UnityPoint Health Trinity
UnityPoint Health Trinity

Ask an Expert from UnityPoint Health

If you have a training and running related question, be sure to submit it here.  The most frequently asked questions/those that apply to a large number of runners will be answered and posted on our Facebook Page.  Be sure to join our Facebook page so you can participate.  By accessing and using the information on this website, you are indicating your acceptance to be bound by the terms of use.

Importance of training:

  1. Injury prevention. It is necessary for your body to slowly adapt to the increased demands you are placing on it. A rule of thumb is to increase your training volume no more than 10% per week. If currently running 10 miles per week, add one mile to longest run the first week.
  2. Cross training. Active recovery with a different mode of exercise allows your body to recover while maintaining/improving cardiovascular gains.
  3. Psychological training. It is important to set attainable goals. Think of training on a weekly basis as opposed to the end result of running 26.2 miles.
  4. Strength training/stretching.  It is important to "work your weakness." If you have muscular imbalances limiting your performance they must be addressed.
  5. Nutrition. It is important that your body has enough fuel to make it through the event. Make sure to have adequate protein and anti-inflammatory foods. Practice what you are going to use on race day. Do not use something different than what you have trained with.

Finding Your Target Heart Rate:

To find your predicted maximal heart rate based on your age, subtract your age from 220 for men, 226 for women,  A 34 year old's predicted max heart rate: 220-34=186 beats per minute. General rule of thumb is to train at 60-80% depending upon fitness level.  For the above example 60-80% of 186 beats per minute is 161 beats per minute.  During training, longer runs may be toward the lower end of the range and shorter runs toward the upper end of the range.  Exact percentage will depend upon the training program you are following.

How to find the right shoe:

Before venturing out to find  new shoes, watch Take the Wet Test and check out following links:  What is my foot type or Foot Diagnostics.  Find an experienced retailer such as Active Endeavors or Running Wild and have your foot type determined and measured for issues such as flat foot, neutral foot or high arch type foot.  Bring your old shoes with you so wear/tread patterns can be observed.

If you currently are using a shoe that works well for you with no injuries do not switch to the latest fad shoe.

How do I know if I am over training?

Symptoms of over training may include: increased fatigue, moodiness, appetite changes, a decrease in performance, sleep disruption, decrease in leanness despite increased volume and or intensity, an increase in musculoskeletal injuries and decreased enjoyment in event participation.

Over training may take a significant period of time to resolve. Overuse injuries may require significant training modification or even a complete break from training to let the affected tissues heal.

Over reaching may include the above to a lesser degree.  With adjustment to training it usually resolves within a couple of days.

How Do I Know if I have a Strain or Injury?

A strain is an injury to a muscle or tendon, also known as a pulled muscle. Muscle fibers tear as a result of overstretching, overuse or faulty mechanics.  Symptoms may include localized pain, weakness and possible discoloration and bruising.  Depending upon the severity of strain, interventions may be as simple as icing the affected area, compression, rest and elevation. For severe cases medical intervention may be appropriate.

A sprain is an injury to a ligament when the joint is carried through greater than normal range of motion. Severity of sprain can range from overstretching to complete rupture.  Symptoms are similar to strain and include edema, discoloration, pain and possibly reduced weight bearing.  Interventions may include rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE). If symptoms are severe and/or do not improve, follow up with your physician.

Should I join a training group?

Talk with other runners to determine if a group exists that meets your needs. If you live in the Quad Cities area, consider joining the official training program of the TBK Bank Quad Cities Marathon, orgainzed and managed by the Cornbelt Running Club and sponsored by Frontline Spine and Sport. Cornbelt Running Club also offers multiple weekly workouts in a varity of locations and formats. 

Whether a novice or experienced runner, training for a marathon is different every time.  Variables include: time of year, health and different courses. Training groups offer commitment, tips, tricks, assistance with nutrition, camarderie, support, accountability, increased compliance with training plan, and knowledge that others in group are facing similar challeges. You may develop race partners who train at your pace. Training groups help you form long-term relationships with other runners.   A novice training alone may lead to injury or disappointment.

TBK Bank Quad Cities Marathon/Half Marathon Fall Training Program
Frontline Spine & Sport
Frontline Spine & Sport

Register online here!

  • 16 week program beginning June 5th (first Sunday of June), join anytime
  • All abilities welcome
  • Supervised by Coach Russ Hart and experienced marathoners
  • General and personalized training advice provided
  • Weekly long runs, track workouts, training schedules and more