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London Marathon Preparation

Clinic Central Physiotherapy’s Clinical Director Darryl Reid, fresh from looking after the world’s best in Beijing,  gives some advice on training for next year’s London Marathon.

With all the places in the London marathon now confirmed already we have seen an increase in the number of runners on the roads, keen to make the most of the last bit of fine weather before the dark and cold of winter hits.

Whether this is your first marathon or you are a veteran of  a number of marathons, good preparation is the key to finishing the race, and for some of us the key to getting to the start line.
I see a huge number of runners in my clinic between now and April with a multitude of over-use injuries that could easily be avoided by following the following key points.

1)    Shoes: Firstly ensure that you have a pair of running shoes and not cross trainers or gym shoes.  Check the state of your shoes.  Is the tread worn out? Are they lacking correct medial (inside of the shoe) support? Are they more than a year old? If so now is the best time to update your shoes, not a month before the marathon.  There are a number of good running shoe stores in London that will give you advice on the right shoes for your feet and needs.

2)    Warm up and stretching: 5-10mins of moderate walking or jogging followed by some stretching of the major leg muscles prior to the training run is important for maintaining flexibility and reducing muscle soreness and the risk of injury.

3)    Training volume: there are many good marathon training programmes on the internet.  The key aspect when you are starting your training is not to increase the volume too quickly.  The small joints, ligaments and tendons in your legs need to become accustomed to the increased work load placed upon them.  Initially cross training such as cycling, gym work or swimming may be beneficial as a substitute for one or two runs per week.

4)    Injuries: Getting onto niggles and injuries quickly dramatically increases the time frame for them to heal and therefore translates into less time off training.  I cannot tell you how many people I have seen miss out on the marathon because they let their niggles go on to long.

Follow the above key points and remember to enjoy your running!

Good luck!

Darryl Reid
Beijing Olympic Physiotherapist
Clinic Central Physiotherapy Clinical Director


You should always check with a healthcare professional before beginning an exercise programme. Consult the appropriate professional if you have any medical or training problems which may need advice and treatment. All matters pertaining to your health require medical supervision. The authors and publisher and The Physiotherapy Site specifically disclaim any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise which is incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any of the contents of this article.

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