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Ask the Expert: Dr. Jordan Metzl, Primary Sports Medicine Physician, Answers Questions About Marathon Training & Injury Prevention Part 2

Woman running on track field

The ING New York City Marathon is just 19 days away! Earlier this month, Dr. Jordan Metzl, Primary Sports Medicine Physician, answered questions during a live chat on the ING New York City Marathon Facebook page. As a soon to be 29-time marathon runner and nine-time Ironman finisher, Dr. Metzl combines his knowledge as an athlete and experience as a physician to treat and educate athletes of all levels.

Q1. Sometimes I get a slight pain above my knee that goes away as I run. Any idea why?

You should try strength training. I suggest the plyomteric jump squat. Try four sets of 15 repetitions every third day to build quadriceps and glute strength.

Q2. About one month ago, I sat funny and hurt my sciatic nerve in my right buttock. I’ve tried yoga, massage and acupuncture, but nothing seems to help. Any advice?

The sciatic nerve runs inside the piriformis muscle in the buttock. Try doing stretches, like the ‘pigeon pose,’ to help relax the piriformis muscle. Also, try an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory.

Q3. Are there any strengthening exercises that will help keep my sacroiliac joint (SI) joint from locking up?

The SI joint is the joint between the sacrum and ilium of the pelvisStrengthen muscles in your core and buttocks. Try doing planks and squats. Every third day, do three minutes of planks in one-minute increments and plyomteric jump squats for four to five sets of 15 repetitions.

Q4. I don’t eat dairy; what’s the best thing to eat and drink after a long run?

You don’t need dairy: try some carbs and protein. It’s more important to eat your recovery snack within the first 30 minutes following a run.

Q5. I have my last long run scheduled for this Sunday- 24 miles. But, my left hamstring is painful after I ran a half-marathon four days ago. Should I be concerned with my long run coming up?

24 miles is too long before a marathon. When training for a marathon, your longest run should be no more than 20-21 miles. If you are sore, consider postponing your next big run for a week, or slow down the pace if you must run.

Q6. I have had chronic plantar fascitiis in my left heel for almost one year. I have tried PRP, physical therapy and shock wave therapy, stretching and inserts.

I haven’t run in three months. I’m frustrated- any advice? I would try to get another opinion from a different physician. After that, I would consult with your physicians and maybe try PRP again to see how it goes.

Q7. What are the best foods to eat for glycogen storage?

Your body stores carbohydrates as glycogen in the muscles and liver and, during high intensity workouts,this is used for energy. When muscle glycogen becomes depleted you begin to feel fatigued and your performance suffers. For glycogen storage, some combo of carbs and some fat is good, but, the key is to eat it within the first 30 minutes following a workout. Any carb can be converted into glycogen.

Q8. Does chocolate milk really help muscles recovery or is it a myth?

Chocolate milk is actually a great recovery drink! It contains the carbs that your muscles need to recover. Drink it within 30 minutes after a workout as a great first-step towards muscle recovery.

Click to read Part 1

The information provided in this blog by HSS and our affiliated physicians is for general informational and educational purposes, and should not be considered medical advice for any individual problem you may have. This information is not a substitute for the professional judgment of a qualified health care provider who is familiar with the unique facts about your condition and medical history. You should always consult your health care provider prior to starting any new treatment, or terminating or changing any ongoing treatment. Every post on this blog is the opinion of the author and may not reflect the official position of HSS. Please contact us if we can be helpful in answering any questions or to arrange for a visit or consult.