Running a Marathon – Part One

Dear Foot Blogger Chick,
I have decided that I am going to get off the couch and run the Chicago Marathon on October 13. Do you have any tips to help with my training?
Soon to be EX- couch potato
Dear Ex-couch potato,
Good for you! That is the spirit! As of right now, you have 87days, 13 hours and 22 minutes to prepare.  (If you want to check out the countdown clock, click here marathon clock.
Preparing for a marathon will take some work but fortunately, you are not alone. You need to plan to make sure it is a great experience.
Let’s first start with the shoes. It is really important that you find the perfect running shoe for you. You will need to find the most comfortable shoe but be ready to change out shoes every 300-400 miles. Now, that is just a guideline. Changing out your shoes depends on a number of factors. First of all, listen to your body. If you start having problems with your feet, shins or knees, it may be that your shoes need to be replaced. The longevity of shoes will depend on your body, training style and running style. If you are on the fence about whether or not you need new shoes, go into the store and try on a new pair of your current running shoe. See how the new shoes feel. If there a difference, then you probably need new shoes.
But how do you get the perfect shoes? You need to go to a specialty running shoe store. The people in these stores are trained to work with you to find the perfect shoe. Some stores will have you run in the shoes on a treadmill to see how they work. Some will have machines to see how your feet are fitting in and moving in the shoe. (Quite the snazzy machines!)
It may be that due to the structure of your foot you need some extra support in your running shoes. You will be able to tell if you feel you are just not getting enough support even from new shoes. If that is the case, then you need to stop by your friendly local podiatrist and get some custom orthotics for your shoes. Now, you will need to break in the orthotics – slowly adjust to the support that they give your feet.
So now your feet are all set for the new challenges, what else should you do to prepare? You could also, while you are at your friendly local podiatrist, ask for a physical therapy evaluation. By watching you run, a physical therapist can give you exercises and tips to make the activity much more enjoyable and help to save you from injury.
Training for the marathon is extremely important. It is a long grueling run and if you have not prepared, you can really hurt yourself.
There are several ways that you can train.  One way is to look up on-line for a suggested training schedule.  Hal Higdon, who has a long and illustrious background in the running community, has suggested training plans listed on his web site (  You can find numerous other training plans on line.  Just be sure that they are from a reliable source.
Another way that you can prepare for the marathon is to join a running club. This not only will help you train correctly but will add a social component to your runs. You will meet others with a similar desire to run and train and also have company during the training. You will have someone to meet to get you out of bed and on the trail.  To find a running club in your area, you can search on line or check at your local YMCA or your town’s parks and recreation department. You can then find out what the local club offers and see if it fits your needs.
There is still a lot more to say about marathons and marathon training, so we will be back next week with more on this topic.
Until then, have a great week and take care!
Your Pal,
The Foot Blogger Chick
If you have questions, don’t hesitate to send them to or leave them in the comment section below. I am not a doctor but I check with one before answering questions.
Trivia Question of the week – What is the RRCA?
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Follow us on twitter – @EvPodiatric and the answer will be tweeted on Friday morning as well.
If you live or work downtown Chicago and would like to see one of the friendly podiatrists there, don’t worry! You can head over to the office on the “Magnificent Mile” in Chicago.  Stop in and say “Hello”. They would love to meet you. They are really that friendly!
Mag Mile Foot and Ankle Institute
333 N. Michigan Avenue Suite 1825
Chicago, IL   60601



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