Training tips for Marathon & Half Marathon runners

Our top tips for marathon and half marathon training: 1. Avoid training error - 80% of all running injuries are caused by training error.  At The Physio Rooms we encounter this on a daily basis. Some simple guidelines to follow are: make sure increases in training volume are GRADUAL.  A 10% increase in total mileage per week is best. Mix intensities - 80% low intensity running to 20% high intensity hill work or sprints. Your long slow runs must be slow, the plan with these runs is to build endurance, it's about time on your feet not the speed at which you run. Implement a step up step back training program. This involves increasing mileage for three weeks and decreasing on the fourth week. Plan each run, they should have a different objective to ensure variety in your weekly training schedule.

2. Strengthen and conditioning - a recent study has shown that implementing a basic strengthen and condition program decreased injures in runners up to 50%. Strengthening the body's muscles and tendons enables us to cope with the stress and loads of endurance running better. At The Physio Rooms we have also noticed that our athletes who follow our strengthen and condition programs see big improvements in overall performance with many achieving personal bests in their events.

3. Running shoes and equipment - some recent trends have suggested that using a minimal shoe and running on the forefoot works best. As a general population almost 98% of us naturally heal strike. At The Physio Rooms we have seen a big increase in the number of injuries presenting in clinic due to a sudden change in running style. The most important piece of a advice to follow when buying new running shoes is that new shoes should feel comfortable to run in. Try and spend some time running in them before you buy. Most shops have treadmills these days. We recommend Nick Rivett for all your running equipment needs.

4. Nutrition - science suggests that you should fuel your muscles and liver before your train or run the big event. Try fuelling your body with approximately 250/300 calories about 1-1.5 hours before you run. Eating too close to a run can cause cramp and not eating enough could lead to a lack of energy. A basic rule of thumb for longer runs is that we need about 100 calories after the first hour and approximately 100 calories every 45 minutes after that.

5. Hydration - pre run try to drink about 500ml of water 2 hours before and then just before approximately 150ml. During the event try and drink about 200ml every 20 minutes. It's important to remember here that the stomach can only empty 800-1000ml of fluid every hour and running on a very full stomach can be very unpleasant.