Before a person embarks on training for a marathon or a half marathon there are several factors that should be taken into consideration. The first and most important is, are your heart, lungs, blood pressure and general health up to the task, the second is, can your musculoskeletal system to endure the several months of “pavement pounding”, and the third factor is what are your personal goals?
The first two are best addressed by being evaluated by your primary care physician and or by your orthopaedic surgeon before you start your training. The third is more personal, your goal(s) should influence the time and effort that you will put into your training routine. Are you looking to cross the finish line using a combination of running and walking when necessary? Do you have a specific time that you are trying to finish the race in? Your goal should be realistic and can best be achieved by setting and attaining smaller short term milestones which can be based on current fitness level, previous running experience and a well thought out long term training schedule.
It is important to avoid injuries. If you become injured you may jeopardize your chances of attaining your goal. Without getting into specifics the best ways to avoid injury are: to progress slowly, wear the appropriate footwear, maintain a healthy diet, vary your training routine, allow for rest days, cross train, and do not run through pain.
By Dr. Joseph Calandra
Medical Director, Trident Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation
Official Kiawah Island Golf Resort Marathon’s Sports Medicine Partner