Marathons have gained popularity in recent years. What once started as an event designed for the most physically fit athletes has turned into an event for everyone. Some people run marathons to be the first person across the finish line. While others hope to just make it across the finish line regardless of the time, and enjoy the even with their families. Either way, finishing a marathon is a big accomplishment. However, as is true with any athletic endeavor, there is a risk of injury, whether it be during the marathon or during the training. As expected, certain injuries tend to be more common than others.
About 80% of runners’ injuries happen below the knee. This comes as no surprise as the legs and feet are the most important parts of the body when it comes to running. Patellofemoral syndrome is the most common injury and is essentially caused by overuse of the knee. This condition shows up when the knee is overused and under conditioned. For this reason, having a well thought out training plan is essential to maintaining a healthy body while running a marathon.
Shin splints are another common injury marathon runners. These are caused when the muscles that stabilize the foot become weakened. In the case of marathon runners, they can become weakened from overuse. Again, a proper training regimen is important to avoid shin splints in training or on the big day. Running requires training and a build-up. Jumping in and running a long-distance overnight can cause an unnecessary amount of stress to the body.
Fortunately, there are ways to prevent these two common injuries and a way to treat them if they do occur. The best form of prevention is training for the marathon properly. If you are not normally a runner, it is important to start slow. Your body takes time to build up the strength and endurance it takes to run a marathon. Trying to run too much when your body is not used to it can cause shock, and leave your body injured. Surprisingly, core strength is absolutely essential to runners. Core strength allows the body to maintain proper gait that protects the body from injury. Making sure you are wearing the correct type of shoe for your foot is also essential to minimizing injury.
Even in light of proper training and footwear, injuries are bound to occur. When they do, rest and ice are important to the healing process. In addition, special orthotics may be necessary for your running shoes to give yourself the proper arch support for your specific foot. In addition, other braces may help stabilize your foot or knee if you are having chronic problems despite proper training. If you are planning on running a marathon and notice an injury during the training process, or the marathon itself, it is best to consult an orthopedic specialist. These doctors are trained on treating these kinds of injuries, and may even have measures that can help you to avoid any injuries in future marathons.