Serious runners must accept the fact that running comes with injuries. When training for a marathon you should take extra precautions to avoid any possibility of becoming injured. Overuse injuries are the most common in runners; it is a result of the hard training and possibly your running form. Despite injuries, one can still train for a marathon using alternative aerobic training and proper treatment. Too often runners stubbornly keep pounding the pavement despite the warning signs of injury and never make it to starting line.
Preventing overuse injuries
- Stretch before and after every workout and run.
- If possible, run on grass or dirt. If you must run on concrete or pavement stay out of the gutter as far as possible or run on the sidewalk where the concrete is level.
- Gradually increase in running distance & sticking to the recommended schedule.
- Warm up/ Warm done before and after each training.
- Finally yet importantly, wear good running shoes for your type of foot.
Prevention is the best defence against running injuries. However, when injuries do creep up on you the best way to resolve them are to detect and treat them right a way with as little down time as possible. Most overuse injuries start with a slight pain just as you begin your run, and usually disappears after a mile or two. Sometimes the morning after you will notice a slight discomfort in a centralized location and with little walking it will disappear.
One thing to remember about overuse injuries, the longer and harder you train, your odds of getting such injury increase. Keep this in mind when training for your marathon, stick to the recommended schedule. Excessive training will only increase your chances of an injury not improve your time.
Treatment of overuse injuries
When you notice the first sign of an overuse injury such as a mild pain or discomfort pay attention to it as soon as possible. Here is a general guideline of what to do at the first sign of injury.
- Apply ice to the area after the run and 3-4 times throughout the day.
- Take an anti-inflammatory (such as Ibuprofen and Advil) available over-the-counter such as . If you cannot handle ibuprofen, try aspirin.
- Try to determine what caused the injury (Sudden increase in distance, hard surfaces, wrong running form, Shoes, etc)
- Reduce your training duration and intensity until all signs of injury are gone.
- Replace Running with Alternative Exercise – Build gradually to the same amount of time spent on running. If possible, train at the same vigorous level of exertion as running to achieve aerobic benefit. Aim for a running equivalent mileage base similar to or slightly more than regular running mileage base. This will provide psychological replacement of the running habit, and although some fitness is lost, it will make returning to running in good shape. In addition to minimizing the pounding on a sensitive knee, biking can help strengthen the quadriceps muscles, which also helped prevent further knee problems.
Overtraining is exactly that, training your body more then it can handle. Your body can only handle so much training with out the proper amount of rest; you should always have the proper amount of recovery compared to the amount of training your putting your body through. Below are common symptoms of overtraining, pay close attention to your body if you notice any of these symptoms.
- Muscle soreness
- Increase in resting heartbeat
- Weight loss
- Decreased performance
- Normal sleep pattern is disturbed
- Increased anxiety and depression
Increased resting heartbeat is the most common. The best way to track your resting heart rate is to do it at the same time and under the same conditions everyday. It is recommended that you should check your resting heart rate as soon as you wake in the morning, before you get out of bed. If your resting heart rate begins to rise over.