First steps to the London Marathon 2023: how to avoid injuries
For those of you running the London Marathon on Sunday 23 April, 2023. Congratulations and we wish you the best of luck! With these series of blogs, we want to provide you essential tips on avoiding injury and, in the unfortunate event you get one, outlining the best approach to getting you back on the road as soon as possible. We’re here to complement any running coaching you may be getting, and to help keep you fit and healthy throughout your preparation and, of course, for the Big Day itself.
For the novice runner, the easy mistake to make is to focus solely on the number of miles you run before now and the end of April. But to get the best out of these last weeks leading up to the big day there are many other considerations that you should factor into your training.
What to expect…
Over the coming weeks, we’ll be giving detailed advice on a number of general topics, such as clothing, equipment, injury prevention, nutrition, hydration, tapering and mental preparation.
And, every week, we’ll also concentrate on a specific Focus Area of your body, setting out the common injuries faced by those training for a marathon, how best to avoid them, and what to do if you are unlucky enough to get an injury. In our next blogs, you will find some issues may happen, for example with your:
- lower leg,
- upper leg,
- and lower back.
Of course, if you injure yourself before we cover that part of the body, get in touch with us, your doctor or other medical professional straight away.
Whereas our (and your!) main goal is to avoid injuries, sometimes they just can’t be prevented. A marathon is not only a feat of physical and mental endurance, but also a serious challenge to your body’s robustness. Sadly, more than half of runners injure themselves during their marathon training. And many have to pull out before the big day.
Bellow, we set out the most common injuries incurred during training, and in this link you can find a table that shows you the most common injuries incurred during training, how to recognize them, and who you need to see to fix them. In addition, we will go into a lot more detail, including prevention strategies, weekly Focus Areas, but in the meantime, you may wish to print this table off and keep it as a handy guide. Of course, if in doubt at any time, you should seek proper professional advice from your doctor or specialist myoskeletal practitioner.
So, provided that you are injury free on 23th April, you will almost certainly complete the 26.2 miles. But first of all, you need to respect your body. The key to avoiding injury is to listen to what it’s telling you. Here are the key symptoms that might arise:
The most obvious symptom to look out for. If you feel pain, get it checked out. Don’t push through, as pain is an important warning signal that something is wrong.
Usually in or around joints, swelling often indicates an inflammation or build-up of fluid in a particular area. If left untreated, or if aggravated by further running without a period of rest, the problem will invariably get worse.
Stiffness, tightness and restricted movement
This is a common symptom within muscles or joints. But it doesn’t necessarily indicate an underlying injury. However, if after appropriate stretching and adequate rest, the sensation doesn’t go away, it may be an early sign of a developing injury. You’ll then likely need professional sports massage.
Bruising and discolouration
Usually a result of an underlying impact or trauma injury. If symptoms are worrying or particularly painful, or do not disappear within a couple of days, you should see a doctor.
Unusual tingling sensations or prolonged muscle spasms
If you develop any of these symptoms, especially if radiating down a limb, you should immediately see a physio or doctor.
We hope this information is useful for you. If you need advice or have any questions about our treatments, please contact us. You can find us 3 mins away from Angel station in Islington. We are always happy to help. If you like this blog, please share!