Safely Prepare for Your Next Marathon

Discover how to prevent overuse injuries and safely prepare for your upcoming marathon or running event.


Signing up for a marathon can be a great source of motivation to get into shape and start running. Having goals that coincide with running a marathon, whether it’s finishing your first half or full marathon, or achieving a specific best time, are powerful motivators that can help you achieve your ideal level of fitness. And lucky for us, with the arrival of fall, there are many marathons and half marathons that are on the horizon. As a result, many of us have signed up and are heavy in to training!

While preparing for these marathons and getting into shape is wonderful, this is a time of year when our physiotherapists see a lot of runners coming into the clinic with overuse injuries due to accidentally pushing their bodies too far. It’s easy to do; you start running and begin to feel better, covering more kilometers at a faster pace, and you get excited. Unfortunately, all of this exertion on your knees and leg muscles may result in an overuse injury.

How to Prevent Overuse Injuries When Running

It is important to allow sufficient time for your body to adapt. For example, it’s better to improve upon your distance before you tackle a more intensive run; this includes speed and inclines, such as hills. We recommend sticking the 10% increase rule.

Another way to avoid overuse injuries is to incorporate rest breaks into your running routine. These breaks should be taken during your run and throughout the week. Recovery time is important because it’s when our body re-builds and gets stronger.

Runners should also always incorporate a warm-up and cool down, as well as stretching and strengthening into their regular routine.

How to Know if You Have an Overuse Injury

If you are experiencing pain during or after running, unfortunately, you may be suffering from an overuse injury. Overuse injuries can be graded according to when you experience pain or the persistence of pain, all of which affects how our physiotherapists will treat your injury. Below are the four grades of overuse injuries and what they mean.

Grade 1: Pain is experienced only AFTER running.

Grade 2: Pain starts DURING your run.

Grade 3: Pain occurs during your run and PERSISTS the next day.

Grade 4: Pain is CONSTANT.

If you are experiencing pain as described above, especially Grades 3 or 4, contact us to make an appointment. Our team would be happy to assist you on the road to recovery, and help you get back on track for your upcoming marathon or running event!

(Image via Pixabay)

Credit to Little Goblins Press 

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