Top Tips for Beginner Marathon Runners

August 20, 2018 by osteogait0

Race Swag

Consider the fabric used as part of your running gear. Cotton and heavy materials can be difficult to run a race in and more modern materials offer a lightweight breathable experience such as the CoolMax variety. Practice in you gear to ensure it does not irritate your skin or cause blistering (socks). You will gain a huge amount of confidence if you like your gear and take pride in your marathon appearance.

Custom Made Orthotics / Insoles

Modern day athletic shoes are developed to ensure peak performance and give you plenty of comfort when running, however every individual runner will have unique biomechanics and anatomical function. Therefore if you are suffering from discomfort when training, a Video Gait Analysis and pair of custom Orthoses/Insoles may go a long way to helping you prepare for your marathon and stay pain-free.

Simulate the Race

In the lead up to the final race you must train on the same topographic landscape as the marathon. If you live in a flat area and are preparing for a hilly marathon, run with incline on a treadmill. If you are running a reasonably flat marathon then you are likely to lack variation in terrain during the race and will use the same muscles in the same fashion for the duration of the race, so it is important to condition to this.

Visit a Podiatrist

If you have any niggling injuries such as arch pain, heel painball of the foot painankle pain etc or suffer with ingrowing toenailscorns etc then training for a big race may make your foot pain worse. In light of this, a HCPC registered Podiatrist at OsteoGait Podiatry can give you a complete analysis of your lower limb mechanics and treat/address any concerns prior to undertaking your race preparations.


It is imperative to stay hydrated during the race. You may want to switch from water to an isotonic sports drink which helps rebalance electrolytes and replenishes depleted glycogen stores during the course of the race.


Minimise life stress in the lead up to the event. Ensure work projects are under wraps, politely decline invitations to late nights out, and save long days where you will be on your feet for after the race. The few days before the marathon get plenty of rest, sleep and relaxation before you pump up for the event.


Several hours before racing consume a carbohydrate rich breakfast to ensure you have plenty of reserves for the marathon. Typical foods have a relative gycaemic index and you will need both long and short acting foods. Long acting foods at breakfast and short acting during the race is ideal. Examples include pasta, rice, potato, bagels, bananas, sports drinks, high calorie protein shakes etc.

Footwear Advice from a Professional

The number one golden rule. Most running stores will provide advice on appropriate footwear but this will be from someone who fits the shoes in-store rather than a health professional who has extensive experience in managing foot & ankle injury/pain. A Video Gait Analysis session with our HCPC registered Podiatrists can advise further on this if you are unsure which style of running shoe is best for you.

Never wear a new pair of shoes to run a marathon the very first time. New shoes should have been previously trialed in training and this is key to ensure you can run the race to the best of your ability and do not get yourself injured. New shoes require an adjustment period and should be tailored to your foot profile.

If you have any further questions about your preparation, would like to discussrunning analysis or are thinking about getting a pair of custom insoles / orthoses manufactured then please contact us at or visit


Happy Running,

The London Podiatrist

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