Elsie Hibbert shares her top 3 tips to get you over the finish line.
It can be tough to know where to start when training for a marathon. With the myriad of dierent opinions coming from friends, family, social media and everywhere in-between, it can be confusing to figure out which is the best route to take on your marathon journey! Below are some simple tips from a physio to help you prepare yourself to perform your best on the big day:
1 – Pace yourself
If this is your first time training for a marathon, it can be tempting to start building up too soon. It is vitally important to build yourself up gradually and give yourself enough rest between runs. One of the most common things we see in clinic are overuse injuries as a result of too much load too quickly. The last thing you want to do is turn up to marathon day with a bung knee! Regardless of whether you are starting from zero, or you have completed a half marathon and are looking for the next challenge, it is useful to use the 10% rule to manage your weekly mileage. By ensuring you don’t increase your total kilometres by more than 10% week-to-week, and allowing enough rest (>24hrs) between big runs, you will go a long way in prepping your body to be at it’s best come marathon day.
2 – Cross train
Not only is cross training useful to spread out your running load, it can also make you a better runner. Things like swimming and cycling can be a great lower-impact way to increase your cardiovascular fitness without overloading your body. Additionally, strength training should be part of any marathon training schedule; good strength enables your legs a higher capacity to manage the loads of running, and reduces the risk of overuse injuries down the track. For those runners who hate stepping foot in the gym, it is important to note strength training does not always have to involve gym equipment – there are some great strength exercises which can be performed in the comfort of your own home!
3- Prioritise sleep
Sleep is almost as important as training itself! For your body to adapt, and reap the benefits of your training, it must have enough time to recuperate. It is useful to have a good sleep schedule. Aiming to go to sleep and wake up at a similar time each day can allow your body to get into a rhythm. Additionally, getting enough sleep helps the body to have enough energy for exercise, therefore enabling you to perform at a higher level and get the most out of your sessions.
These are some simple principles to help guide you in your training. If you are experiencing any niggles, or simply want to know more about how to prepare yourself for the big day – book a consult with one of our physios for an individualised training plan.