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Elite Philadelphia Marathon Finishers Share how they Avoid Injuries
By David Block
Training for a 26.2 mile marathon requires running over 50 miles a week. Elite athletes who can cover the distance near the five-minute mile pace sometimes run 80 to 120 miles a week. A high weekly mileage base can lead to injuries unless you know how to prevent them. A few top 2018 Philadelphia Marathon finishers shared how they avoid injuries.
Sixth place finisher Matthew Herzig, 23, was the first male Philadelphian to cross the finish line. He clocked 2 hours, 18 minutes and 36 seconds, 2:18:36. Being the first Philadelphian earned him a thousand dollar cash prize.
He liked that the weather was 35 degrees. "There was no wind and I wasn't sweating," said Herzig who runs 90 miles a week. "I usually run at least once a day, but I always try to get a second in."
To avoid injuries, Herzig does a lot of stretching exercises. If he feels an injury setting in, he ices and massages it. "I also know to back down," Herzig said.
It also helps that he runs for the Philadelphia Runner Track Club (PRTC).
"It's geared for post collegiate track and cross country athletes," said Herzig. Being part of Philadelphia's elite running community gives him a support system.
Twenty-seven-year-old Margaret Vido clocked 2:42:49 and was the fourth woman to finish and the first Philadelphia female resident. She collected a total of $2,500.00, $1000.00 for being the first female Philadelphian and $1,500.00 for finishing fourth.
She runs for PRTC and averages about 90 miles a week.
"I cross train if anything is hurting," said Vido. "I would do spinning, hiking, biking. I'll also take it easy."
Anna Weber, 30, of Indianapolis, IN was the second female marathon finisher. She clocked 2:40:11 and second place earned her $5,000.00.
"My goal was to be in the top 3," said Weber, "so I was happy with how I did."
She had a few scary moments. At the 20-mile mark, Weber was hurting. Worse, she saw that a woman was catching up to her.
"I was worried that she was going to pass me," said Weber. She kept it from happening. "I took it one mile at a time, then one step at time."
Weber spent the past 10 weeks training for the Philadelphia Marathon, where she ran about 100 miles a week.
To avoid injuries, she focuses on strength training. One of her favorite exercises is the single-leg Russian deadlift. "It focuses on activating the hamstring and glute and lower and upper back muscles," said Weber.
Thirty-five-year-old Desiree Linden, whom this year was the first U.S. woman to win the Boston Marathon since 1985. 2:39.54, was at the Philadelphia Marathon to talk to and support the participants.
While training for marathons, Linden runs about 120 miles a week.
"I recommend to run what works best for you," said Linden. "Build up slowly."
Two days before the Philadelphia Marathon, this writer asked Philadelphia Mayor James Kenney at a marathon press conference if he does anything to keep fit.
After the crowd stopped laughing, the mayor answered:
"I laugh a lot. Actually, I do some walking and yoga."