Train smarter, not harder to get to the finish line
There are people all over the world right now logging miles to prep for the title “marathon finisher”. With all those people running all those miles, there are a lot of injuries waiting to happen.
Here are a few tips to make the most of your training and get you to that finish line healthy!
1. Don’t Over train
Don’t overtrain. I repeat, don’t overtrain! This is quite literally a marathon, not a sprint. That means training duration/distance should build, but slowly. Do not increase your training speed, distance, and/or effort more than 10% from one week to the next – this will help you build endurance without burning out.
As the miles build, diet is so important for recovery and race prep. Try to find a diet that fuels your body that is LOW in inflammatory foods such as: processed food/refined sugars, dairy, red meat, shellfish and HIGH in: fruits/veggies, healthy fats, whole grains, lean proteins. Do not make big dietary shifts right before the big day, as you have not yet seen how your body may respond. Instead, try adjusting your meals prior to your long run day and seeing how it goes – that way you can figure out pre-race meals that work best for your system.
Cross train, strength train, get on board some type of train that does not involve running a few days a week. Surely you need to build miles so your body can adapt to distance running, but you also need strength, balance, and flexibility training to function optimally and continue running injury-free.
Rest and recovery days are just as important as your long runs. For most runners this is a hard sell. However, physical and emotional exhaustion is real post-long run – this is your body is telling you to rest, listen to it! If you are having trouble sleeping and getting the rest your body needs, check out our Sleep hygiene blog post for helpful tips.
If journaling speaks to you, try keeping a running log where you track your miles and how you feel while running them. It may help to write out your goals for training and race day, including smaller goals along the way to your finish line – tracking your progress is a great way to remind yourself how far you have come and give yourself the credit you deserve for committing.
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Disclaimer: If you continue to experience unbearable, reoccurring pain, be sure to schedule an appointment with your physician or join our physical therapy family and allow us to help you regain function.
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