Marathon training on an athletics track

Hello all,

I was lucky enough to complete the 2011 Las Vegas marathon last year. If anyone followed it, you'll know it was a logistical nightmare and many people said they'd never do it again! I'm not so cynical, and I'm willing to hit the Strip again this December.

Last year I suffered with some pretty bad ITBS. Rookie mistakes like over running on the road camber and increasing my mileage way too fast. I was a little naive back then and did a 9 mile run for my first training run. Looking back there's no wonder my leg didn't just fall off!

So this year I am now three weeks into my training and doing 20 miles a week comfortably. I do still have a few little niggles in my right knee, but I've learnt some fantastic stretching exercises and have all the right (but very expensive) food supplements for my already vastly improved diet.

One thing I have thought of to try and fend off any potential injuries has been to do most of my training runs on an athletics track; even the Sunday long runs.

I'd like to ask if anyone has any advice as to the affects of such training? Will my knees die of shock when they hit the road again?

Keep loose people!


  • Not a great idea imho, better to find a flattish park with short grass to run on and try to keep at least one road run a week going. If you do try it, don't keep running the same direction but alternate it. Some tracks can be quite hard on the feet too by the way, although they vary. Better to keep the track for speed work only.

  • Right. I see. Thanks for the reply.

    I've been told before to alternate the direction, so I'll be sure to do that.

    I do 4 runs a week. Do you think I should do one of my medium runs on the road, or should it always be my long run?

  • Jon.

    You mentioned you do some fantastic stretching exercises to help with your knee. Would you share some of these with me as I can feel the beginning of a niggle in my knee. I must admit that previously I have not been one for stretches before or after a run so I think it's time I did something about it. Cheers

    OK, so these three videos kind of opitimise my daily stretches. I stretch 2-3 times a day depending on how tight I feel.

    One thing to note is that I think it is possible to over stretch. Others might be able to weigh in on this, but sometimes my right knee feels like I've played and pulled it around too much.

    There is another stretch where you cross your legs, stood up straight, and then bend from the hip down to the floor with your hands going as far as your ankles. You need to do this with your arms to the left of your body when your right leg is the leg behind the cross, and vic a versa.

  • Your knees will be fine, but your brain will turn to mush.
  • Thanks Jon

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