training advice

5 Ways to Prepare for Marathon Training

Wondering what you should be doing to get ready for fall marathon training? You’re not alone. Here’s how we recommend you fill those precious weeks leading up to the start of your marathon training:

(1) GET HEALTHY. Now’s the time for a little TLC for any extra tightness or nagging pain that’s been creeping it’s way into your spring running. Maybe this means taking a week or two off from running or a couple visits to your favorite therapist. Also, don’t forget the value of a good non-running shoe. Women, with warmer, summer weather comes flat sandals, flip flops and high-heeled sandals. None of these are good for your achilles or your feet. Instead, spend more time in shoes with about a 1-inch lift and some arch support.

(2) SETTLE INTO A ROUTINE. Marathon training must be a priority for it to be successful. So, make sure you’ve figured out a way to fit in at least 3 runs a week including one day a week that will work for your longer runs. If you figure out how to make your schedule work in advance, it’ll be a lot less stressful when training officially begins.

(3) PICK UP THE PACE. Get your body used to the faster paced workouts included in most marathon training plans with at least one run a week that includes speed bursts in the middle or at the end of your run. For example, after a couple miles into your run, pick up the pace 4-6 times for 15 seconds to a couple minutes. You don’t need to sprint, but get out of your easy, regular pace. Alternatively, finish your run with a fast last mile at a comfortably hard pace similar to a tempo pace. This pace should feel challenging, but you should still be able to control your breathing.

(4) LONG RUN PREP. Take a look at the long run distance in week 1 of your training plan. Now make sure you’re ready to tackle that distance by building up over the next couple of weeks to a mile or two below this distance. For example, if the first week of your plan has you running 10 miles, you should be able to run 8 miles before starting week 1. This way you adhere to the 10% rule of only increasing your long run distance by about 10% each week. 

(5) FIND A PLAN! No marathon experience is the same, so we believe no plan should be exactly same. Make sure your training plans works for you – not just your training partner. For a fully customized training approach and a fun, supportive environment, check out our 16-week training plans.  

Interview with a Physical Therapist

Erica Meloe is a physical therapist and the co-founder and Director of Velocity Physiotherapy in New York CIty. She is an innovative physical therapist who combines her knowledge of orthopedic and neurological assessment and applies this model to treating pain in all areas of the body. She calls herself the "non-traditional", "traditional" physical therapist and gets results when others therapists do not. Erica believes in treating the whole patient, not just the body part in question.

Why do you like working with runners?
I really enjoy working with runners because they are a highly motivated group of individuals. They understand what needs to get done to put themselves back into the "game". I would say that the more experienced the runner is, the level of understanding with regards to rest and cross training is higher and more of a priority. However, no matter what level of running, their passion for the sport is incredible! Runners are a focussed group and "in touch" with how they feel when they run. It's this body sense, that makes them interesting and fun to work with!

If you could tell a runner one piece of advice, what would it be?
Prevention. Do not always wait to seek out a physical therapist until you are in pain. Engage a physical therapist ahead of time for a preventative musculoskeletal screen to determine if there exists any dysfunction in your body that may predispose you to an injury. Poor running mechanics in addition to ineffectual training methods can pose a significant injury risk. A physical therapist can formulate an individualized program that can address these dysfunctions and make your running a much more pleasurable activity. Furthermore, they can introduce you to some alternative techniques such as focussed breathing when you run that will also help make your running more efficient. Depending on the state you live in, you can access a physical therapist without a doctor's referral for a limited period of time.

What is your go-to fitness activity and why? 
I enjoy running, Ashtanga Yoga, hiking and tennis because the majority of those activities get me outdoors. I love being outside! But if I can't do that, I will get on the elliptical.

What is your favorite post workout meal?
I don't have a specific meal after a workout, but I do drink lots of water. The only thing I would recommend is to keep it light.