FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 19, 2011
Lace Up: 10 Things to Know When Training for a Marathon
Tips attributable to Antoinette M, Cheney, DO, a board-certified osteopathic family physician from Lone Tree, Colo., and a spokesperson for the American Osteopathic Association.
(CHICAGO) — The last few years have seen an upswing in the number of people running for exercise or participating in long distance races like half and full marathons. Running appeals to many because it can be done anywhere and does not involve a costly gym membership. Antoinette M. Cheney, DO, a board-certified osteopathic family physician from Lone Tree, Colo., and marathoner and triathlete, offers the following tips for those preparing for their first marathon.
The decision to run a half or full marathon should not be taken lightly. There are a lot of injuries including shin splints, ankle sprains and stress fractures, which can be caused by improper stretching and preparation. Sadly, every year there are a small number of deaths during marathons due to extreme heat or pre-existing medical conditions. Running is not a weekend warrior sport and requires proper training.
Those of all ages, but especially older adults, should talk to their primary care physician before starting to train. Discuss any medication you are taking with your physician. Certain medications can affect training by causing a raised heart rate, dry mouth or by restricting sweating.
When someone makes a decision to take part in an athletic competition like a marathon they need to treat their bodies like professional athletes treat their body. Making better diet choices and looking at food as a fuel to help their bodies run, getting adequate rest and properly hydrating can help a new runner adopt an athlete’s lifestyle.
First-time runners should not be afraid to learn from the experience of others. Consult books, magazines and blogs by runners when creating a training program.
Vary workouts during training. Some people don’t experience an immediate euphoria from running and can become bored or frustrated with the training runs. If that is the case, switch up workouts by cross training. A couple of days a week devoted to strength training, yoga or Pilates could actually prove beneficial by strengthening the core.
If a runner becomes injured or sore from overtraining, take a couple of days off and rest. Further damage can be done by running on a strained muscle or stress fracture. If rest and ice does not work, a runner should see their physician to make sure it is not a serious injury before resuming training.
Run safe and smart. Do not run alone in areas that are unsafe or deserted, stick to safe, well-lit paths. When running at night, dress in bright colors that reflect light to be visible to cars. Always carry a cell phone and form of identification while running alone.
Dress for the elements. Look at the weather report before leaving for a run. If there is a chance of rain, wear water resistant clothing. Always wear sunscreen when running during the day to avoid painful sunburns.
Properly hydrate. Don’t just drink water right before or during a run. By drinking at least eight glasses of water per day a runner can stay properly hydrated before even lacing up his or her shoes.
Do not try an energy gel or “goo” the day of a race without trying it first on a trial run. Everyone has different reactions to these energy boosting supplements, which often contain caffeine. Nobody wants to end up sick at mile 12 because their body doesn’t react well to the supplement.
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About the American Osteopathic Association
The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) proudly represents its professional family of more than 70,000 osteopathic physicians (DOs); promotes public health; encourages scientific research; serves as the primary certifying body for DOs; is the accrediting agency for osteopathic medical schools; and has federal authority to accredit hospitals and other health care facilities. More information on DOs/osteopathic medicine can be found at www.osteopathic.org.
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