Preparing For The London Marathon

Preparing for the London Marathon is different for each individual. For some, running the marathon will be the first time they run this distance. For others, it may be a frequent event alongside triathlons and ultramarathons.

The closer you are to the later group, the more your body is accustomed to the level of stress you will endure, and the more experience you will have with how your body reacts to it. The closer to the former group, however, the more you are entering into unknown territory. For this reason, this group should take extra care when preparing.

Main Areas Of Advice:

  1. Musculoskeletal / biomechanical assessment by a specialist podiatrist
  2. Video gait analysis by a specialist podiatrist
  3. Training
  4. Footcare

MUSCULOSKELETAL / BIOMECHANICAL ASSESSMENT

This assessment entails examining your unique bone alignments, joints, range of motion and strength of your lower limbs including hips, legs, knees, ankles and feet. This should identify whether you need to work on any strengthening and stretching exercises, and how you will likely function and deal with the forces of a marathon. You may benefit from visiting a physiotherapist to improve some of these.

VIDEO GAIT ANALYSIS

A Gait Analysis allows observation of the dynamic movement of your body when walking and running. Recording this allows your podiatrist to play it back frame by frame and analyse in fine detail. Depending on the findings and whether there are symptoms, you may be advised to:

  • Use orthoses (orthotics) to insert into your shoes
  • See a physiotherapist or other specialist
  • Use a different style of running shoe
  • Carry out specific stretching and strengthening exercises

TRAINING

It is important to increase your activities gradually and allow at least 48 hours between sessions to see how you respond to the activity, and allow your body to adapt. Remember, concrete is a hard surface to run long distance over and your body will experience significant repetitive trauma.

Common injuries include:

  • Stress fractures
  • Plantar plate tears
  • Achilles tendinopathy
  • Medial tibial stress syndrome
  • Damaged nails
  • Knee and lower back pain.

FOOT CARE

Maintaining good foot health will help reduce the likelihood of developing serious injury or pathology when training or while running the London Marathon.

Simple foot care steps should include:

  • Keep your toenails short and filed to prevent trauma to them.
  • Experiment using one or two pairs of socks, vaseline between the toes, and compeed to help prevent blisters from developing.
  • Malodour is usually caused from bacteria – keep your feet regularly washed, use antibacterial products on your feet and in your shoes, allow your shoes to thoroughly dry between uses.
  • Athlete’s foot (fungal infection of the skin) is very common and typically presents as dry scaly patterns under the feet and between the toes – use antifungal creams on the affected areas, antifungal powder in your shoes, and dry your shoes out between uses.
  • Visit a podiatrist who can give you more personalised advice and treat any corns and callus.

CONTACT US

Get in touch if you would like to discuss how we can help you finish the London Marathon injury-free, or to arrange an assessment:

  1. – 0207 412 8882
  2. [email protected]
  3. – 27 Harley Street, London, W1G 9QP

Steven Thomas

Senior Podiatrist @ Podogo