Check yourself before you wreck yourself this Marathon season

Written by Chris Wiid on 12 June 2024

Between the long runs, pre-race nerves, and the endless number of energy gels, preparing for a marathon can be a physically and mentally draining task. There is no need to add injury or high levels of pain into the mix as well. Ensuring you take care of your body can be the difference between coming up short with an injury or crossing that finish-line. This post explores some of the areas that those brave enough to complete a half or full marathon should check themselves before they wreck themselves.

Hip and Knee Care

The muscle strength and stability of the hip and knee have a direct effect on structures further down the chain such as the foot and ankle. Just like any team, if one player isn’t working hard and pulling their weight, everyone else will have to work harder to achieve the same result. In this case if muscles around the hip are weak the muscles around the knee and ankle will have to compensate possibly resulting in pain and injury.

The Gluteus Medius is commonly one of the muscles which can be inactive or weak causing other muscles to compensate. The Glute Med is crucial in helping to keep the hips level and stable during running and walking, and if weak, can be a cause of pain or injury in other structures compensating for this weakness.  This pain commonly comes in the form of pain at the front of the knee, pain in your calf region and pain under your foot and when bad can limit your running ability. Adding three or four strengthening exercises to your regular training program will help to make sure your body is working well as a team and that no one part is compensating for weakness further up the chain. Exercises such as the standing clam, resisted hip abductions, glute bridges and knee extensions are all great exercises to help activate and strengthen muscles around the hip and knee that are vital to ensuring you remain pain-free on your long run.

Below the Knee Considerations

Spending hours running both in training and on the big day can take a large toll on the anatomical structures below your knee. Muscles in your calf region such as the Gastrocnemius and Soleus play a huge role in running with the Soleus potentially support 3-8x your bodyweight during your run. These large weight bearing loads means that these muscles are at risk of succumbing to pain and injuries with increased training loads. Incorporating some strength exercises along with your regular running schedule can be hugely beneficial to your overall performance and reduce your risk of calf pain and injury. Two simple exercises you could include in your training are the standing calf raise and the seated calf raise. These will target both the Gastrocnemius and Soleus muscles allowing them to be able to withstand the large weight bearing forces over the course of your training and your marathon event.

Footwear Matters

Your running shoes also obviously play a vital role in your run and looking after them will be crucial to your race day success. Ensuring you have adequate running shoes that provide you with support throughout the course of your training runs and on the big day to prevent pain and injury. Everyone’s foot is different, so it is important to speak to a professional if you are feeling any pain or you believe your shoes are inadequate for the 21km or 42.1km challenge ahead of you. It might be time to replace those old kicks and give your feet some TLC.


In summary, a marathon or half-marathon should be a fun and challenging experience as you push yourself to your physical limit and complete a feat that not many people would dream of doing. Ensuring you take care of your body as mentioned above can be the difference between completing your training or even completing the event itself. By adding some strengthening exercises to your regular program, you can help mitigate the risk of pain and injury as you stride toward the finish line and a well-earned post-race beverage. If you are starting to feel the effects of the long training sessions, feel any small aches or pains you want to get ahead of or are just curious about ways to stay physically fit, book in and see the friendly team at Sportstec to help you achieve your goals this marathon season.

Phone: (02) 6156 1308
Fax: (02) 6156 2254
Copyright © 2024 SportsTec Clinic
Website by MAAD Creative