Preparing for a marathon can be a daunting task, especially if it’s your first one. Building endurance, strength, and speed are key elements of a training plan, but there is another crucial aspect that should not be overlooked: running analysis.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the role of running analysis in preparing for a marathon and how it can benefit runners.
What is running analysis?
Running analysis is the assessment of a runner’s gait, form, and muscle strength to identify any imbalances or weaknesses that could lead to injury. It involves using various technologies, such as motion analysis systems, force plates, and 3D cameras, to capture and analyse a runner’s movements.
Benefits of running analysis for marathon runners
- Identifying Imbalances and Weaknesses
Running analysis can help identify these imbalances and weaknesses, allowing for personalised training recommendations to prevent injury and improve performance.
- Improved Performance
Running analysis can also help improve performance by identifying areas where a runner can make changes to their form or muscle strength. By addressing these areas, runners can increase efficiency and reduce the risk of injury.
- Personalised Training Recommendations
Running analysis can provide runners with personalised training recommendations based on their individual needs and weaknesses. This includes recommendations for strength training, form corrections, and training plans tailored to the runner’s goals and abilities.
Other tips for preparing for a marathon
Aside from running analysis, there are other important factors to consider when preparing for a marathon. Here are some tips:
- Don’t Increase Load Too Quickly
Increasing running distance and/or speed too quickly is a common cause of injury in people training for their first marathon. Aim to build your total time running by 5-10% weekly and gradually build up your speed.
Make sure to schedule at least 1 rest day a week where you don’t run at all to give your body time to recover.
- Vary Your Runs
Doing the same run at the same pace every day is not going to yield effective increases in fitness. Make sure the majority of your scheduled sessions are “easy runs” where you run at a slow, easy pace.
Easy runs are important in marathon training because they allow you to run further and recover quicker.
Aim to run at around 60-75% of your max heart rate in these sessions, if you don’t have a heart rate monitor just try to run at a pace where you can still comfortably keep a conversation going without running out of breath.
Also, try to schedule in at least 1 speed session weekly, where you run a bit faster than normal, and 1 long run, where you run much further than you normally would.
- Warm-Up and Cool-Down
Warming up and cooling down are vital to preventing injuries in runners. Warming up helps to promote blood flow.
At North West Physiotherapy Newmarket, we offer marathon screenings that include a thorough running analysis.
Our assessment includes analysing your running form, muscle strength, and overall training load to identify causes of injury and prevent future injuries before they occur. If you’d like a running analysis to improve your performance for your next marathon, book an appointment with us or our partner clinics today!