melbourne-marathonAs the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, we’re seeing more legs out and about pounding the pavement in preparation for the upcoming Medibank Melbourne Marathon.

With 3 weeks to go, we’re seeing a lot of frantic over-training and extra running sessions that are sky rocketing the injuries related to over-training. So, it seems a good time to suggest that while extra run sessions aren’t going to make you faster, something that will take less toll on the body, help you get through the run and improve your performance is concurrent strength training.

If we look at specificity of training for a marathon, we see a lot of people that increase the kilometres and/or the number of training days per week, which can quickly lead to overtraining and injury.  Specificity certainly involves running, however we like to recommend no more than 3 times a week.  It’s important to note that specificity also involves strength training in positions that are specific to running.

Specific strength training involves performing exercises in positions which are synonymous with the gait pattern of running – ie. hip extension, control through  ground contact, knee drive and pushing off through the big toe.

Advice for specific strength training to address these components of running

1. Hip Extension:

Glute bridges > with good articulation and an ability to engage your glutes without your hamstrings cramping or lowerback loading

2. Single Leg Squat:

How balanced are you? Can you maintain control of your leg through a small range squat?

3. Knee Drive:

Loading around the thigh and driving and the knee through while weight bearing on one leg

 4. Toe off Phase:

Single leg calf raises > How many can you do in a controlled manner? Is your left as strong as your right?

The above exercises are just some of the ways you can include specific strength training into your marathon preparation for a well-rounded and integrated training program – one that focuses on more than ‘just running’.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to make an appointment at the clinic by calling 98882 2020 or emailing me at