After seeing hundreds of runners running the Bellingham Bay Marathon on Sunday, September 28th, I started thinking about marathon injuries. There is no doubt that the body faces a physical challenge while training for and completing the 26.2 miles in a marathon. It is important to train well in advance of the marathon and be prepared for the common injuries that can occur during the race. Having an understanding of symptoms to look for, how to handle them, and whether it is safe to finish the marathon can be an important tool to keeping yourself healthy.
Preventing and Handling the Top 10 Marathon Injuries
Foot blisters are a common reaction to running long periods of time with socks rubbing against running shoes. Assuming that you trained for the race, you may have already experienced blisters and know which shoes, socks, drying agents, covering pads, and lubricants have worked to keep them at bay. If you feel a hot, sore spot early in the race it is best to stop and pop the blister and cover it with a disinfectant, and a gel bandage or moleskin pad.
2. Black Toenails
Black toenails are a result of a blister or blood pooling under a toenail. During a marathon, this is usually caused by repeated banging of the toenail against the front of the running shoe. The best prevention is to buy a well fitting shoe and tie the laces tight enough that they keep your heel in place. You may not notice the blackened toenail until after the marathon; note that you will likely lose the nail and have it grow back over the course of three to five months.
Chafing is when skin rubs against skin and is made more painful with the salt from sweat. Common areas for chafing are underarms, nipples, under-breast area, groin, and thighs. You will likely already have experienced chafing during training so pay attention to your problem areas and keep them dry with cornstarch or moist with petroleum jelly, or roll-on silicone products.
4. Upset Stomach and Nausea
With all the bouncing up and down, an upset stomach is common during a marathon. In the 48 hours leading up to the marathon be careful what you eat or drink. Avoid spicy foods, alcohol, foods that you don’t tolerate well, or unfamiliar foods. Limit caffeine right before the race. During the race only consume energy snacks or liquids that you used successfully during training.
Pay attention to feelings of dehydration during training. Weigh yourself before and after a long run to ensure that you have neither lost nor gained weight. Make sure that you have ample access to water during the race. Watch for symptoms of dehydration including dry mouth, fatigue, dizziness, stomach ache, back pain, headache, irritability, and decreased urination. If you experience these symptoms you should slow down or stop and drink a sports drink until the symptoms subside.
Hyponatremia is the opposite of dehydration; it is when a person drinks so much fluid that the body doesn’t have time to eliminate it. The concentration of water dangerously dilutes the salt concentration in your cells. Watch for signs of hyponatremia that include nausea, headache, cramps, confusion, slurred speech, bloating, and swollen hands. If you are experiencing these symptoms, stop and do not continue the race until the symptoms subside.
7. Sunburn and Windburn
Being outside for a prolonged period of time exposes your skin to a lot of sun and wind (if it is windy). Even on a cloudy day you should protect your face and the top of your head with a billed hat and apply sunscreen to any exposed skin. Keep your lips hydrated with lip balm. On windy days you can wear a Buff neck gaiter to wear as a balaclava or scarf for extra wind protection.
8. Muscle Cramps
Muscle cramps can occur from long periods of exertion and from the strain of using the same posture and gait for several hours. The risk for muscle cramps is exacerbated by dehydration and depleted salt levels. If you experience a muscle cramp during the race, stop and gently stretch and massage the cramped muscle. Drink a sports drink to replace salt and fluid levels in your body. Be aware of your posture during the race, stay hydrated, and change your stride or pace throughout the marathon to help prevent muscle cramps.
9. Hitting the Wall
“Hitting the wall” or completely running out of energy stores in your muscles is more common in competitive marathon runners than in slower runners or marathon walkers. Drinking sports energy drinks and consuming energy gels or other energy snacks every throughout the marathon can help prevent energy loss.
10. Sprains, Strains, and Stress Fractures
Muscle exhaustion can lead to a trip or fall and a sprain, strain, or fracture. If you experience sudden, sharp pain, stop immediately and seek the help of course volunteers.
If you or a loved one were injured in an accident, you have enough to deal with. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring accident attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. today for a FREE consultation! You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!Read More
Running injuries are surprisingly common. Despite the fact that it is not a contact sport, it is high impact and actually has a higher rate of injury than many other sports.
Running Injury Statistics
- Runners experience an average of four injuries per 1,000 hours of running. This translates to two injuries per year if you run five to ten hours per week.
- Epidemiological studies have found that between 19 percent and 79 percent of runners sustain an overuse injury every year that they run regularly.
- Recurrence of running injuries is common: 20 percent to 70 percent of running injuries return for another round.
- Runner’s knee is the irritation of the cartilage on the underside of the kneecap (40 percent of running injuries).
- Achilles Tendonitis occurs when the tendon that connects the two major calf muscles to the back of the heel is under stress and tightens or becomes irritated (11 percent of running injuries).
- Hamstring issues occur when the muscle that runs down the back of our thighs becomes weak or tight from overuse (7 percent of running injuries).
- Plantar Fasciitis is when small tears or inflammation occurs in the tendons and ligaments that run from your heel to your toes (10 percent of running injuries).
- Shinsplints are an achy pain that occurs with small tears in the muscle around the shin (10 percent of running injuries).
- Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS) is when the IT band that lies along the outside of the thigh from the hip to the knee rubs against the femur and causes irritation (12 percent of running injuries).
- Stress fractures occur because of cumulative strain on the bone (6 percent of running injuries).
Age, gender, flexibility, strength, total weekly mileage, footwear, training surface, training intensity, sleep deprivation, biomechanics, medications, dehydration or glycogen depletion, and previous injuries all play a role in who gets injured.
The best thing you can do is learn to run properly. A successful long-term runner understands that you must increase your miles gradually and do exercises and cross-training activities.
Many people wouldn’t dream of going for a run alone without their iPod buds in their ears but you should consider the following information in your decision. Setting aside that wearing iPod buds turned up too loudly can damage your hearing; a terrifying study was released by the University Of Maryland School Of Medicine and the University Of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore. They found that serious injuries to pedestrians listening to headphones increased by 300 percent between 2006 and 2012 and further that 70 percent of the pedestrians in these accidents were killed. The bottom line is that we are not aware of noises around us when we are listening to music or a book on our iPod and this can mean missing dangers that we would otherwise be able to avoid. In many cases, drivers in cars or trains were sounding their horns to warn the pedestrian of oncoming danger but they couldn’t hear the sound. Lead author of the study and associate professor of pediatrics at the University Of Maryland School Of Medicine, Richard Lichenstein says that headphones should be considered just as dangerous to pedestrians as texting while driving is to drivers.
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident you may need the help of a personal injury lawyer to help you fight for damages. At Tario & Associates, P.S. we have years of experience in personal injury cases. Call us today for a Free Consultation.Read More