Injury Prevention When Marathon Training

Injury Prevention When Marathon Training

The primary way to prevent injuries is to train smart. This means implementing a well researched training program and sticking to it.  These programs that are specifically designed to allow the body to withstand the demand of marathon training by staggering the weeks that have high mileage which helps prevent injury. Most marathon runners have at least a mild setback in their training. This may be an illness, or muscle strain. When a setback occurs, runners should refrain from cramming the missed training into the next week. The best way to do this is to adjust the schedule to complete the long run. If possible, a marathoner should try to complete the long run. If the runner misses multiple sixteen to twenty-two mile runs, the marathon sometimes is not an attainable goal.

The second way for preventing injury involves performing a strengthening program during the marathon training. Starting the strengthening regimen prior to the marathon training program is best. All runners should be involved in some type of muscle strengthening program. Focusing on hip and core strengthening because the lateral hip musculature is often neglected in runners. .  A strong core and hips is essential to injury prevention Performing lateral lunges, sidelying leg lifts with the toe pointed to the ceiling and sidestepping with a resistance band are among the best hip strengthening exercises. Core strengthening  exercises include prone and sideplanks as well as pikes on an exercise ball.

The third concept to preventing injury requires stretching. Dynamic stretches or stretching while moving are most appropriate prior to running. Static stretching, or stretching while stationary is best after running. The hip musculature is often extremely tight in runners which makes stretching the hip rotators and hip flexors is imperative.  One simple way to stretch the hip rotators is sitting in a tailor position while in a chair and pressing the knee down. Calf, hamstring, quadriceps are also important to stretch for runners.

Proper hydration and nutrition is the final piece to successful marathon training. Muscles are easily damaged when the body’s electrolyte balance is insufficient. Damage to the kidneys, liver and heart are even possible in extreme cases. Mastering the proper interval to ingest the electrolyte supplements takes practice. Finding the right amount of supplements is tricky too. If a marathoner refuels improperly, gastrointestinal distress often occurs. Marathoners must seek the right formula for race day.

If a runner is injured during marathon training, he or she should seek a qualified health care professional within the 1st week of the injury. Waiting to seek help often leads to the demise of  marathon completion. The high mileage of marathon training suppresses healing. The body simply has little time to regenerate from the constant impact of running. A trained professional can instruct the runner with proper exercises, and/or  a water running program. The health care professional may use modalities such as ultrasound, electrical stimulation, manual techniques and ice massage to decrease pain and inflammation to foster quicker recovery.