Even for the most seasoned runner, marathon training is taxing on the body. Muscles, ligaments and tendons are pushed to their limits, and as a result, many runners suffer from injuries such as tendonitis and bursitis. While you can't completely eliminate the possibility of an injury, there are a few things you can do during marathon training to increase your chances of arriving at the starting line injury-free.
Visit Your Chiropractor
Many runners' hips and spines are out of alignment as a result of pounding out mile after mile on uneven roads or in improperly fitted shoes. Misalignments in the hips and spine can cause uneven stress on the limbs and an abnormal stride, which lead to injuries like IT band syndrome, plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis. A chiropractor at a clinic like Generations Chiropractic and Wellness, LLC can re-align your spine and pelvis, allowing you to run with a more even gait and avoid these injuries. Most runners should see their chiropractor every 2 - 3 weeks during marathon training, but depending on your individual circumstances, your chiropractor may want to see you more or less often.
Use a Foam Roller
A foam roller, which looks like a padded rolling pin, is a necessary piece of equipment to include in your training bag. After a hard run, roll it up and down over the muscles in your thighs and calves. This will help keep these muscles loose and supple, which will help prevent strain on tendons and ligaments that frequently leads to injuries. Experts recommend foam rolling each muscle group in your legs for two one-minute segments after a hard workout.
Stretch, Stretch, Stretch
Stretching is another great way to keep your muscles loose and supple, yet many runners don't stretch enough during marathon training. You should stretch after every run, even if you only have 5 minutes to do a few basic stretches. Stretch your calves by standing against a wall with your toe a few inches up the wall and your heel planted on the floor. A seated stretch, in which you sit with your legs in front of you and reach for your toes, is a simple stretch that will reach most of the muscles in your legs.
On the days when your training plans calls for a rest day from running, spend 15 - 20 minutes stretching. You'll be surprised how much looser you feel on your next run.
Training for a marathon is hard work. Make sure your hard work gets you to the starting line by not only training hard, but also following the tips above to care for your body and avoid injuries.
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