London marathon you are now just under 4 weeks before the race. To complete your marathon training program, you have to gradually increase your mileage and unfortunately the number of injuries and problems we see now tends to increase as well.
Potentials injuries related to your training
Several factors can lead to injury – biomechanics, running technique, footwear, type of training, weakness, previous injury history.
What kind of injuries could you have during your training especially after you have increased the mileage and the amount of interval training sessions? The list is long but the most common ones are:
- Plantar fasciitis and heel pain
- Calf strain and/or shin splints
- Anterior knee pain (Patellofemoral pain and Patellar Tendinopathy)
- ITB syndrome
- Lower back pain
- Stress fractures
The main point to remember here is that during your training, if you start having a niggle or injury it is worth getting it assessed as soon as possible by your physiotherapist to help avoid bigger issues before the race.
Ignoring a pain is not recommended when you are training for a marathon!
Variety and keeping motivated
- 3-4 runs per week is more than enough and one of the very important things to keep in mind is to add variety - include long runs, interval sessions, tempo runs and also some hill training. This challenges your body in different ways and also helps you to keep your interested in your training.
- Also, don’t just run, adding other cardio activities such as cycling or swimming as well as some strength training and stretch sessions within your weekly routine will definitely reduce your risk of injury.
Self-management before the race
- Stretching, using a foam roller and a spiky ball to release tensions and tightness can be very helpful after a long run and also during your resting days.
- Plan your weekly training schedule carefully making sure not to plan intense running sessions on consecutive days. You will need recovery time before your next intense session. 4 weeks before the big day you are building your training program with more interval training and hill sessions and that is very demanding. You must be flexible with your program and adapt it depending on how your body feels.
- Rest days are essential during the week and after intense training days. Your body needs the time to recover, to heal. Remember that resting is actually part of the training.
- Hydration, and nutrition is a whole other topic but very important for you to be aware of and remember that this is as vital an aspect of your training as your running.
Finally, be sure the week before the big day you mostly rest with just 2 very light jogs - training too hard just before the race could be a mistake, it is better to arrive fresh on the starting line.
Good training and have fun!
For further information on any of these tips please get in touch. Francois-Xavier is available in the Angel clinic Monday to Friday and at our Highbury Satellite clinic on Thursday afternoon.