Training for a Marathon
Interest in endurance sports such as long-distance running is growing, and finishing a marathon was likely on many New Year’s resolution lists for 2017. “Running can help improve chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure, and it can enhance the body’s ability to burn fat,” said Brandee Waite, a physician with the UC Davis Sports Medicine Program. “But without proper planning and training, running can lead to injuries.” Here are Waite’s tips for safely running your first — or next — marathon.
- Check first with your primary care doctor, especially if you have heart disease or another medical condition.
- Carefully ramp up your mileage. Increase your running distances by no more than 10 to 15 percent per week.
- Set incremental goals. Start by training for and running a 5K, then a 10K, then a half-marathon and then a marathon.
- Join a running club to help you establish a training schedule and network of support.
- Stretch after you run to help decrease the risk of certain injuries, reduce soreness, and improve flexibility and range of motion.
- Never push yourself to the point of extreme pain or fatigue.