Marathon Training- Training - Part 2

By Kevin D Barclay PT, SCS, ATC, CSCS
COO- Co-Owner of Orthopaedic Rehab Specialists, P.C.

So you have made the decision and are ready to start training for your next (or first) marathon.
Something to remember as you begin…

Do not diet. Unless you are following a specific diet from your doctor you should find this a great time to be less concerned about the quantity and what types of food you should eat.  You will be burning lots of calories in your training and you will need to both replace what you have burned, for recovery and repair, and “re-load” for your next workout.  Although you should still make good choices, things like breads, potatoes and pasta – forbidden to the starch and carb conscious – should be staples during your training.

Keep your feet protected. Heel and arch pain, blisters and tendonitis can derail your training quickly. Make sure your shoes are in good shape.  Depending on your weight, running surfaces and mileage you should be changing your shoes every 300-500 miles. (I think 500 is pushing it ).  Make sure your new pair of shoes are comfortable when you first buy them. The idea that your shoes will “loosen up” after you wear them a while is outdated and wrong. Put a lubricant between your toes and behind your heel, especially for longer runs, to avoid blisters.  When you bathe/shower after a workout clean between your toes thoroughly and powder your feet to absorb extra moisture that can cause chaffing or fungus. You will be a happy runner if your feet are happy!

S#!@.  Somehow over the years “stretch” has become a four letter  word. Few people take time to stretch because it takes away from their lunch time workout or it is simply too boring. Repetitive stress (In this case, running) can lead to overuse of some areas and restrictions in others.  Tightness leads to friction or tension which leads to pain and inflammation. You should make flexibility training a regular part of your regimen.  Take 2-3 days a week and spend 10-15 minutes to stretch out your hips and legs.

Spread out your mileage.  Too many runners sneak in what they can during the week and then do 50% or more of the week’s mileage on weekends.  Although this seems like the most convenient,  it can also be a recipe for breakdown. Slowly increase your weekly mileage and try to put in a nice medium distance run in the M-F routine. Rather than making weekend runs a lot longer, make them more quality.  That is,  instead of bumping your long run from 12 to 15 to 18 to 20 on successive weekends train between 14-16 for awhile but work on increasing your pace in that distance. Train smart and make it fun!