Training for the ING New York City Marathon? Mike Silverman and Leigh Ann Plack, Physical Therapists in the Sports Rehabilitation and Performance Center, share their tips for keeping you on track.
1. Now is the time where you are upping your mileage – plan accordingly. Fuel up with electrolytes every 45 to 75 minutes of continuous running to help keep your body going, keeping in mind to listen to your body. Try and run with a friend or running group, to help from “hitting the wall” as your distance increases.
2. As your training brings you closer to the marathon, realize you are now burning more calories then you were early in your training, so fuel up! Bring snacks with you to work to keep your caloric intake up and plan your meals wisely the nights before you run.
3. Don’t underestimate the heat! Protect your skin with waterproof sunblock and wear light colored clothes and a hat to keep you cool. Also try to avoid the mid day hours when the temperature is the warmest and the sun is at its highest. Try to run either earlier in the morning or late in the evening to avoid the heat and UV exposure.
4. On a run longer than 30 minutes, especially in the heat, it is very important to stay hydrated. Bring a water bottle with you or some cash to pick up a drink along the way. Another option is to map out a route where you know there are water fountains to quench your thirst.
5. Make sure to warm-up your muscles before you begin to run. You are more likely to get injured without a proper warm-up. After you run, remember to stretch out your legs including, your hamstrings, quads, hip flexors and gastrocs.
6. Strength training is important to incorporate into your weekly routine to keep you running pain free and improve your performance.
Michael Silverman, PT, MSPT, USATF-1, is a physical therapist at Hospital for Special Surgery’s James M. Benson Sports Rehabilitation Center, specializing in rehabilitation for runners and other performance athletes. He has a special interest in running-form analysis, which he performs at theTisch Performance Center at Hospital for Special Surgery.