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What I Learned as a PT Running a 1/2 Marathon

Running my first half marathon was an exhilarating experience, both as a runner and as a Physical Therapist. This journey has provided me with valuable insights that I am excited to share with you.

 

Importance of Single Leg Strengthening

 

Single leg strengthening exercises are crucial. Running is essentially a series of single leg hops, requiring balance, strength and stability on each leg independently. Incorporating exercises such as single leg squats, step-ups and lunges can help build the necessary strength to improve running efficiency and reduce the risk of injuries.

 

Importance of Hydration

 

Hydration plays a pivotal role in running performance and recovery. Dehydration can impair the body’s ability to regulate temperature and can lead to muscle cramps, fatigue and decreased coordination. I needed to increase the amount of water I was drinking throughout the day and used an electrolyte solution during longer runs to maintain fluid balance. Starting my run well-hydrated made a significant difference in how I felt and performed.

 

Importance of Carb Fueling

 

Carbohydrates are the primary fuel source for endurance activities. Proper carb fueling before and during a run can help maintain energy levels and delay the onset of fatigue. I focused on consuming complex carbs in the days leading up to the race and simpler carbs in the hours before and during the run. I experimented with different fueling strategies during training to find what worked best for my body.

 

Importance of Soft Tissue Work

 

Incorporating soft tissue work, such as foam rolling and massage, significantly benefited my running performance and recovery. Regular soft tissue work helped release muscle tightness and enhance flexibility. This practice can also aid in the prevention of common running injuries such as IT band syndrome and plantar fasciitis. I made it a habit to spend a few minutes each day on soft tissue maintenance.

 

Importance of Learning the Signals from Your Body

 

Listening to my body was perhaps the most important lesson. My body was constantly communicating with me, providing signals that indicated when to push harder and when to rest. Learning to recognize these signals can help prevent overtraining and injuries. I paid attention to signs of fatigue, discomfort or pain and adjusted my training accordingly. Rest and recovery were as essential as the training itself.


Now that I have completed my first 1/2 marathon in Nashville, where should I do my next one?!?


Lauren DeYoe

 

Doctor of Physical Therapy

Reiki Master

Owner Reiki PT

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