Marathon Training Is Hard Work — Follow These Expert Tips to Avoid Overuse and Injury
Last year, the New York City Marathon saw over 50,000 finishers, and April's 2019 Boston Marathon saw more than 25,000 people cross its finish line. Other popular marathons take place in Chicago, London, and Berlin (fun fact: Karlie Kloss ran both the New York City Marathon and the Berlin Half!). With each big race, thousands upon thousands conquer those 26.2 miles. The double-digit mileage doesn't seem like an easy feat — even if you're not full-on running the whole thing — but training, especially if you're a new runner, might just be the hardest part, as recently depicted by the film Brittany Runs a Marathon.
James Steinberg, DO, orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist at The Centres For Advanced Orthopaedics, has injury prevention tips for first-time marathoners — but he noted that although beginners are definitely at high risk of injury, everyone can overdo it in training. "A lot of times for would-be more established runners, it's more chronic," he told POPSUGAR, where they fall into the same patterns that exacerbate a recurring problem (which we'll get to later).
The most common running-related injuries are shin splints, tendonitis like Achilles tendonitis, hamstring injuries, partial tears, anterior knee pain or "runner's knee," and plantar fasciitis, inflammation of the tissue that connects your heel to your toes. Iliotibial band (IT band) syndrome, or pain and tenderness in the band of tissue that runs from the hip down to the knee due to overuse, is another common one. Runners should be especially wary of shin splints, said Dr. Steinberg, who's worked with ultramarathoners in his 17 years in the field, because it could progress and turn into a stress fracture. Ahead, check out his advice for avoiding injury while training for 26.2 miles, and what to do if you're in pain.