Training for a marathon? Avoid injury

Orthopedic SpecialistsIf you’re a runner, entering a marathon is your personal Mount Everest. Completing the 26.2-mile course is a testament to your mental focus as well as your physical fitness. Furthermore, similarly to mountain climbing, one wrong step can lead to a devastating injury.

No matter what shape you are in, orthopedic specialists recommend to include specific elements in your marathon training to help prevent injury. Incorporate these tips into your routine to minimize risk.

Increase your mileage gradually

Many runners generally plan their training schedule observing the 10 percent rule: Increase your workouts by no more than 10 percent each week. Random and erratic changes subject your body to more stress than it’s ready for.

Stretch pre- and post-run

Five minutes of pre-run dynamic stretching, such as lunges or knee lifts, provides your body with a literal warm-up. It raises your core temperature, triggering increased blood flow and delivery of oxygen to your large muscles. After your run, five minutes of static stretches, where a stretch is held for 30 seconds, counteracts muscle tightness and improves flexibility. In addition, it aids recovery by making your muscles more receptive to glycogen, the fuel used to produce energy.

Use proper footwear

Good running shoes absorb shock to reduce the amount of stress placed on your joints. They should be replaced every 300 to 500 miles. Use inserts for an additional layer of cushioning.

Cross-train

Performing a single activity exclusively leads to overuse and fatigue, setting the stage for an injury. Be sure to include other forms of exercise in your routine to maintain balance. Strength training is great for developing your core and building stability, while yoga stretches large muscle groups and increases flexibility.

Don’t ignore your body’s warning signals

Fatigue and soreness are discouraging, but those are your body’s ways of communicating a problem. Pushing through may give you some short-term satisfaction, but you may pay in the long run with an injury that puts you completely out of commission.

Build recovery days into your schedule

Rest periods give your body time to recover and rebuild, which is when improvements take place. Use the opportunity to reward yourself with a massage or other pampering.

Our orthopedic specialists can help you create a safe and effective training plan that will take you across the finish line. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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