Proper Marathon Training Tips From Internationally Certified Sports Chiropractor, Dr. Wendy Mehaffey
Can anyone run a marathon? Yes! But it takes determination, training, and mental and physical strength to cross the line after 26.2 miles. For those who are already signed up for a marathon this fall, training is part of the regular daily and weekly schedules, and as race day approaches, training is getting more serious, and a misstep could cause injury.
Follow the advice and tips below from Epic Performance’s own, internationally certified sports chiropractor, Dr. Wendy Mehaffey.
When training for the marathon, the 10% rule (10PR) is one of the guiding principles. Simply put, only increase mileage by 10% from one week to the next. So if this week, you’re running 10 miles, run 11 miles next week. If you’re running 30 miles, increase to 33 the following week, and so on.
This time-tried and proven strategy helps to prevent a number of injuries, including:
- Achilles pain
- Hamstring tightness
- Knee injury
Achilles pain can last a long time, as the Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body, and is responsible for the toe-off motion. Blood flow is dramatically reduced by age 40, making it a challenging (but not impossible) injury to resolve.
Buy new shoes often
Focusing on miles each week means time flies by, and when you purchased your running shoes can easily slip from your mental notes. It is recommended to replace your shoes every 350-400 miles to avoid knee injuries, which adds up quickly when training for longer distances. The difference in mileage replacement is dependent on body weight. If you’re over ideal body weight, replace your shoes around the 350 mile mark.
I recommend writing the date you buy a pair of shoes on the sole of the shoe so you can calculate mileage on the weekends, and stay ahead of buying a replacement pair.
See a sports chiropractor
Whether you’re recovering from an injury or trying to prevent one, working with a sports chiropractor can speed up recovery time, improve flexibility and proper alignment to improve performance.
Running for sport is hard on the body, and the impact is present in the soft tissues and posture. Working with a sports chiropractor to work the soft tissues around the joints helps to prevent injuries from muscle tightness or improper alignment even during a hard training cycle, like when preparing for a marathon.
I also recommend complementary exercises as part of my support to patients, as understanding what the body is doing when not running can help you improve performance and further prevent injuries or strain.