Surviving Marathon Season

Surviving Marathon Season

Are you training for the Boston Marathon or ramping up your triathalon offseason training?

Make sure you are putting in your time at the gym as well as on the road. Endurance athletes will often come to the clinic and ask me to manage nagging chronic issues that could have been avoided altogether with better preparedness. The 3 biggest drivers I see behind chronic running injuries are the following…

1). “A bad case of weakness”

Many ailing endurance athletes are simply belaboring symptoms that are the result of a bad case of weakness. I don’t believe that “just get stronger” is the simple solution to every problem but with most runners the strength bucket is the one that most urgently needs filling. Specifically, I find anterior core stability, single leg strength, glute/ham balance and dynamic eccentric control to be the most lacking. To remedy those deficiencies I like to see my runners able to achieve the following.

10 Single Leg Squats to parallel each side
15 Sideboard leg curls
10 Perfect Push-Ups & 10 Perfect Ball Rollouts
Perfect Linear+Lateral Hurdle Hop and Stick

2). Poor programming

Sometimes simple programming tweaks can lead to big performance changes and improved health for the athlete. Know what you athletes are doing outside of the gym, develop good communication with the running/swimming/cycling coach and make sure all the pieces of their programming jive together. When returning from injury consult them on how to slowly build up their mileage. Athletes will often try to return to their previous training volume too quickly without respecting the gradual progression needed to let the tissue adapt to stress.

3). Poor Joint Health: “If your joints don’t move well, movements involving those joints won’t go well” – @drandreospina

Although the the statement above sounds like common sense, I find the majority of runners that come into see us at Movement As Medicine lack the fundamental joint function needed to sustain consistent training. In every training sessions I prioritize daily joint maintenance drills in the warm-up as well as prescribing daily routines for my athletes to perform at home.

Want to have a successful competition season this year? Be like Carroll and Becky in the video above. They commit to training consistently 2 days/week to supplement their time on the road, bike and pool. They train like all of our other athletes lifting weights, hopping and jumping, throwing medicine balls and pushing sleds. They commit to maintaining their joint health and managing their recovery outside of the gym so that they can continue competing at the highest level.

My “go-to” daily joint maintenance usually looks something like this. (I plan to put out a blog post covering all of these next week.”

90/90 Stretch + Seated Hip CARS
Posterior Hip Rocking
Split Thoracic Spine Rotation
Shoulder CARS
Active Ankle Dorsiflexion
Seated Toe Extension
Cervical CARS
Toe Touch Squat
Split Squat
Lateral Squat
Bodyweight TGU