A Marathon Runner’s Guide – from a Sports Rehabilitator’s perspective

 In Sports Rehab

Running a marathon? Your in the right place!

Watkins Sports Recovery work with many athletes who are training for big athletic events. Marathons are by far one of the  most intense challenges that will change your life. Bringing together both physical and mental strength – your body will be tested to its limits.

The most important thing you can do when training for a marathon is to take care of your body. Preventing injury is key to any marathon runner’s program. An injury can not only set your training back – it could stop you competing all together.

As a member of BASRaT , I am able to share with you their guide to Running  and Juliet Mcgattan’s running tips. as published on their website. For those starting out their running journey these are great articles to help set you off on the right track.

This blog pulls together the content in these articles along with my own personal experience in dealing with runner’s who have completed some of the world’s great runs; Berlin, London and Chicago. Special shout out to Chelmsford Marathon here too – is it overlooked as one of the greats?! This blog also touches on the use of Kinesiology tape – one of my favourite tools in the clinic!

As the guide states, running has a bad reputation for causing injuries. It is often the reason why people don’t run – or try too. But many studies have shown that you are no more likely to suffer from a knee injury as a runner than if you didn’t run. The thing with injury is that it can often be prevented. Posture, technique, fitness, wrong equipment (trainers) – to name a few – can all lead to problems and niggles. This is often the case in novice runners. BASRaT’s guide to running is aimed at dispelling the myths and giving clear, helpful guidelines for runners.

Here is a run down of the main points:

  • Try before you buy! Getting the right trainer’s is key to your success as a runner. Running trainers can be expensive. However, these are only needed once you start covering a bigger distance. So to begin with – whilst you are getting into the sport – start with comfortable, slightly cushioned trainers that fit well. From there – once you know running is something you want to continue with you can invest in a good pair of running trainers. We would recommend visiting a  local running shop. In Chelmsford, Essex – we would suggest a trip to Runners World. Here you can speak to experts on trainers that will complete a video gait analysis (where you will be filmed running on a treadmill) to establish the best trainers for you. The video playback will show you what type of runner you are: you could be an over-pronator, a neutral runner or a supinator.
  • You should not increase your weekly distance by more than 10% (although there are some exceptions). Evidence shows that once your distance starts to accumulate to more than 2-4 miles in a single run then increasing it too quickly can lead to injury.
  • Intensity is also a factor to consider in terms of preventing injury. If you increase intensity too quickly – for too long – the body is not able to adapt and therefore breaks down, causing injury. Interval training and introducing variety into your program will ensure you push the body whilst allowing it to adapt.
  • Warm up! This is not a new tip and one which often gets overlooked! It shouldn’t need to take any longer than 10 minutes – but it could make the difference between crossing the line or waving the white flag before you finish.
  • Cool down! Gentle stretching and using a foam roller once you have completed your run will help you feel less achy the next day. That feeling of being achy is known as DOMs. Check out my blog post on DOMS for some top tips on how to reduce the effects.

The Importance of a good training program.

Get yourself an effective training program that works around you. There are many sources available online – however they may not necessarily work best for you. They can also be confusing – and sometimes even conflicting. Whilst I appreciate it is not always financially possible to seek out professional advice – from experience – it is money well spent.

Watkins Sports Recovery have partnered with Newton Personal Training, to offer our clients access to specialist personal training sessions for runner’s as well as putting together personalised training programs.

Mark is an elite marathon runner and member of Springfield Striders. Together, Mark and I work on a tailored plan that takes into consideration your current fitness levels, previous experience, running style and injury concerns.

It all comes down to technique

Technique is also an important factor to consider when training, and this is also something that a specialist PT and a Sports Rehabilitation therapist can assist and advise on.  Not only can a better technique improve your overall training goals (such as time) – it will also reduce injury dramatically. Posture is very important when running – but it is not always the easiest thing to control!

Completing strength exercises as interventions in a training plan have been shown to be most effective in preventing injury and increasing performance. This is a key area in which Watkins Sports Recovery work on with our clients. More than just a sports massage, Barry will prescribe strengthening exercise programs to help prevent injuries depending on where your weakness’ are.


What do you do if you end up injured?

“I am resting it”. One of the most common things we hear people doing once they are injured. Yes, whilst resting, elevating, icing etc. is important – you should also seek out a professional opinion. Watkins Sports Recovery assess our clients aches and pains to diagnose the exact issue and advise the best treatment plan for you. This can sometimes mean a referral to other practitioners or to the doctors for further tests.

When it comes to treatment we can offer a variety of methods depending on the issue. Sports Massage techniques coupled with trigger point therapy, stretching and kinesiology taping are often the most common.

Rock Tape – A must have in your running kit!

At Watkins Sports Recovery, I recommend Rock Tape to many of our clients. Whilst we specialise in applying tape for our clients, we can – and are very happy too – show them how they can tape themselves. This will enable you to support your body by reducing swelling, pain, tightness and stiffness. Tape is also good to delay onset of muscle fatigue and cramp.

There is a great article on the Brighton Half Marathon website that gives some good race day tips on using RockTape for those who may be interested.

We hope to offer many more blogs on all things RockTape – and soon you will be able to sign up to them (The website is brand new and we are realising some technically glitches!). So be sure to keep checking back or follow us on social media for all blog releases! We have an active Instagram account @Watkins_sports_recovery and Facebook account @watkinssportsrecovery. 

If you would like to book in an appointment with us you can do so right here! Whether you are looking for a post marathon treatment or interested in regular sessions whilst training, it would be great to hear from you!

Don’t forget – if you are /have run in the 2018 Chelmsford Marathon – we are offering you 25% off your next appointment when booked before the end of November! Just quote CM2018 when you book!

Contact Us

Send us an email and one of the WS Recovery team will get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt