Endurance training puts your body under strain which could lead to an injury, but following our top tips can help you avoid some common problems. Don't let a preventable injury ruin your dreams of completing the marathon.

Plan - it is important to plan your training in order to monitor your mileage, pace, type of training and most importantly your progression. By keeping a track of how you are improving this can keep your motivation high and training programme regular and balanced. Often people get injured when they have a pang of guilt for missing lots of sessions and try and make up for it all in one run. If you do miss a few sessions you can always refer back to your plan and just bring it back a bit so you know your first run back won't be too hard. Modern technology can be really helpful as GPS watches and hear rate monitors can help you track your performance, and forums and websites can provide programme guidance.

Make gradual progressions - your body is great at adapting to whatever type of activity you throw at it but it takes time. Often people get injured doing too much too soon. advocates of the 10% rule recommend that mileage is not increased by more than 10% a week. That may be a little simplistic as your improvements may not be linear but it shows the principle of making incremental changes. It is important to keep challenging yourself if you want to improve, but in order to avoid injury it is important not to over do it. This could also be applied to how you start and end your runs, change your diet or include new activities  - make it gradual.

Include variety - running the same distance, the same route and same pace is not only mentally gruelling, but repetition can overload the body and can lead to injury. You could include interval work, hill runs on/off road runs. This should keep training interesting but it can also help to keep different parts of your body working All of these sorts of activities can be quite intense, so as we mentioned before it is important to include them gradually. 

Include some strength and conditioning - running can be very repetitive so making sure your body is protected by having good levels of strength, balance and flexibility can help prevent injury. Potentially it may also help support your trechnique, allowing you to run more efficiently. If you want some suppport or guidance on exercises you can do to help balance your body and running technique then Optimim Performance can offer you a biomechanical assessment to look at your movement patterns and tailor a rehabilitation programme to your needs.

Listen to your body - just because you have a plan doesn't mean you have to stick to it rigidly. If you feel a twinge don't push something just to follow your plan. If you have pain don't ignore it. A small injury may be able to be treated really quickly, but left too long it could become a serious injury which keeps you out of action for the long term. If you have any injury worries Optimum Performance can offer advice, diagnosis and treatment.

Look after yourself - when you are working hard make sure you support your body by hydrating, fuelling and resting adequately. Make sure you include rest days in your programme as your body needs this time to recover and  adapt to training.

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