It’s that time of the year again – and no, we’re not talking about Christmas, because as we all know, that starts the moment the last banger has been let off on Bonfire Night.
This is the time of year when the thoughts of a hardy and brave bunch of people turn to putting themselves and, more specifically, their bodies through a punishing 26.2-mile test of strength and stamina in one of the many marathon events that take place every spring and summer.
The biggest of these, arguably, is the London Marathon which next year takes place on April 28th.
Now, when it comes to training, the purists will tell you that to run a marathon safely you really ought to have been running a consistent base mileage for at least a year. The exact mileage is something of a moveable feast, but most online training resources agree on somewhere between 20 and 30 miles a week. Factoring in rest days – which are vital, that probably means somewhere between 5 and 8 miles per session.
But what if you’ve got to this point, registered for the London ballot, or stuck your name down for one of the other big UK events, but have no real previous running experience?
The absolute-must first step is to get some advice from your GP, who’ll be able to assess your general physical health and give you advice on what you can safely achieve based on your general fitness and health levels.
If your GP thinks, with proper training, you’re fit enough to run a marathon, the next step is to come to us for an assessment of your musculoskeletal health and an analysis of your gait, because the road to the finish line is paved with the broken joints of people whose running style let them down.
Assuming you have some running experience but you’re not an experienced marathoner, then your training for a specific event should really start between 12 and 20 weeks before you line up at the start. If you’ve got recent experience of running longer distances, you’ll need less time to prepare and, conversely, you’ll need more time if you’re ring rusty.
At West 1 Physiotherapy and Pilates, we offer complementary training packages that will help to keep you in good shape during your training programme. They include the gait analysis we’ve already mentioned as well as regular muscle massage and physio.
When you first come to us for an assessment, we’ll look at every element of your musculoskeletal health and identify any problems that might either inhibit your ability to achieve your goal or which put you at risk of suffering a debilitating injury, and we’ll make recommendations about the best way of resolving those problems.
And if you’re worried about upsell, don’t be: we’re definitely not in the business of trying to provide unnecessary treatment. Our only interest is in helping you to protect yourself from injury – or helping you to recover fully from an old injury that might get in the way of what you want to do now.
Beyond that, we’ll work with you to produce a training programme that’s kind to your body without getting in the way of the progress you need to make in order to complete the course on the day.
Marathons are not for the faint-hearted or faint-muscled, so ensuring you’ve got the right advice and care to ensure you’re completely prepared before you pull on the bib and set out on the first of your 26 miles is the key to making it to the finishing line.
If you’d like to talk to us about any element of our work, we’re always happy to welcome you in the clinic or speak with you over the phone prior to a visit. Just contact us to get in touch.