A Physiotherapist's Guide to Training for Running - Part 3


Why now is the BEST time to train for your FASTEST marathon

With the world on lockdown and every marathon in the world cancelled you’ll be forgiven for thinking that the idea of training for a marathon is not the greatest priority right now. But I urge you to think again. This is the PERFECT time to start training and focussing on completing your first marathon or working on smashing out that elusive PB.

Why you should start now

You can run 7 times a week

The UK government advice allows us one opportunity a day to go out for exercise. That means you have the option to run 7 times a week if you want to; more than enough! While you may not be lacing your trainers every day (and this is not recommended unless you’re conditioned for it), you can easily get the right level of training in every week. You can consider supplementing 3 to 4 runs each week with a nice walk or bike ride on the other days.

And the best of it is, that rather than seeing your training as a chore, it is now the highlight of the day and a privilege to be outside for some respite from the house.

Time to sort out those niggles

Many runners have their ‘weak spot’ - the niggle that won’t go away or keeps coming back. Ignoring it or not getting round to fixing it will usually end in disappointment. Now is the time to take advantage of a video consultation with a running specialist Physiotherapist in the comfort of your own home. A lot of injuries can be understood after discussing them with an expert, and often the most effective course of action is advice and exercise. I’m not taking anything away from the skilled hands of a therapist, but we are still able to offer lots from a remote consultation. And if we do think you need some muscle release, we have plenty of advice to show you methods of self-release.

I am the run specialist Physiotherapist at the White House clinic as well as experienced marathon runner. I proudly crossed the line of the 2019 London marathon in 2 hours 43 minutes and I have ambitions to beat this when the marathon schedule is back on track. To book in a remote video consultation with myself please click here.

Focus on Strength & Conditioning

The internet is full of workouts, and this has multiplied in the past few weeks, with the demand for home exercise growing exponentially. A run specific class is recommended, as it will focus on the main aspects and muscles which runners rely on. I have the experience of running a specific runner’s class at the White House for a number of years now. This class is now online and can be booked here (link to MindBody). It runs every Monday at 7pm (for a small fee. 1st class free). I attribute a lot of his success to the regular strength and conditioning I do throughout the year.

See my article specifically focussing on Strength and conditioning for runners here.

Well-being & Mental Health

For many, running is a chance to switch off, to escape and to get away from it all. This was the case before self-isolation took hold and is more the case now. Being largely confined to your four walls might have been a novelty at first, but it is a long way from normal and can be mentally challenging. That is why having a long-term goal and plan can really help get you through these tough times. And when you come back in from your run, you’ll probably feel much more mentally relaxed and revitalised.


So have a think about your goals, make a plan and get your trainers on. It will be great to create a positive challenge in these uncertain times.

If you have any queries after reading this, then why not book a Remote Physiotherapy Consultation with me by clicking here. I also offer Run screening assessments which are an excellent way to review your body and reduce your risk of injury.

Look out for my final article on avoiding injury and what to do if an injury occurs.

Steve Canning

Clinical Director & Senior Physiotherapist

Steve is the Clinical Director and a Senior Physiotherapist at the White House clinic and has worked at the clinic since 2005. He qualified with a BSc in Physiotherapy from Sheffield Hallam University in 2002.

Steve Canning

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