Running for exercise is considered to be the best cardiovascular fitness practice. It may seem as simple as hopping on the treadmill or going for a jog around the neighborhood. However, serious marathon runners know that there needs to be more thought put into the process. Training for a marathon is a strict regimented process that gives one of the biggest feelings of accomplishment a person can achieve. Foot and ankle health is also a large part of a successful training regimen and strengthening these body parts are critical to the outcome of the exercise. Do you want to get off of the couch and prepare your feet for your first marathon? Let’s discuss some tried and true marathon training tips that you can put in to use even if this isn’t your first race.
The decision to run a marathon was probably not something that you decided to do on a whim. Chances are you’ve been a runner for a longer span of time and are already in pretty good physical shape. The average amount of time that a casual runner trains for a marathon is between 18 to 22 weeks, which is roughly 5 months. Spending a longer period of time on your training allows for you to set a smoother pace for yourself to avoid a foot or ankle injury and muscle strain. During your training, try to set aside at least 4 days for running and 1-2 days for other cardio exercises to give your feet a break, such as cycling or swimming.
A severe injury will result in time taken away from your marathon training plan. There are several tactics that can be taken to prevent injury. Stretching before and foam rolling or a yoga class after can help with your training. Improving your form can help to prevent injuries. This is done by utilizing strength training methods focused on your core and lower extremities.
The right footwear is also a key to foot and ankle injury prevention to help prepare your feet for your first marathon. Enlisting the experts at your favorite running store can assist you with finding the best running shoe to provide the right amount of support and comfort during your training. Replacing your running shoes is recommended once you’ve logged somewhere between 300-400 miles on them. Other factors that you may not realize are as important to the health and safety of your feet are your shoelaces and socks. Socks should never be too worn out and laces can be tied to provide comfort to certain areas of your feet that may be feeling a bit tender.
Running can be a lonely form of exercise. Try to find a running buddy or group to keep yourself on pace and focused toward your goal. Remind yourself that you are transforming into a healthier and stronger version of yourself. Keep one foot in front of the other and stay positive!