If you have been following the Olympic Games, today is when the women’s marathon will be run. However, the current women’s world record holder Paul Radcliffe won’t be participating in this event due to a foot injury caused by osteoarthritis.
Running can be hard on your feet, especially if you’re running a marathon that covers 26 miles and 385 yards. Did you know that you can run between 30,000 and 50,000 steps during a marathon? And with every stride, your feet and ankles absorb the impact of three to four times your body weight according to medical studies. Also, as you run, some muscles in your body contract in order to propel you forward while other muscles lengthen to control the degree of your movement. This lengthening and contraction of the muscles can lead to muscle damage and inflammation.
Some common lower extremity injuries in marathon runners include: blisters, Runner’s knee, stress fractures, iliotibial band syndrome, shin splints, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, muscle pulls, and ankle sprains.
Since running a marathon can be a grueling endurance test, runners need to prepare properly in order to prevent injuries. Here are some tips for preventing injuries.
- Listen to your body. While a little soreness is ok, you shouldn’t ignore consistent pain. If the pain doesn’t get better with rest, you should see your doctor.
- Develop a training plan. Talk to a trainer to help you develop a training plan based on your current abilities and your long-term goals.
- Warm up and stretch your muscles. Before and after each run, begin by walking for five minutes to warm up your muscles. Then make sure you properly stretch your calf, hamstring, groin and quadriceps muscles.
- Develop core strength. Add weight training and abdominal exercises to your routine in order to strengthen your muscles.
- Cross train. By mixing up your fitness routine with other activities like swimming, biking or tennis, you’ll help prevent overuse injuries from occurring.
- Run wisely. Run on flat, smooth surfaces to begin with. Gradually add hills to your running routine to adjust your body to different inclines slowly.
- Stay hydrated. On the days you run, drink an extra 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 cups of water. If you run for more than an hour, drink a sports drink to replenish lost electrolytes.
- Dress appropriately. Wear lightweight, breathable clothing that will wick moisture away from your skin. In cooler temperatures, you should dress in layers. Also, wear a hat to protect yourself against the sun and cold in the winter months.
- Wear properly fitted running shoes with good support. Also wear proper-fitting, moisture-wicking socks like the Thorlo brand with your running shoes. Replace your running shoes when the soles are worn down.
- Consider custom shoe inserts. If you suffer from flat feet or high aches, custom orthotics like ezWalker® Performance Insoles can provide your feet with the support they need. These insoles are custom made for each of your feet to provide you with a better biomechanical position with every step you run. Your body will be properly aligned from your feet up to give you better balance, stability and posture. Therefore, your feet will feel better at the end of your run.
By following these tips, you can train and run marathons at your best while preventing injuries – especially if you’re wearing ezWalker® Performance Insoles. For more information on these insoles, visit our website. Or, order your pair today for maximum comfort when you run.
Because … when your feet feel good, you feel good.