20 Ekim 2016 Perşembe

How To Cope With An Injury Before A Marathon?

As runners, we are healthier than many other individuals but this still doesn't mean that we may never encounter pain or even an injury. No matter if they are sprinters or endurance athletes or beginners or experienced ones, actually thousands of runners experience few or more times of injuries in their athletic lives/careers.

That's why we, personal running coaches take place in every runner's (who has hired us) training period, to ensure a safe preparation to their athletic goals. Let's have a look into some topics we must focus on, if we have been dealing with some pain;

If a pain appears at the beginning of your run and goes away as you cover distance, do not worry. This is a kind of pain, actually any single runner encounters (yes, me too), maybe once in a month or once in 3 or in 6 months period. It comes and goes away.

If any pain occurs before, at the beginning or at some part of your run and stays there (even increases) as you cover longer distance, this is kind of the pain that has to be taken care of, by a physician/specialized doctor immediately.

ALY-TAMI-DAY-C (Always Log Your Training As Much In Detail As You Can)

You may have been training for an event on your own or with the help of a faster friend, or with a personal trainer. It doesn't matter. The most important thing is being able to provide a training history log with the most possible detailed way. By looking deep into your training history, Your physician/doctor or trainer will appreciate this info and will be able to assess, analyze and help you at best.
Whenever I start to train someone or help to a runner experiencing injury, I ask him/her to provide me the last 6 weeks of his/her training. So I can analyze all the training volume and training load with some extra questions, thus I can help much better.


If you experience the harmful pain I explained above, Give yourself "at least 48 hours" of total rest with the best TLC you can provide. If the pain limits even your walking, by causing you limp, stop
immediately and visit the doctor as soon as possible. If the pain occurs only when you run, then do not run. It is the signal of the body that is trying to say, you are giving it a harm.


Many of you already know this, but it is good to remember;


Leading the Dresden marathon race in my Nike Lunaracer's


Runners are the people deal with internal inflammation all around year. Inflammation doesn't progress when you keep the inflamed area cool. Not just apply ice as it is suggested in RICE method but also keep the zone giving you pain as cool as possible all day and night long. If the race day temperature wasn't -4C, I wouldn't be able to run my second fastest marathon (2:47) in snow and hail, while having an achilles pain for 23km in Leipzig, Germany last April. The pain I had then was allowing me to run but it was an annoying one, considering the location (achilles). So I analyzed the pain level, micro-tuned my strides to lessen the impact and felt thankful for the freezing cold in a race for the first time.


Massage is always a helpful action for the tired and achy muscles, veins and some tissues used during our runs. Tendon massage depends on the current condition and should be taken care of an expert. I suggest a very slow and light massage to increase the blood circulation which helps to get rid of the lactic acid, tiredness, heavyness and even inflammation with peppermint oil use.


These are the magic powders for any runner to use not only when they have pain but regularly in their daily nutrition. Turmeric is the strongest natural anti-inflammatory herb. Ginger increases circulation, relieves muscle soreness, boosts immune system and even aids digestion. Cinnamon helps to increase circulation, metabolic rate, regulates blood sugar. These 3 powders should take place in your each meal, especially during an injury case.


No more high heels, even classic shoes with no heel anymore! You should give your feet and legs a real rest, so they can feel relaxed and recover quicker, instead of getting even more tired and swollen after wearing those shiny, uncomfortable, classic leather shoes. It isn't limited to only your footwear, you should still wear comfortable and not super tight clothes with the accompany of comfortable shoes. Let your body circulate at its best to get rid of the inflammation asap.

Here I'm wearing NB barefoot like shoes which are used to strengthen the feet. (me as a pacer)


Yes, all in one. It should be long enough to give adequate rest for your muscles and joints. It must be deep, because just lying in bed or on a couch for 10 hours with no sleep (or with 5 hours of deep sleep) is not going to help you at all. Go to REM (deep) sleep, not the concert of R.E.M.
Wear your sleeping mask, put your ear-plugs on, provide a dark, cool, quiet sleeping environment, so you can get the best sleep and recovery. Also follow the biorhythm by putting your head on the pillow latest at 10:00pm.


Water, mineral water, vegetable juices, smoothies, real berry drinks are recommended.


Not your racing flats with no support. It depends on the level of the pain but it is best to support the muscles and tendons while there is already a pain. I recommend to wear bare-foot like shoes to strengthen the metatarsals and tendons connected to the feet, only if there is no pain at all.

2:45 marathon, I ran it in my more supportive shoes, not in my 5-10K specific super light racing flats


You did all the suggestions I wrote above for the last 48 hours and you have a marathon race coming up soon (let's say in 3 weeks). If you don't have any pain while walking, give it a try, BUT
* Run on either smooth and flat soil or on a flat grass, or on a track if those are not your options.
* Run very slowly with a proper warm up of at least 10 minutes and increase the speed gradually.
* If you haven't been able to do stretching after your last run, do a very slow and light stretching before the run or after the warm up part.
* Check the painful area, try to change your stride if the pain is still there (the shorter stride with the least impact, the better)
* Bring ice compress with you to your running place if possible, in case of a sudden huge pain.
* Stay positive, don't think negative and don't be nervous. Relax your muscles, shoulders, listen to your body. You may listen to calming music before and during your run.
* If you have tough workouts like interval, fartlek, tempo runs to do soon, forget about them. It is better to reach the start line of your marathon uninjured, rather than being faster but tend to get injured during the race.
* If you have another long or mid-long run to complete before your marathon, again forget about that if you still experience pain. Let your body get rid of the problem first.
* Let's say, you did a check run at the track with a very easy pace for 4km and had no pain. Then do a "reverse tapering", to check if everything is going better as you increase your daily mileage. I would recommend to leave one day of rest for each running day, even though your program was making you run 5 or 6 times a week previously. Once you get rid of the pain completely while being able to run your usual daily distance and pace, then you may start to run more often.

Good Luck!

Fatih Buzgan
Online personal trainer, 2:45 marathoner, Half-ironman
You may read my other articles here

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