Shrewsbury Family Chiropractor offers helpful tips for Marathon runners
19th June 2013
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It’s well known that appropriate warming up and cooling down will improve performance and often more importantly help with recovery, so here are some tips to help you enjoy the run and feel better afterwards:

Warming Up, Muscle Stiffness can be related to muscle injury and a good warm up will help prevent this and allow you to complete the race.

  1. 5 to 10 minutes jogging will increase body temperature
  2. 10 to 15 minutes dynamic stretching exercises - reduce muscle stiffness
  3. 10 to 15 minutes general and event specific drills - preparation for the session or competition. e.g. for a runner
  4. 4 to 8 easy run outs over 30 to 60 metres - focus on correct running technique)

Dynamic stretches are more appropriate to the warm up as they help reduce muscle stiffness. Static stretching exercises do not reduce muscle stiffness. For further information and an example click here.

Why Should I complete a warm up before the marathon?

Firstly, your performance may be improved, as an appropriate warm up will result in an:

  1. Increased speed of contraction and relaxation of warmed muscles
  2. Dynamic exercises reduce muscle stiffness
  3. Greater economy of movement because of lowered resistance within warmed muscles
  4. More oxygen in your muscles, haemoglobin in the blood releases oxygen more readily at higher muscle temperatures
  5. Increased blood flow through active tissues as local vascular beds dilate, increasing metabolism and muscle temperatures
  6. Allows the heart rate get to a workable rate for beginning exercise
  7. Helps with your mental focus on the event

Cooling downshould consist of the following:

  1. 5 to 10 minutes jogging/walking to decrease body temperature and remove waste products from the working muscles
  2. 5 to 10 minutes static stretching exercises

Static stretches are more appropriate to the cool down as they help muscles to relax, realign muscle fibres and re-establish their normal range of movement. These stretches should be held for approximately 10-15 seconds.

What are the benefits of a cool down?

An appropriate cool down will:

  1. Aid in the dissipation of waste products, including lactic acid
  2. Reduce the potential for the delayed onset of muscle soreness
  3. Reduce the chances of dizziness or fainting caused by the pooling of venous blood at the extremities
  4. Reduce the level of adrenaline in the blood
  5. Allows the heart rate to return to its resting rate

Often after all of the training and running, participants experience an array of musculoskeletal problems which come as a result of an injury, incorrect technique or an overload of stress and fatigue on the body. If you experience any discomfort that you are unsure about make sure you seek professional health advice earlier to help prevent long term problems.

"I hope you all enjoy the first Shrewsbury marathon and have all the success and happiness of achieving your goals, whether it’s simply completing the event or achieving a specific time."

Dr Glenn Fredericksen is the owner of Shrewsbury Family Chiropractic on School Gardens, castle gates, Shrewsbury. If you are need of help after the marathon or wish to include Chiropractic care in your health regime phone today on: 01743 493 091. For current offers click here. Find Glenn on Google+.

By Glenn Fredericksen

About the Author

Glenn F

Member since: 2nd February 2011

I started Shrewsbury Family Chiropractic in 2011 to provide a more positive service and approach to maintaining great levels of health and well being. I enjoy working with people of all ages and the warm...

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