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Runner tying running shoes

5 Tips if You Want to Run a Marathon

October 9, 2015

Loyola Medicine sports medicine doctor James Winger, MD   Loyola Medicine sports medicine doctor Haemi Choi, MDWhether you want to run your first 5k or marathon, or just want to try distance running for exercise, you'll want to work toward your goal before jumping into the race.

Begin by training for and racing a half marathon first – or multiple half marathons. Some experts have suggested that a person should have been running regularly for two to three years before

James Winger, MD    Haemi Choi, MD

trying to run a marathon. The so-called couch-to-marathon programs are ideal recipes for injury.

Sports medicine and family medicine physician James Winger, MD, offers tips for those who want to run a marathon:

  • Go to a running store and be fitted for proper running shoes.
  • Use a published, proven training plan. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Use what has led others to success.
  • Consider training with a group. The people running with you can offer support, bonding and help cut down the boredom of the long weekend runs!
  • Listen to your body. Marathon training is fertile ground for injury; address small injuries before they become large ones.
  • Enjoy yourself. Many marathoners become so focused on the “prize” of finishing one that they overlook the experience of training. Relish the time spent exercising, outdoors and with friends and the wonderful effects that the workout has on your body.
​​5 Tips if You Want to Run a 5K

Haemi Choi, MD, a Loyola sports medicine and family medicine physician, recommends that you start by going to a running store and getting fitted for proper running shoes. You need to take it slow and gradually add distance. Also, be careful to eat what your body can handle, she said. To get ready for a 5K, which is on a 3.1-mile course, Dr. Choi recommends the following:

  • Take it slow with gradual progression in mileage.
  • Find a running group or buddy to train with.
  • Listen to your body and eat what it can handle.
  • Enjoy the experience.

Dr. Choi and Dr. Winger see patients at Loyola Center for Health on Roosevelt in Maywood and Loyola Center for Health at Gottlieb in Melrose Park. Dr. Choi also sees patients at Loyola Center for Health at Burr Ridge.