Training for a marathon or a half marathon can be both mentally and physically demanding! As a physiotherapist I see many frustrated runners trying to run through pain and injury which impacts their physical and mental health. Making sure the body is in top physical condition will ease the mental torture that marathon training takes you through! My tips below are to make sure your body and mind are in top physical condition.
I am not here to give you tips on what distance you should be running or what your training schedule should be. My role as a physiotherapist is to give you the best advice to prepare your body for the event. It doesn't matter if you have pain or not, building strength, stability and control in the right areas will make you feel so much better while running. It isn't just about making sure the legs are in shape either, your upper body posture, thoracic rotation, rib cage expansion, diaphragm function all needs work. One simple adjustment in any of those areas could make a huge difference to your running technique.
My favourite word! 'The study of the mechanics of a living body, especially of the forces exerted by muscles and gravity on the skeletal structure'. It is essential when training for a marathon to make sure everything is signing in harmony and moving the way our bodies have been designed to move. A restriction or weakness anywhere in the body can have a negative impact elsewhere.
Lets say after 10 miles you start to feel some discomfort or awareness of your hip, you have to first ask the question why? Why has your attention drawn to the hip? You might think there is something wrong with the hip. This might be true but it might also have something to do with the pelvis, the core, the shoulders, the thoracic spine, the list could go on!
In order to get your body conditioned for running you need to work the body as a whole, and include breathing exercises. This is where clinical Pilates comes in to play! I tend to see very common imbalances with runners in my physiotherapy clinic. This is why I have designed my Pilates for runners series of workouts based on what I see clinically. The workouts will concentrate on conditioning the whole body for a better running technique as well as reduce pain from running. You will work on your posture, breathing, thoracic rotation, oblique rotational control and strength, pelvic control, glute strength, hip and spine flexibity and lower limb alignment.
I regularly get feedback from people using the website and doing the workouts. This email was from a lady who has been doing the Pilates for runners workouts:
'I’m writing to say thank you so much for providing the website, you’ve nurtured me back to full strength to the point where I’m back to my running without any of the issues that were plaguing me with my hip and leg. Your detailed instruction has meant I’ve been able to appreciate what’s required to do movements correctly and this knowledge is something I’m finding I’m able to take with me and think about and be conscious of in my daily life eg my posture when I’m walking and sitting- you passing on that knowledge has been a real gift, thank you'