Want to Run a Marathon in 2020? Hit Your Goal with these Tips from Our Concord Podiatrist

January 1, 2020

This is it: the year you’re going to run a marathon, half-marathon, 10k, or even 5k race. Awesome! Whatever your fitness goals from the upcoming year, here are some tips from our Concord NC podiatrist that will help protect your feet, knees, and ankles as you train.

Start Your Training Early

If you’re training for a marathon, and it’s been a while since you hit the track, you should start running at least a year before the event to give yourself adequate time to prepare. If you’d had your heart set on running a marathon a bit sooner than next January, you might settle for 8 or 9 months—but no shorter, or you will place yourself at risk of injury. If you’re itching to race, you might try participating in smaller 5k and 10k races throughout the year before the big one.

Increase Your Mileage Gradually

The number one cause of most foot and ankle injuries can be summarized in four words: too much, too soon. It’s important to build your training slowly, easing up your mileage by no more than 10% a week. For a marathon, you should eventually build up your mileage up to about 20 miles a run. (No need to worry about the other 6 miles: most runners rely on adrenaline to push them through the final stretch on race day.)

Go Slow

This might go without saying, but when you train, you should be running at a relaxed, even pace. If you couldn’t carry on a casual conversation while running, you are probably going too fast. In order to successfully complete a marathon, you will need to teach your body to slowly burn fat into fuel over a long period of time—not win a rapid sprint.

Schedule Recovery Days

As tempting as it is to run every day, it’s important to give yourself a rest every so often. Studies have shown that runners who train for 3-4 days a week perform just as well as those who train every single day, with much less risk for injuries and burnout. Taking a rest day (or two) won’t damage your performance, it will give your body more time to heal. And gain strength.

Get Help from Our Concord NC Podiatrists

The staff here at Ryan Foot & Ankle Clinic are here to support you in all your fitness goals this year. From advising you on the best running shoe for your foot type, to helping you avoid injuries like Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis, we want to be a resource you can trust and depend on all the way to the finish line. To schedule an appointment with our Concord foot doctors, click here.