Tips for Marathon Training and Recovery

As the winter starts to break, that means it is time for marathon season to start back up again! If you’ve never trained for a marathon before or maybe its been awhile since your last one, here are ten tips for both training and, the equally important, recovery

  1. Don’t Procrastinate Training: While marathons only last a day, correctly training for one should take you a couple months.
  2. Gradually Increase Distance: DON’T try to run a marathon on your first training workout. Start by running a mile until you can complete it pretty comfortably. Then bump it up to two miles. Take it just a mile at a time. Much like the race itself, training is not a sprint, it’s a marathon!
  3. Get the Right Gear: Shoes are so important to the whole marathon process. Make sure you get the right running shoes for you. The right shoe should be comfortable when laced up tight. The right shoe will help prevent foot, knee, shin, and quad pain. This will make the training and recovery process easier.
  4. Use a Foam Roller: When recovering from training or a marathon, a foam roller can be the most useful tool in your tool box. The foam roller helps massage soft tissues which will prevent inflammation and soreness. You should look to spend at least 10 minutes after each training session on a foam roller.
  5. Stretch: While this one may seem obvious, many people think that they should just jump on the treadmill and get going. While their ambition is admirable, they won’t last too long in the training process and are risking pretty significant injury. Training before will help prevent injury and stretching after a workout will help recovery.
  6. Be Consistent: Setting a goal is very important, but don’t be too strict on yourself. Just make sure to get to the gym as much as you can but understand you also need to live life and you may miss a few days here and there. It’s ok! Just keep up as best as you can and you will eventually reach your goal.
  7. Find a Marathon Buddy: Try to convince one of your friends to run a marathon with you. Training with a friend will not only make it easier in the moment, but it will also help you stick to it if you have a sense of accountability.
  8. Stay Hydrated: The biggest reason for people failing during a marathon is dehydration. To avoid this common pitfall, get on a hydration schedule during training. Try to drink at least ten cups (8 oz. per cup) of water a day during training. This will save you some soreness and will help you prevent injury.
  9. High Protein Diet: When trying to recover from a marathon, make sure you mix in a lot of proteins. This will give your muscles the much needed energy they need to recover healthily and quickly. Depriving your body of protein after a marathon will cause the muscles to actually eat themselves for energy and can cause your body to lose muscle.
  10. Take Time to Recover: When training, you will inevitably be sore. Don’t try to “run” through the pain. Take a day or two off and focus on icing and using a foam roller. Getting a massage can also help with recovery. Sports Massage is an important element to help athletes recover from injuries as well as preventing injuries. Utilizing sports massage can help athletes maintain, and even improve their conditioning and training.