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Long-distance running, also known as endurance running, involves covering a distance of more than 42 kilometres. High levels of stamina, mental strength and fitness are required to compete in endurance events such as marathons.
For many, a marathon is a personal challenge to see if they can go the distance. For others, it is a motivation to get healthier. There are a few things to keep in mind when learning how to run a marathon.
For instance, it is important to give consideration to foot health. Training the feet properly can help in preventing injury and enhancing performance.
Understanding Foot Posture
Foot health can have a significant impact on the overall performance of a marathoner. Examining foot posture, walking stride and ground strike patterns can help identify foot problems and their impact on the rest of the body.
A weak foot posture, such as flat feet, may increase the risk of injury from training and participating in marathons. Flat feet can be a cause of postural misalignment in the lower body leading to abnormal movements which strain the feet, ankles, knees, hips and low back.
Long-distance running with a weak foot posture can repeatedly place additional stress on the lower body, which may build up to an injury; hence, it is important to get the foot posture examined in order to understand how it affects running form and impacts alignment of the bones and muscles.
Training for Marathons
Training outcomes can significantly be improved by understanding the importance of optimal foot function in long-distance running. Visiting a health care professional can allow marathoners to know which areas they can improve on. It can also help them learn how to get their feet ready for a marathon without increasing the risk of injury.
By getting the foot posture, ground strike pattern and walking stride examined marathoners can:
Physiotherapist-recommended exercises can strengthen problem areas to improve running form and overall flexibility. Generally, exercises such as towel crunch, towel stretch, stairway calf stretch, straight leg lifts, and quad stretch can be beneficial for the feet and legs.
If a weak foot posture is present, shoes alone cannot control unhealthy movements of the foot and ankle. MASS4D® insoles keep the feet in their corrected posture at all times. These insoles offer the greatest foot support throughout all phases of running.
With rearfoot control and arch support, MASS4D® helps reduce improper movements in the knees, hips and low back. This allows runners to improve their running form, conserve energy and train better for longer periods.
MASS4D® insoles are available at leading physiotherapy centres and sports clinics.
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Reference: Roth, Stephen (2011). Exercise Genomics. pp. 186. DOI: 10.1007/978-1-60761-355-8
Reference: McKeon, P.O., Hertel, J., Bramble, D., & Davis, I. (2015) The Foot Core System: A New Paradigm for Understanding Intrinsic Foot Muscle Function. Br J Sports Med, Vol. 49, No. 5, pp. 290. DOI: 10.1136/bjsports-2013-092690
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