Changing Marathon Training to Avoid Injury: Less is more

Study the past if you would define the future.

— Confucius



I ran track in high school (400 m). I ran for fun in college. I didn't run for 10 years and instead had 5 kids (what was I thinking), and now completing my family with 6! Now I run for sanity. The first time I ran over 5 miles was the summer of 2011 when my youngest was a year old and my sister-in-law challenged me to run a half marathon with her. I just couldn't stop running after that!

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17 Responses

  1. Cross training has always been the key for me. When I cut it down, I usually get injured. It’s tempting to just run more but my body doesn’t like it.

    • Mindy says:

      Yes – I’ve learned the hard way Deborah… It’s very true–when I cut back on the cross-training and core training I ‘do’ get injured! Thanks for reading my post!

  2. MB MB says:

    That’s always a struggle isn’t it! You feel better, so you lessen the cross training, and then WHAM! Injured again! I don’t follow the exact plan Mindy does, but my cross training days are no longer negotiable!

  3. Ali says:

    Great post! I absolutely believe that less can be more- especially when you are training with very specific goals in mind. Listening to your body is another fantastic tip. The “no pain, no gain” approach often leads to problems that could have been easily overcome if people would just chill out.

  4. jody says:

    I am a firm believer in less is more in regards to training. I had overtraining syndrome about 4 years ago, and it is no fun at all. It is very intense and took me literally years to overcome it. Don’t ever allow your training to put you there. It is no bueno. Now I do much shorter runs that allow me to be intense without running my body into the ground.

    • Mindy Mindy says:

      Jody – I’m sure you have great wisdom for avoiding over training after your experience. So sorry it tooks years to overcome. What a great resource you are now to others on the verge of training too much!

  5. YES YES YES!! I used the Run Less Run Faster plan for the last big races including my PR Half and Full and it is definitely what works for me! Less is definitely more. Better quality runs are key! Great post!

  6. Farrah says:

    Definitely with you on the smart eating–it makes such a huge difference (as does resting when you need it!).

    Totally random, but I love your bio! :] Hold onto that sanity! <3

    • Mindy Mindy says:

      Thanks Farrah! Yes – eating well is a great help! I must admit I’m not the best at that with all my kids wanting me to bake cookies etc…. But success in life is to just keep trying!

  7. Although I’m not a runner, I’ve found that taking it easy when I feel an injury coming on has been really important for me. There’s no point pushing myself if I’m going to regret it later.

  8. I qualified for Boston running only 4 days a week. I really think it depends on the person, but I know that my body can’t handle high mileage. I think the most important components of marathon training are the long runs and workouts (speed work, tempos, etc.). All those midweek junk miles do little for me.

  9. Ima Mosier says:

    I am a huge believer in less is more and in listening to your body. In the triathlon training programs I follow the focus is usually more on swimming and biking than on running. The author states two reasons for this: 1) swimming and biking will help your running, while running won’t help your swimming and biking. 2) Because running is more high impact than biking or swimming, it is usually where you will get injured, and if you want to make it to the starting line, not getting injured is important.

    • Mindy Mindy says:

      Thanks Ima! I really want to try a ‘tri’ one day. I think it would better suit my body. I love the variety in workouts! I just need to find a pool to swim in 🙂

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