Top 5 Tips on Healthy Clothing Choices for the Marathon
By Glenn Ault, associate dean of the Keck School of Medicine of USC
Medical Commissioner of the ASICS LA Marathon
1. Wear shirts made of a “technical” fabric that wicks away moisture from the body. Avoid cotton, which soaks up moisture.
2. Wear socks made of thin fabric that wicks away moisture.
3. If the weather is cold, consider wearing a cap or jacket made of breathable fabric.
4. Wear layers you can shed if it warms up during the race.
5. Have a friend bring some dry clothes and socks for you to wear after the race is over.
Five things to know about eating before you participate in a marathon
By Carol Koprowski, PhD, RD
Clinical assistant professor of preventive medicine, Keck School of Medicine of USC
- Carbohydrate is the body’s preferred fuel. Focus on foods high in carbohydrates and low in fat, fiber and protein. Foods that contain easily digested carbohydrates include:
- Sports drinks (i.e. Ultima Replenisher, not beverages like Rockstar, Monster, etc.)
- Energy bars
- Breads, bagels
- Timing is an important consideration-what you eat depends on when you eat before your competition. Try to eat a meal containing 250 to 300 calories 90 minutes to two hours before your event and about 100 calories per hour during the event (e.g., energy gels).
- Foods high in fat or fiber will not provide a ready source of energy and may result in cramping and discomfort. Also, blood is pulled into the stomach to aid in digestion of these foods, which means blood is not going to the muscles. As a result, you can experience cramping and discomfort. High-fat foods include potato chips, candy and meat.
- Keep yourself hydrated and use sports drinks for runs longer than 90 minutes. Plan on drinking one to two cups of water before your race and eight ounces of water every 15 minutes during the race, especially if it’s hot. When water is provided during your race, try to drink several swallows of water whether or not you feel thirsty.
- Make sure to eat after you complete your event. Within 30 minutes after your event, consume foods with a high glycemic index to help restore glycogen levels, including some protein to help build lean body tissue. A slice of bread with peanut butter provides a high glycemic index food with some protein.
Top 5 Tips for Runners Recovering from Cold and Flu
By Sharon Orrange
Assistant professor of clinical medicine, Keck School of Medicine of USC
The cold and flu season is in full force with little sign of letting up. Respiratory illness causes by viruses (rhinovirus and coronavirus being the most common) may have sidelined you during your training. As a physician who has both run the LA Marathon and worked the course on race day, here are five important tips to enable you to come back strong.
- To rinse or not to rinse: For sinus and nasal symptoms, nasal irrigation can and should be done even up to the morning of the race. There are many options including neti-pots, SinuCleanse or squeeze bottle rinses like Neil-med sinus rinse.
- Ugh this cough. A persistent cough and chest tightness from airways that are recovering from an infection will make running the marathon much harder. Talk to your doctor about using an inhaler that works as a bronchodilator, like Albuterol, to open up those airways. Inhalers can be used up to the morning of the race.
- What meds to take? You may want to hold off on some of the over the counter cold and flu medications near race day. Sudafed can raise blood pressure and make you jittery and Claritin, Allegra and Zyrtec may dry your mouth. Zinc lozenges taken within the first 24 hours of an illness have been shown to help.
- Beat the dry. Heated rooms during the winter lead to dry air which cracks the mucous membranes, your first line of defense. Warm-mist room humidifiers in the bedroom may help as will drinking 0.5 ounces of water per pound of body weight a day up to race day.
- H20: Hydrate. Illness, especially respiratory illness, increases the water you lose from your respiratory tract and skin during fever, cold and flu. Water before during and after your race is key. I mean it.
Top Five Foot Injuries for Marathon Runners
By Timothy Charlton
Assistant Professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Keck Medical Center of USC
In the months leading up to the marathon, and during the marathon, many runners not surprisingly encounter injuries to the foot. Following are some of the most common foot injuries and the best way to treat them:
This may occur on the Achilles tendon near the heel and the peroneal tendon that runs on the outside of the ankle and ends at the level of the foot. Both result in tenderness and are difficult to treat but icing to reduce inflammation and decreasing the amount of mileage can help.
Runners suffering from plantar fasciitis feel tenderness on the bottom of the foot. Classic symptoms are pain in the first step of the day. Treatments include ice anti-inflammatory treatment and a night splint, which can initially be difficult to get used to when sleeping, but is very effective.
Runners with overpronation will feel tenderness on the inside of the ankle. The key is correcting the alignment of the foot. Control running shoes and soft athletic orthotic inserts can help solve this problem.
Blisters and toenail loss
Runners may notice toenails with blood underneath. The toenail will probably fall off and may be tender and slightly painful. Avoid running until the tenderness stops. Protect blisters from further friction with a special blister bandage and keep the area clean to avoid infection.
If you experience troubling or serious pain, see your physician. Take good care of your feet and you stand a good chance of recovering and being ready to start thinking about running in the ASICS LA Marathon in 2013.