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How strength training can improve your marathon preparation

The Lister Hospital’s senior musculoskeletal physiotherapists have offered some insight into how physiotherapy can strengthen marathon training this, and every, season. Whether it is the London marathon or another of the UK's brilliant road races people are grabbing their trainers and hitting the local roads, parks and tracks to prepare themselves for the ultimate physical challenge.  

It is well known running offers many great health benefits, such as increasing strength and fitness, however like most sporting activities it can also pose risks.

As the marathon season gets into full flow, we are see more and more people increase their weekly training. We have many clients come to see us, normally following an increase in training volume. This happens most frequently when they are increasing their mileage to between 15 and 20 miles. Or have started to vary their running patterns, such as increased tempo runs. A variety of different running related injuries present themselves, with the two most common we see being anterior knee pain and achilles tendinopathies.

There is more incentive nowadays for people to get active. The internet provides a whole host of information regarding marathon training plans. These online plans normally involve a gradual increase in mileage over several weeks, however very few of them include any strength and conditioning elements. Increasing the load we put through our tendons and muscles, whether this is increase in mileage or increase in frequency of sessions throughout the week, can cause an overload. This results in tissue breakdown which then exceeds the rate at which tissue building occurs, leading to injury as the tissue becomes less efficient at dealing with the increase in load.

Strength training

Strength training with one of our physiotherapists is tailored to the individual needs of the client. At the clinic, we assess personal goals, strengths and weaknesses to offer individual strength and conditioning training advice. This includes running gait analysis which can work alongside your current training plan.

A bespoke program to the client’s needs can be created to ensure you achieve better results. We support runners through their training from the beginning, during and after their events. Strengthening your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings and calf muscles are the common areas we target with training long distance and marathon runners.
Strength training
Consultant performing x-ray on patient's knee

Running and sports injuries

In the event that injury does occur, we also provide a range of treatment options for a number of sport related injuries, including:

Make an appointment at Chelsea Medical Centre

Any questions? Get in touch and we'll be happy to help.

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