-- Robert Preidt
SUNDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Attempting a marathon is a
challenge that can bring a great feeling of accomplishment but
runners need to be careful to avoid training injuries and other
health problems, experts advise.
Common types of injuries in marathon runners include shin
splints, muscle strains, stress fractures, patellofemoral pain
syndrome (pain in and around the knee) and iliotibial band syndrome
(pain on the outside of the knee and hip).
"These injuries often result from overtraining or increasing mileage too quickly. That is why it is important to build up mileage slowly and take rest days," Dr. Haemi Choi, a sports medicine specialist at Loyola University Health System, said in a university news release.
Other health issues can arise if athletes burn more calories
than they consume.
"Energy requirements increase as the amount of distance you run increases, so proper nutrition during marathon training season and the race is essential. Consuming small, balanced meals every three to four hours ensures energy levels support training needs," Dr. Jim Winger, another sports medicine specialist at Loyola, said in the news release.
In general, a marathon training diet should consist of 65
percent carbohydrates, 25 percent protein and 10 percent fat, but
this will vary depending on a person's energy requirements. He or
she should eat 30 to 45 calories per kilogram of weight daily and
adjust this amount based on exertion levels, the experts
"Endurance athletes should consume a small snack or meal at least one to two hours prior to exercising, consisting of carbohydrates with a low to moderate glycemic index. Low glycemic index foods such as bananas and apples are preferable, because they enter the bloodstream slowly and provide sustained energy for longer periods of time," Choi said.
Other important considerations for marathoners include proper
hydration, clothes that wick away sweat from the skin, adequate
sleep, and stretching after running.
The Women's Sports Foundation offers
marathon training tips.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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