Welcome to the #LifeCantWait Blog, SPEAR Physical Therapy’s official stream for fitness tips, exercise advice, and healthy lifestyle inspiration. Our articles and features are written by our physical therapists and staff members with your progress in mind. Designed to educate and motivate, SPEAR’s #LifeCantWait Blog exists to share your stories and help you get back to life! Disclaimer
Autumn is usually the time when runners start training for the marathon. Training is an arduous process, requiring participants to be in optimal shape to complete their miles. With the unexpected arrival of the pandemic, typical course for athletic competitions has been altered. Big athletic events, such as the New York City Marathon, have been postponed or delayed until further notice to comply with social distancing regulations. Additionally, many people are finding themselves with more pain and aches in the body than ever before, considering we spend so much time at home now and less time moving about. All of these changes may be discouraging to some runners, but fear not: you can still continue training and getting in those miles!
Plan your course and prepare aide stations in advance.
Cristina suggests mapping out your course and leaving supplies like water bottles, energy chews, Vaseline and masks at different points. She also states that most sportswear companies make masks that are less constrictive, more breathable and that can stand up to the condensation from heavy breathing.
Listen to your body in order to drive your training program.
Aches and pains are bound to happen, especially if you’re jumping back into a running cadence. Cristina recommends paying attention to what your body is trying to tell you. She states runner’s bodies tend to break down two to four weeks before race day. Typical overuse aches and injuries can include shin splints, patellofemoral pain (also known as runner’s knee) and Achilles and hip flexor tendinitis.
Cristina Martello, PT, DPT, conducts a running analysis on a patient.
Don’t neglect cross training due to limited “gym” access.
Cristina suggests combining short runs with dynamic warm-up exercises, such as monster walks and walking knee hugs, to help keep the muscles fluid. Cristina states: “the biggest mistake people make is thinking as long as they get their long runs in they’ll be able to get through 26 miles. Half the battle is doing shorter runs and cross-training.”
Focus on recovery days with mobility and flexibility to prevent injury.
Cristina believes the best way to prevent aches and injuries from sneaking up on you is to put a lot of stress on recovery days. She recommends these recovery days include icing, self-massage, like foam rolling, and mobility work and stretching. And of course, if you’re feeling pain, she recommends taking a full day off.
Keep a positive mindset and enjoy your race day.
As the saying goes—when the going gets tough, the tough get going! Keep a smile on your face, push forward and believe you can accomplish anything. Most of all—have fun with it!
To learn more about how a running analysis can help you, check out our specialty here, or watch our video below as we walk you through the entire process!