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Marathon Tips for Every Body

Experts weigh in on what you should be doing to prepare for the big race!

Boston, MA (February 13, 2014) – The 2014 Boston Marathon is just weeks away and with more new runners participating than ever, it’s important to take good care of one’s body while training for the 26.2 mile run. Boston Sports Clubs® (BSC) has released the following tips for everybody to help avoid injury while preparing for the big day. Starting at 60 days out and all the way through to Marathon Monday, following these guidelines will help ensure a successful race!

Tips for 60 and 30 Days Out of the Marathon

60 Days Prior to the Marathon

To become a stronger, faster runner who is less susceptible to injury, it is important to incorporate proper training and balance exercises into your workout. Runners who do not incorporate balance exercises are more likely to injure themselves because the body can only be strengthened by running for so long before the muscle strength plateaus. Examples of strength training and balance training:

  • Body weight or light weight squats with high repetition for the quadriceps and leg muscles. 20-30 repetitions.
  • Straight leg dead lifts to work out hamstring muscles: 20-30 repetitions.
  • Single leg balance exercises such as single leg dead lifts.
  • To mix it up, BSC also recommends trying upper body exercises or balancing on one leg
  • Try 4 to 5 sets of each exercise to maximize strength and endurance training necessary for running long distances.

Many runners will experience tightness and adhesions in muscles as the distance they run increases. BSC recommends some simple stretches to alleviate soreness and prevent injury, including:

  • Foam rolling inhibits overactive muscles and is accomplished by rolling a long foam cylinder under each muscle group until a tender area is found
  • Dynamic stretches (moving stretches with little to no hold) are important before your run to get the blood flowing to your muscles. Examples include toy soldier, hacky sack and knee up to hip outs
  • Static stretches (stretches held for at least 30 seconds) such as quad pull, wide leg reach lying down and lower back stretches


30 Days Prior to the Marathon

With 30 days to go before the marathon, runners are finally able to envision that finish line! However, the long-distance running is starting to take a toll on one’s knees. Here are some tips to keep them in shape:

  • Wrap your knee in ice and leave it that way for 15 minutes after running and stretching. This will help to eliminate any swelling from the area post-run and allow your muscles to recover faster.
  • While cross training, practice more unstable balancing exercises. Use equipment such as Dynadiscs or Airex pads, which allow you to do single leg balance exercises to increase your knee stability and strengthen the smaller leg muscles needed for running.  Training your legs individually is important.
  • Add in some side-to-side lunges for the frontal plane of motion.  Adding in a different plane of motion is important because most exercises tend to be back and forth.  This will help strengthen different muscle groups needed throughout your runs.  

Tips Before, During and Post Marathon

The foods you should be eating

  • What you should eat before a run is very simple. Keep in mind that you want foods that will provide energy while you are running. This includes foods with plenty of carbs such as pasta, rice, bread, fruit, and vegetables. These will all be broken down to their more simple form, glucose, which will be used as energy.
  • Remember, you know your own body – don’t eat anything crazy and extremely new to your body that you didn’t consume during your practice runs. This could lead to cramping or even diarrhea during your race if your body isn’t used to the food. 

What you should be doing before the Marathon

  • Before a marathon, make sure that you drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Keep in mind that you do not want to overdue it because too much water may weigh or slow you down because of bathroom breaks.
  • It is advised that you drink about 16 ounces an hour before your race and plenty of water in the days leading up to the race.

What you should be doing during the Marathon

  • To ensure that you are taking in enough water, it is advised that you perform an experiment to get to know your body. Weigh yourself before a long run (naked), and then weigh yourself again after. This will give you the exact amount of weight you have lost during your run, assuming you consumed little to no water during that hour.
  • Convert the amount of pounds you lost into ounces, and use that number for the “ounces of water per hour” you should be consuming during your run.
  • It is also advised that you drink a good amount of sports drinks to prevent low blood-sodium levels and boost your energy for the day of the run.

What you should be doing after the Marathon

  • Use the acronym KIS after a run –  “Keep It Simple”
  • What this means is that you should not fill your body with a ton of junk drinks. Stay safe and stick to water and sports drinks after the big run.


About Town Sports International Holdings, Inc.

New York-based Town Sports International Holdings, Inc. is a leading owner and operator of fitness clubs in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions of the United States and, through its subsidiaries, operated 159 fitness clubs as of March 31, 2013, comprising 108 New York Sports Clubs, 25 Boston Sports Clubs, 17 Washington Sports Clubs (two of which are partly-owned), six Philadelphia Sports Clubs, and three clubs located in Switzerland. These clubs collectively served approximately 512,000 members. For more information on TSI, visit