Marathon Training and FAQs about Running Injuries
January is when you might be about to start your training for the spring Marathon season. Whether it’s your first or you’re an experienced marathon runner, it’s generally recommended that you train for between 15 and 20 weeks to prepare yourself properly. In this article we answer some of the most frequently asked questions from our many running enthusiasts.
Here are some frequently asked questions from runners that visit Health in Motion Osteopaths
- “Which running conditions can osteopaths help with?”
As your body adapts to running you may find that muscles ache after a run. This is normal and should resolve during rest days. Pain serves a useful purpose and should not be feared. However, any pain that seems uncharacteristic, of a sharp or burning quality; and increases while running, or is preventing you from running, needs to be investigated by a professional such as an osteopath. There are lots of conditions associated with running. These include achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, shin splints, ankle and knee pain and hip strains. Don’t ignore uncharateristic pain! Come and speak to us at Health in Motion Osteopaths for advice. We can diagnose the issue properly and suggest ways of adapting your training to get you back on track.
- “Which treatments are likely to benefit me as I train for a Marathon?”
Treatments like osteopathy and sports massage offered at Health in Motion, can help to reduce the chance of injury during training. With proactively scheduled treatment sessions we can make adjustments to improve your biomechanics so that the risk of repetitive injuries are minimised.
- “Do you see a lot of marathon runners at your clinic?”
Before and after a high profile race is when we are introduced to new patients who are runners, there is broad mix of running experience within this group. Existing patients who are runners are usually seeing us throughout the year and are “tactically” programming treatment into their training and event schedules.
- “If I get a ‘niggle’ should I run through it or will I do myself permanent damage?”
In the absence of meeting the person, asking this question and diagnosing the cause of their symptoms, the best answer we can give is as follows. Keep an open mind. If it continues; or changes in behaviour; and/or it is undermining your confidence, then get it checked out by us or by a similar professional. Chances are you are developing a repetitive strain as your training intensifies and your body may need some adjustment to cope with the increased mileage and frequency of training. These symptoms are much more straightforward to deal with if we have at least 6 weeks before the event. So do not delay if your getting any warning signs of running injury.
- “I have injured my hip / calf / back / etc! I really want to do the race. Will I be able to run?”
We will only be able to advise on this if we have examined and diagnosed your injury at the clinic. The most frequent injury that we see in the 2 to 3 weeks before a race is either a calf injury or a hip injury. Most runners are concerned about whether or not they are doing lasting damage. Again, we can provide treatment and advice to make sure that no lasting damage is being done.
- “Will I have to stop running to recover from my injury?”
That depends on the injury but it is our intention to keep you active during your recovery. We can do this by making any of the following recommendations which are applicable to your case.
Regress your training plan / reduce mileage to recommended level for a recommended period
Rest but continue with non-weight bearing CVS and conditioning exercise for a recommended period
- “How will I know I am safe to push my injured body after recovery?”
We will teach you how to “stress test” the injured area after we have confirmed that you are ready to resume running or increase your distances. Stress testing is low risk loading of the injured area to give the runner confidence that they are safe to proceed with training.
- “How much treatment will I need?”
This recommendation varies according to each individual and the nature of this injury. We will give your our estimate of the amount of treatment required once we have assessed your injury
- “What exercises can I do to help recovery or prevent injury?”
This is very individualised advice, because it is based on full evaluation of your case. We will produce a bespoke exercise plan to suit your condition. The exercises will include stress testing, once we judge you are recovered enough to do them yourself. Do not be surprised if we give you exercises that do not seem related to the symptomatic area. We are giving you these because we have judged other areas to be linked to your current complaint. This is all explained in your consultation.
- “When would it be considered too late to get help?”
Although early assessment and intervention is recommended, it is never too late to seek osteopathic advice and treatment in the last weeks leading up to the event.
- “Should I get an X-Ray or MRI?”
This depends on whether your practitioner feels it is necessary to do so. We can advise on this when we assess your injury.
- “Is it beneficial to get osteopathic treatment after the race and maybe for proactive treatment to assist my running throughout the year?”
Absolutely, post-event osteopathy can provide restorative treatment after an endurance event. Osteopathy is hugely beneficial for prevention of any potential injuries. For example, if you have suffered from a knee injury after your event, we will be able to work to relax and strengthen the structures supporting your knee and hence retain mobility of the joint. This will then prevent any further injuries throughout the year and allow you to continue running!