Six of the best tips for your next marathon
Are you taking part in a marathon this year? If so, the chances are you will be looking for tips to improve your running ability, style and endurance. It’s not all about the running Running is obviously the focus of your training for a marathon but variety is also a great way to introduce some variety into your training. Replace one or two recovery runs with a different kind of easy-going physical challenge. New types of recovery sessions will stop you from getting bored and relieve the chance of repetitive type injuries. Legs are where it’s at Running to your maximum potential will depend on how strong your legs are. Simply running is good for building up muscles and endurance but if you want to be powering ahead it’s a good idea to include some strength training in your marathon programme. Add in two weekly 30-minute strength sessions at the gym, including body weight exercises such as squats, lunges, calf raises etc. Whatever exercises you choose, push yourself and do them to the point where you can hardly complete the last few reps. Multiple shoes If you’re a runner then you’ll love buying trainers. Now you have a good excuse to buy multiple pairs. Rotating the trainers that you wear is a good way to avoid injuries. Each pair of shoes will subtly change the way that you run and therefore the muscle and tissue load. This variety can help to reduce the chances of getting overuse injuries. Many people now run shorter, quicker sessions in lightweight and lower drop trainers and use cushioned footwear for longer outings. Keep it short We don’t mean the training runs because this is a marathon. Many running experts now agree that a shorter stride and a mid-foot strike will help you to run longer, lighter and with less injuries. Go for a chi running session If you think that a shorter stride is a good idea then sign up to a chi running session. This will reach you the benefits of a fast cadence, running from the hips, good posture and how to be relaxed. Listen to your body Pain is your body’s way of telling you that it feels threat. It’s says that if you carry on regardless you will get hurt. So if you feel pain, reduce your training intensity, get some ice on it and take some positive action, for example using kinesiology tape, such as RockTape to manage the niggles. * Thanks to Physiotherapist Paul Coker, who is also medical director of Rocktape UK and a long-distance runner, for some of his advice and tips.