I recently came across your website while I was researching sports related physical therapy since I’m in the process of training for my first marathon. This has been a personal goal of mine for the longest time and I’ve decided that 2017 was my year! In September, I will be running the New Balance Bronx 10 Mile. While I’m pretty confident in my running already, I’ve never actually prepared for a marathon before and I was wondering if you could provide some advice.
Thank you for the opportunity to discuss proper training for inexperienced marathon runners. After reading your request, I can’t help but think about others in your position, so I think it’s important to square away any confusion when it comes to preparing for a marathon. While there are plenty of other methods out there, I find that this one is easy to follow and full of valuable tips.
Since you hinted that you’re already an experienced runner, it’s important that you begin to develop your Base Mileage. Determining this number is done by running at an easy pace for about three to five days per week. Take note that this preemptive conditioning can span over the course of 12-20 weeks. The total mileage you record after each week should be monitored and progressively improved upon. While it may sound miniscule, increasing your mileage by ten percent on a weekly basis is enough especially when avoiding overexertion this early on in the training is key.
As you already know, marathons primarily focus on high endurance so it’s vital that your training includes longer stretches of running as well. Over the course of your regimen, practice some long-distance trials every week or so. The mileage for these less frequent runs should also be noted and increased over time. After a while, you’ll find that your body will start to adjust to performing for longer periods of time.
When just finishing the marathon isn’t enough, there are also speed workouts designed for achieving a decent completion time. After your average run, find a long, flat piece of road, and practice accelerating at short intervals. After reaching your max speed, slow back down to a relaxed jog and repeat this for a few times before catching your breath. During these intense exercises, your body is at the highest risk of injury so make sure you’re staying hydrated and take plenty of breaks.
Resting isn’t just set aside for speed training, however. It’s important that you’re taking adequate breaks over the entirety of your training. Tapering, or cutting back on your daily mileage, for a few days is recommended to prevent exhaustion.
I hope you found these tips helpful for your marathon adventures, Brett. However, if you want to take your training to the next level, be sure to make an appointment to visit one of our Bronx or Yonkers locations for a specialized hands-on wellness programs today.
Best of luck,
Daniel Seidler, PT