You can see it now – running victoriously across the finish line of a marathon, a prestigious medal draped around your neck. All your months of hard work and dedication have paid off. Your bucket-list item has been checked. But how do you get to the finish line feeling healthy and happy? When so much can go wrong during 26.2 miles, how do you finish a marathon without injury? Here are 6 tips to prevent marathon training injuries.
1. Give yourself enough time to train
One of the easiest ways to cause injury is not giving yourself enough time to train and rushing into a race that you aren’t ready for. Your body needs adequate time to train for the distance. Generally speaking, most marathon training plans range from 12 to 20 weeks.
How long you should train depends on your fitness level and goal. “Training plans are typically broken out into beginner, intermediate and advanced options,” says Betchker. “Figure out where you are in those categories first.” If you have a particular race you’d like to run, figure out the date and work backwards for how much time you’ll need to train. You’ll thank yourself later!
2. Don’t build weekly mileage too quickly (or too slowly)
It’s important to know your base mileage to avoid injury. For someone considering a marathon or looking to “just finish,” about 15 miles per week is typically a good base to begin training. For advanced runners, their base could be upwards of 40 miles per week. The general rule of thumb is to increase weekly mileage by about 10% each week during training.