It’s almost time for the London Marathon, and runners all over Britain are pounding the pavements in preparation. If you’re nearing the finish line of your marathon training, or just inspired to get out running yourself, we’ve got the best tips to maximise your training and prevent injury.
Build Overall Strength
Core strength improves your balance, an essential if you’re running on uneven road surfaces, and is great at helping you keep good posture while you run. A strong body is harder to injure, so give your workout a helping hand with a protein powder. A powder like Sanatogen High Protein Powder helps repair damaged tissue, meaning you can bounce back from injury, and also boosts energy, keeping you training harder.
Foam rolling for just 10 minutes after a run reduces muscle inflammation, which helps you avoid injury, and can stop the dreaded stiffness the next day! For awkward areas, you can also roll over a firm tennis ball to release tension.
Look After Your Feet
As a runner, without your feet in good order, you’re going nowhere. Invest in good running shoes, fitted by a specialist, and remember to replace them when they begin to wear out. To test if it’s time for a new pair of shoes, grab the round, stiff part of the heel and push in on the cushioning part towards the bottom. If it’s still firm, you’re okay, but if this is starting to soften, it could be time for new shoes.
Don’t try and run a marathon in brand new shoes! You’ll need to break them in first. If at first your shoes are giving you blisters, you can protect sore, rubbed heels with Compeed Blister Patches.
Give Yourself Time to Heal
If you’re on a training plan, it can be tempting to try and run through an injury, but don’t. Give yourself a break to rest and heal.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Studies show that the best way to power through a marathon is keeping thirst under control, and consume 60grams of carbohydrates an hour. You can get these carbs however you find suits you, whether it’s sports gels, energy bars, dried fruit, or the secret snack some runners swear by: Gummi Bears!
Recover the Right Way
You did it! The finish line! It might be tempting to just collapse into a pile and call weakly for a beer, but recovering the right way will help you heal properly and avoid long-term injury. Take a shower immediately after the race, alternating the water temperature on your legs. Blast them with one minute of hot, then one of cold, and repeat. Have a protein-rich meal and get an early night.
The day after you can just lie on the sofa and catch up on all the TV you missed when you were out training, right? Wrong! It’s important to get your legs moving the day after a marathon. A brisk walk, or a light jog is ideal. It’ll stop you seizing up, and gives you a chance to check in with your body and note any injuries or tightness you might have masked with adrenalin on race day.
Ok, now you can lie on the sofa and not move for a week. You’ve earned it.