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4 Things You Need to Know Before Training for a Marathon


The OC Marathon is right around the corner, here are some quick tips for those considering running a marathon for the first time, or the 100th time.

  1. Don’t overdo it. The “sweet spot” is to run between 15 to 25 miles per week. According to a 2015 study, scientists found that those who are moderate runners and jog between one and two and half hours a week are less likely to die than serious runners. The key is to participate in moderation. Allow yourself a couple of weeks to recover between marathons, triathlons and ultra-marathons.
  1. Don’t panic. Researchers at Yale say that 82% of those who frequently participate in marathons suffer from stage 1 acute kidney injury (AKI). This is a condition where kidneys fail to sift out waste products from the blood. This could be because of a rise in core body temperature, lack of water, and a lack of blood flow to the kidneys. But here’s the good news: most runners likely don’t even know they have this condition. The kidneys recover by themselves and marathoners are able to make a full recovery within 48 hours.
  1. Don’t push it. You know your body. According to Dr. Andrew Gerken at Hoag Orthopedic Institute, if you feel like you’re dying by the end of your run, you’re likely pushing too hard, running too fast, or going too far. There are numerous other fitness successes to be a part of. Don’t force it if it’s putting too much stress on your body.
  1. Don’t stop. All exercise puts stress on your body. Just because running marathons is your thing, does not mean you have to stop doing what you love. Differences in joint structure, muscle fiber types and genetics all play a role in determining the stress and effects marathon running has on your body. Correlation does not equal causation.

Dr. Gerken was recently interviewed on the topic here:

Categories: News, Sports Medicine