Tip # 1 -Focus on Form
The American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation reports that nearly 70 percent of runners will develop a related injury. It’s unbelievable, but this stat makes running one of the most dangerous sports on the planet. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Several programs have been developed to teach runners how to improve their form, therby dramatically decreasing the risk of injury. I’m a huge proponent (and certified instructor) of ChiRunning. This practice helps runners learn proper alignment while, remaining relaxed, to promote energy-effiency and injury prevention. You can easily self-study this technique with the ChiRunning books or DVDs. Even better, you can arrange to work with a certified instructor for one-on-one coaching!
There are other great programs/guides as well. These include Pose Running, Good Form Running, and many more. While the names of techniques vary, most underlying principles stay the same.
Tip # 2 - Get A Plan
In an ideal world every runner would hire an awesome coach to work with them. The coach can adjust each weeks runs based on results from the prior week. Coaches help athletes set goals, measure progress and push them beyond their comfort zones. At www.PittsburghRunner.com, we can definitely hook you up with something like this, but if private coaching isn’t in your budget, you can still get a great plan online for FREE.
Simply Google "Marathon Training Plan." You’ll end up with about 10 million results! Sort through the results until you find one that is right for you. Watch out for online programs that require you to pay. If you do pick a paid program, be sure it comes with a coach (even if they only talk to you once or twice to provide a customized version of the plan).
Here are a few things to look for in your program:
Tip #3 - Don’t Get Caught Up In Marketing/Just Run!
Sure, you might be extremely excited to get started. You may even be thinking “I need new shoes, new clothes, a GPS watch, heart rate monitor, nutrition gels.” The truth is, all of this crap is just icing on the cake. Running is free! Everyone has access and you can do it in almost anything.
Let’s take a quick look at the common items most runners think they “need."
Ken Presutti is a certified ChiRunning instructor, ACE Personal trainer, Spinning instructor, and coach. This blog is a mix of new articles and posts from his original blog, Overkill is Underrated.