Top 10 Things To Before Running the Boston Marathon
From the desk of Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac.DNBAO…
We're a little more than a month away from the Boston Marathon so this week we're talking about sports medicine and training for the big event. Whether you are well into your training for the marathon and looking for an extra edge or you've recently been inspired to lace up your old sneakers and start with a 5K, here are a few tips to get you started.
Start on the Right Foot
How do you prepare for an endurance event that will test all of your physical and mental mettle? Take a moment to consider your overall health and well-being. Find a sports medicine specialist to evaluate your physical condition, address biomechanical imbalances, or perform a gait analysis to prevent future injuries. Developing a pre-training plan with an expert will help you reach an optimal training level and address any underlying issues before you begin to add up the miles.
Instead of waiting for the first signs of injury, schedule a "well" check-up every four to six weeks to identify signs of physical stress. Check-in with a training coach, chiropractor, or strength and conditioning specialist to help you develop a self-care routine during your training. Try acupuncture to keep levels of inflammation down and recovery times to a minimum. Athletes are often afraid to seek treatment when they notice the first sign of pain or discomfort. Treating an acute injury optimizes your chance at recovery and minimizes the risk of long-term damage or chronic pain.
Cross-training by incorporating multiple physical modalities will help you customize a routine, prevent over-training and address areas of weakness. Substitute different forms of cardiovascular exercise, strength training, speed intervals, or exercise rehabilitation. Don’t forget to rest. If you’re training for 26.2 miles or any endurance event, you need one to two days of hard-core rest combined with one cross-training or light training day.
Build Core Strength
Core strength training refers to the conditioning of the stabilizing muscles of your spine, pelvis, and torso. These muscles provide a foundation for all physical movement. When you increase their strength, you increase your power, speed, and stride efficiency. This training season, substitute a Pilates class for crunches. Pilates is one form of exercise that builds core strength as well as being a powerful tool for injury prevention and increasing athletic performance.
You've heard it before but you still can’t touch your toes. Would you try stretching if it restored your muscles to their normal length so that they contract at their optimal resting potential? Would you try stretching if it increased your range of motion? You know the routine: warm-up, hold each stretch for 30 seconds, do not bounce, and spend at least 15 minutes focusing on lower-body muscle groups. Here’s the alternative that we love just as much: the foam roller. Spend 5-10 minutes rolling out various muscle groups, paying attention to trigger points. The massage and myofascial release may just help your stride whether or not you can touch your toes.
Next week we'll discuss five more training tips that you should consider whether you're training for the Boston Marathon, a 5K, or any other race.
Want to try acupuncture this year? Schedule a complimentary consult to learn more about how acupuncture can benefit your health and training regimen. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac., DNBAO
Jessica L. Molleur is a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, and massage therapist in Massachusetts and California. She first became interested in acupuncture as a soccer player searching for an alternative to knee surgery and discovered the many benefits of Traditional Chinese Medicine. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of California at Davis and a Master of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco, CA. Jessica is a National Diplomate of Acupuncture, Oriental Medicine and Chinese Herbology through the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). She is also a Diplomate of Acupuncture Orthopedics, a specialty certification held by fewer than 500 acupuncturists in the United States.
Jessica currently maintains a private acupuncture practice in Boston's Back Bay neighborhood, which was awarded Best Acupuncture Center by Boston Magazine. Areas of specialty include women's health, pregnancy, infertility, pediatrics, and sports medicine. If you are interested in learning about the benefits of acupuncture for fertility and IVF, please visit the acupuncture + fertility page. New patients can book online to schedule any acupuncture service including a complimentary consult. Jessica also serves as a health care consultant for a number of integrative medical institutes. Her clients include IVF and infertility centers, functional medicine offices, orthopedic facilities, concierge practices, and green spas. Please contact OMBE for more information about these services.
Prior to her consulting work, Jessica founded an integrative health center in Boston. The eco-friendly center was one of the first twenty-five companies certified as a Sustainable Business Leader in Boston. During its ten-year tenure, the center provided services including acupuncture, chiropractic, massage, naturopathy, nutritional counseling, personal training, Pilates, and yoga. Studio offerings included mom and baby programming, Mongan Method Hypnobirthing, natural childbirth education and the Holistic Moms Network. The center was the recipient of several awards, including Mayor Menino's Green Business Award, a multiple recipient of Boston Business Journal's Best Workplace, Boston Magazine's Best of Boston Award for Massage Therapy as well as Best Eco-Friendly Massage, Eco-Beauty Bar, Nutritionist, Personal Trainer, Pilates, and Workout.