So…what steps can be taken before, during and after to avoid injury?
Of course you don’t have to be running a marathon in order to follow this advice as most of it is general advice that can be altered to suit any distance. Looking after your joints, muscles and general health is of the upmost importance no matter how far you are running.
Before you start
- A good diet is paramount when training and a healthy intake of vitamins and minerals can be vital in aiding recovery. Appropriate carbohydrate intake is essential the day before the marathon in order to fuel your body for the run ahead.
- With the big day approaching now is the time to limit the distance you’re running a couple of days before to ensure you stay in peak physical fitness and avoid injury.
- On the day of the marathon, stretch properly in advance to warm up your muscles and keep warm as there will be a lot of waiting around at the start.
- Don’t over stride or start too fast. You may get caught up in the adrenalin rush but it is important to start gradually when running long distances to allow your body to acclimatise. Over doing it in the first few miles may burn you out and put added strain on muscles and joints so be aware of your body and what it’s telling you whilst you’re running.
- Even if you’re exhausted, remember to stay alert. Avoid potholes or running on slippery, muddy or wet patches to evade injury.
- Run your own race and listen to your body. If you start to feel excessive pain, stop immediately, don’t cause a severe injury.
- Food and drink will keep you replenished after the race and will help to avoid injury.
- For recovery it is important to stretch properly after the race and keep warm, ensure you have warm dry clothes at the end. Over the next few weeks, wind down your training gradually to allow the body to assimilate to less activity.
Most of all, have fun, enjoy yourself and stay injury free!