Tips for London Marathon training and recovery
It’s six weeks until the London Marathon! In these final training weeks, here are our top-tips for how to prevent injuries and perform at your best for your marathon experience.
1. Reach 20 miles
Gradually build up your long training run to 20 miles by 3-4 weeks before the race day.
2. Taper down your runs in the last few weeks
In the final three weeks, half your mileage each week, in order to achieve peak performance.
3. Strength and conditioning
Resistance training is effective for injury prevention. These are some examples of good strengthening exercises. Build these up gradually and taper in the last three weeks.
4. Stretch, relax, be mindful
Replace the time you would normally run with relaxation and gentle stretching exercises in the last 3 weeks. You could try some meditation using Headspace’s free app, some relaxation breathing exercises, gentle yoga and, or positive affirmations.
5. Nutrition and hydration
Stay well hydrated and maintain a healthy balanced diet with:
- Carbohydrate based meals to build the stores of glycogen needed
- Protein for assisting muscle and soft tissue recovery
- Plenty of fruit and vegetables to boost your immune system
Sleep is vital for your body’s repair systems. Allow plenty of time for sleep, especially during the weeks before and after the race.
1. Warm down and stretch
Walk for a few minutes to bring your heart rate down to normal. Gently move all your joints through their range and slowly stretch your muscle groups for 20-30 seconds. Lying on the floor and elevating the legs can help to remove unwanted fluid from your legs.
Immediately after the race, rehydrate with water or a carbohydrate drink. Avoid alcohol as it is dehydrating and inhibits recovery. Add some simple carbohydrates like fruit to replenish your glycogen stores.
3. Sports Massage
Boost circulation to your muscles, assisting repair and recovery.
Allow plenty of time for sleep after the race, with a good lie-in!
5. Take a day off!
Allow your body time to recover. Relax and enjoy yourself.
Take a short 10-15 minute walk on the evening of the race to aid muscle recovery. Maintain a routine of walks and stretching for a few days after the race. Gradually build up low impact exercise in the first two weeks. Swimming is a great way to return to gentle aerobic exercise, and remove unwanted waste products in your legs.
Injury Prevention and Treatment at ALO
At ALO, we can support you in both preventing and treating running injuries. Common injuries we see in the clinic pre and post marathon are:
- Achilles Tendinopathy - causes pain and weakness at the Achilles tendon, which joins the calf muscles to the heel bone.
- Plantar fasciitis - causes heal pain. The plantar fascia is a band of tissue connecting your heel bone to your toes.
- Shin splints – causes pain along the inner shin.
- Anterior knee pain - causes pain at the front of the knee around the knee cap and can have many different causes.
- Bursitis metatarsophalangeal joint - causes pain and swelling around the base of the toes.
Services at ALO
Come for a physiotherapy running biomechanics assessment at ALO, where we will set you up with a programme of exercises designed to help you to improve your running technique and prevent injuries.
If unfortunately you do get injured and you would like treatment; at ALO we offer:
- Rehabilitative exercise programmes
- Electrotherapy: Human Tecar Therapy, Ultrasound
- Manual Therapy and Soft tissue techniques
- Biomechanics Assessment and running gait re-training
- Strapping and taping