But Betchker says this might be too easy for some. “We find that for most people, the 10% rule might not be challenging enough,” she notes. In fact, that rule is typically observed for advanced runners – like someone training for an ultra-marathon and already running 50+ miles a week. A new runner with a strong base or an intermediate runner could likely increase their weekly mileage by 20 to 25%. It all boils down to how you feel after each week.
3. Have your running form evaluated
When you get your running form evaluated, a gait analysis is performed. This analysis is an assessment of a runner’s biomechanical movement and uncovers how efficiently you are moving. Everything from where you land on your foot, to your knee placement, to your posture is examined. The assessment has been proven to increase efficiency and decrease chance of injury by correcting bad form. This type of evaluation can be beneficial for both novice and veteran runners and is appropriate for any distance.
4. Ensure proper footwear
The right shoes and socks are critical to injury prevention when training for a marathon. Too small of shoes could cause a blister or rub the wrong way on your ankle. Betchker advises to get a comprehensive fitting when it comes to running shoes.
Fittings are offered through physical therapy and are often performed at running specialty stores. “You can predispose yourself to injury if your shoes aren’t right,” says Betchker. “Everything from muscle strains, to stress factors, to blisters.” And when it comes to socks? Seamless, synthetic material is your best bet. Think: cotton is rotten, so look for moisture wicking material. Good running shoes and socks are worth the investment. Your feet need to be happy for 26.2 miles!