Fitness Runner – Training for First Marathon

Captured at Brett Darrington on 15 Aug, 2022 by California photographer Cecily Breeding.

Dear Doctor Brett:
I have been running for two years. I would describe myself as a fitness runner who runs approximately 10-15 miles per week in 4 days. I am getting ready for my first marathon upcoming in 3 months. My question is do I need a coach or training group to prepare or can I “go it alone”.

Dear Fitness Runner:
This is a question I get quite often. I will begin my answer by telling you that some of the most common running injuries I see in my practice are from the “self coached” marathoners. You have a decent base of mileage; however, not nearly enough to run a marathon. I strongly suggest that you look into a local marathon training group. Call your local running store or talk to other marathoners and connect with a group that caters to first-time marathoners. You must allow the body to adapt to marathon distance over months or years. In my clinical experience, the number one overall reason runners sustain injuries is from doing too many miles too soon before the body’s dense tissue E.g.: bone, cartilage, tendons, and fascia have strengthened to handle the load. Make that call and get some marathon specific coaching. It can make the difference between just one painful marathon or a lifetime full of them. Run smart! db