Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Marathon Training Plan

Steps to prevent running injuries. The following are a few preventative measures that will ensure that your marathon training plan is blighted by as little injury as possible.

Invest in your training kit. Worn out shoes or the wrong shoes can cause injuries, so you need to get these right. Go to a specialist running shop and have them analyze your running style or gait, and have them fit you out accordingly. Heart rate monitors are another important part of your kit. It will help you to train in the right training zone, which means you are not pushing yourself too hard. Set the alarm so that it sounds when you go outside the limits of your zone.

Hydration and proper nutrition. It is vital that you eat and drink well in order to maintain overall wellbeing during the course of your marathon training. You must stay hydrated and eat small but regular balanced meals consisting of carbohydrates, protein and unsaturated fats. As your training intensifies you must increase the amount of carbohydrate you consume to provide much needed running fuel. Without the right balance of food and drink you will become increasingly run down and more prone to illness and injury.

Ensure that you stretch. Be sure that after every run, you spend at least 10 to 15 minutes stretching using correct technique. This will help to improve your flexibility and help avoid damage to the muscles. Runners regularly suffer from tears to the hamstrings, quadriceps and calf muscles. This highlights the need for a warm up before, and a proper stretch after your run.

Massage. A good massage every few weeks can be of huge benefit to your muscles. It serves to improve blood flow and reduce tension, which makes the muscles more efficient.

Stick to your marathon training plan! Please do not deviate form your selected marathon training plan. These plans are designed to ensure that you progress gradually. Doing too much too soon and without the proper amount of rest can lead to serious running injuries. Ignore your marathon training plan at your peril.

Use the gym. Occasionally using the treadmill instead of pounding the streets can give your knees, hips and joints a bit of respite as the treadmill will have shock absorbing qualities. Resistance work, particularly work on your core will make you stronger, improve posture, thus minimizing the chances of picking up injuries due to bad form.

Consult a physiotherapist. As you really get stuck into your training, injuries of one kind or another are common. It is important to find a good physiotherapist to ensure that these injuries are treated quickly so as to minimize disruption to your marathon training plan.

Bear these guidelines in mind and you are well on your way to an enjoyable and injury free marathon experience.

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