Whether you’re a seasoned marathon runner or a newbie, these tips will help you get through your next race.
Don’t Just Run
Incorporating a strengthening routine into your race training can improve your race result. A strengthening routine can reduce injury risk, improve your running endurance, and improve your speed. As reported by Mackenzie Lobby for Running Times, according to one study, “Of more interest to runners looking for lower PRs (personal records), however, is the fact that they identified a 2.9 percent improvement in 3K and 5K performances. That’s like going from a 13:30 5K to a 13:06.5.”
Don’t train through pain
Know when to stop if an injury creeps up, and don’t train through pain. Get it checked out early to allow yourself enough time to get back to running sooner and to prevent a major injury that could keep you sidelined for a long time.
Many physical therapists complete running assessments. An assessment can provide useful information on areas of weakness that can be worked on to reduce injury risk. New York State now has Direct Access for Physical Therapy. This allows you to see a physical therapist without having to wait to see your doctor first. Don’t wait; get yourself checked out to stay healthier on the run.
Use proper footwear
Most local running stores provide a shoe fitting service. Getting the proper footwear not only can make a big difference in your comfort level while running, but it can also also help prevent injury.
Conserve your energy
Don’t go out too fast in the first 1-2 miles, as you will need to conserve your energy to complete the race successfully. Be aware of your pace and avoid that initial rush in the beginning. It will be worth it in the end!
Try dynamic stretching before you run
Running is a dynamic activity, so avoid static (long hold) stretching prior to running. Static stretching may actually turn your muscles off. Learn how to dynamically stretch your hamstrings, quads and calves to get your blood flowing, muscles stretched out, and muscles turned on to run a great race.
Improve endurance of your butt muscles
Endurance is very important for marathon runners, and one of the most neglected muscles to be trained is your gluteus medius muscle (one of your three gluteal, or butt, muscles). If your gluteus medius is not trained for endurance, then it fatigues, which puts more stress on your hips, knee and feet. You may experience pain when your gluteus medius fatigues, as well as have to slow down your pace, which will affect your final results. Physical therapists are very good at teaching gluteus medius exercises to maximize your performance.
Following these six tips can put you on the road to a better performance in your next marathon.
1. Lobby, M. (2011, January 14). Run Stronger, Run Longer: How Strength Training Benefits Runners. Retrieved from: http://www.runnersworld.com/race-training/run-stronger-run-longer-how-strength-training-benefits-runners?page=single
2. The running athlete: stress fractures, osteitis pubis, and snapping hips. (2014, March 6) Retrieved from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24587861