Marathon: Surviving the Long Run

CHICAGO, Aug. 12 (UPI) — Physicians at Loyola University Health System in Chicago say marathon training increases injuries such as shin splints, fractures and muscle strains.

“These injuries often result from over training or increasing mileage too quickly,” Dr. Haemi Choi says in a statement. “That is why it is important to build up mileage slowly and take rest days.”

Recommendations from Choi — who will run a marathon in October — and colleagues include:

– Not burning more calories than are taken in by eating. Small, balanced meals with 65 percent carbohydrates, 25 percent protein and 10 percent fat, every 3-4 hours provide sustaining energy. Snack on low glycemic foods such as bananas and apples an hour or two before exercising.

– Drinking to thirst to avoid dehydration or hyponatremia. Check body weight before and after a long run. Weight gain is a risk for drinking too much, hyponatremia, a dangerous condition.

– Wearing comfortable clothing that wicks away sweat. Don’t wear shoes more than 300 miles. Replace shoes at least three to four weeks before race day.

– Sleeping at least 8 hours a night.

– Stretching before running helps, but cooling down/stretching at least 15 minutes afterwards aids muscle recovery.

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